How many servings of fruits and veggies did you eat yesterday?
If it was less than 1 cup of fruit and 1.5 cups of veggies, you’re in good company with a majority of Americans, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
This National Fruit and Veggies Month, we’re encouraging you to take advantage of summer’s bounty by working fruits and vegetables into more meals and snacks. The more fruits and veggies in your diet, the lower your risk for heart disease, stroke, and some cancers—not to mention that these foods are good for helping you to reach your weight goals.
Here are some easy, delicious ways to add more vegetables and fruits into breakfast, lunch, dinner, and snacks.
- Pair your eggs with a side salad.
- Add spinach and sautéed mushrooms and tomatoes to your omelet
- Make a green smoothie with spinach or kale leaves and add almond milk or coconut water, blending them together first. Then toss in pineapple, mango, strawberries, bananas, and ice cubes, or berries.
- Make oatmeal with apples, blueberries, or bananas.
- Top overnight oats with sliced fruit and berries.
- Sprinkle fruit as a topping for frozen yogurt.
- Nosh crudités with celery, raw peppers (the more colors the better), jicama, green beans, snap peas, cucumbers, and pair with black bean dip or hummus.
- Put grapes in the freezer in a bag and munch the frozen sweet treats a few hours later.
- Add berries on top of your chia seed pudding.
- Bake a veggie-based bread, like zucchini bread from Cookie and Kate.
- When you order a deli sandwich, add peppers, lettuce, tomatoes, pickles, olives, and roasted red peppers.
- Use avocados as a “bowl” when you scoop out the seed, remove the skin, and add egg salad to the fruit’s center. Check out @FoodDeco’s avocado ideas on Instagram.
- Swap chips for thinly sliced cucumbers when you’re craving crunch.
- If you’re having a quinoa or grain bowl (like faro) start with kale or green leaves on the bottom, then pile on your warm grain, top with more veggies.
- Pair your sandwich with a broth-based vegetable soup.
- Enjoy a grade-school favorite snack of peanut butter on a banana or paired with an apple.
- Add bananas to your peanut butter sandwich, or strawberries to nutella on toast.
- Choose the vegetable pizza slice over pepperoni.
- Start with a chilled vegetable gazpacho.
- Have a dinner salad as your main meal and top it with grilled meat or salmon. Pile on every raw vegetable you can find.
- Enjoy corn-on-the-cob, green beans, and lighter potato salads when you’re at a barbecue.
- Experiment with different grilled vegetables, like sliced zucchini, summer squash, peppers, onion, asparagus, cauliflower, cremini mushrooms, eggplant, corn, green tomatoes, and portabellas.
Keep in mind that June 16th is “Fresh Veggies Day” so challenge yourself to max out your veggies that day by working them into every meal and snack.