Community Wellness: National Nutrition Month: Fruits and Veggies

March 09, 2017
Lisa Randall, Clinical Coordinator
nutrition facts

Add a small serving of fruit to each meal
Try eating the fruit at the beginning of the meal, that way you make sure they don't get left out.  Also, whole fruits and veggies slow down the eating process and help you feel fuller, faster. 
               
Start with breakfast 

  • fresh or frozen berries, dried cranberries or raisins with cereal 
  • half of a banana or other small fruit
  • include fruit and veggies with lunch

If you pack a lunch plan ahead and incorporate fruit into what you already bring

  • avocado slices on a sandwich or chunks of avocado in soup - like this recipe for avocado and grapefruit salsa
  • red or yellow pepper slices, carrots, celery with hummus 
  • apple slices or cranberries on a turkey sandwich
  • salad with extra veggies, berries, apple slices, dried fruit, etc. 
  • add fruit to your lunch box (orange, melon cubes, pineapple chunks, or when in season, peaches, fresh pears)

Eat whole fruits and/or veggies for snacks

  • Bring fruit or veggies for between meal snacks that are easy to keep in sight and need little preparation, such as tangerines, grapes, bananas, a small apple, baby carrots, or snap peas, .  Change things up when fruits go into season (cherries, fresh berries, plums, apricots)

By changing your habits at breakfast, lunch and small snacks, you can in 3 - 4 servings of fruit, even before the dinner meal.   

  • For your last meal of the day include vegetables.  Ideally half of your plate should be vegetables
  • Mix up the veggies in salad; add cucumbers, artichoke hearts, baby corn, beets, green onions, spinach leaves, mushrooms, peppers, radishes, water chestnuts.
  • Steam, roast or saute veggies on the side (Brussels sprouts, French green beans, broccoli, cauliflower, squash,
  • Incorporate veggies with your entree (cabbage on fish tacos, sauerkraut with sausage, tomatoes, onions and garlic in sauces) 

The overall goal is to get 7-9 servings of fruit and vegetables per day.  If you are currently not eating any start with 1-2 servings, if you get a couple of servings a day try to increase to 4-5.  Remember, a serving of fruit is small (a small apple, 2 apricots, half of a banana), so if you are eating larger servings you can count them as two.  The serving size of vegetables is "the more the better," so don't worry about size; think about how you can incorporate more (in any amount) in your meals and snacks.
 
To find more (and delicious) recipes, visit: wellness.inhs.org/. INHS Community Wellness also offers workshops and webinars on ways to live healthier: view course listings here .

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