How can you increase the amount of fruits and vegetables that your family eats every day? Consider these practical suggestions:
1. Try to eat a variety of colors every day. It appears that phytochemicals associated with different colors of fruits and vegetables provide a variety of health benefits. If you limit yourself to products bearing only one or two colors, you’ll miss out.
2. Add some mixed frozen vegetables to your favorite soup as you heat it.
3. Spice up your salads with some pieces of fruit.
4. While most of us are used to the typical meat/starch/vegetable combination for a meal, try a second vegetable instead of the potato/rice/pasta.
5. If you order a pizza for takeout or delivery to your home, order a salad with it or make one before it arrives. While you’re at it, add a fruit or vegetable to balance out the meal.
6. If the prospect of putting a salad together from scratch provokes you to reach for something simpler (like a box of macaroni), think about buying some precut salad mixes at the store. They’re not as economical as using the original ingredients—you’re paying for the convenience, after all—but they may be worth it if they increase your family’s consumption of greens.
7. Encourage your family (and yourself) to munch on carrot and/or celery sticks instead of chips for appetizers or snacks.
8. Keep fresh fruit in a bowl in the kitchen or family room for a healthy snack.
9. Add slices of fruit to your favorite cereal. Be adventurous with the types that you try.
10. Serve fruit with dessert . . . or as dessert.
11. For a treat on a hot day, think about fixing or buying a fruit smoothie rather than a milk shake.