Getting enough fruits and vegetables is something I struggle with daily. I’m also trying to teach my children good eating habits. Most days that’s difficult too. I’ve been thinking of some ways to increase our intake of nutritious fruits and vegetables. Here are some that I’ve come up with.
1. Add chopped apple, mashed banana, or fresh berries to pancakes.
2. When peaches are in season, enjoy them sliced on your cereal. I like to eat them with cottage cheese for a snack.
3. Add lettuce and tomato to a sandwich.
4. Add fresh broccoli or fresh spinach leaves to a salad.
5. Add cut-up raw vegetables or a piece of fruit to everyone’s lunch.
6. Add berries, sliced banana or any fruit to hot or cold cereal.
7. Eat fruits and veggies for snacks. Baby carrots make a great snack.
8. Top ice cream with fresh fruits and berries.
9. Eating fast food? Order a side salad or fruit cup instead of french fries.
10. Eat some watermelon, cantalope, or honeydew. Yummy!
11. Try applesauce on pancakes instead of syrup.
12. Try a new recipe for your favorite vegetable or invent your own!
13. Top a baked potato with salsa instead of sour cream.
14. Try cooked pumpkin or winter squash for dinner.
15. Have a salad for lunch or dinner. Top it with a little ham or grilled chicken.
16. Use fruit when making sweets. Try making apple pie, blueberry pie, or pumpkin pie. Or make blueberry or strawberry muffins. While this isn’t the ideal way to eat fruit, it’s better than nothing and is better than eating cake and ice cream.
17. Grill vegetables along with meat when you cook out. My favorites are cabbage and squash.
18. Fix tuna salad for lunch. Add grated carrot or chopped apple.
19. At the store, let your kids help you pick out fruits and vegetables they would like to eat.
20. Visit a farmer’s market. Try a new vegetable or fruit.
21. Enjoy apples in the fall when they’re in season.
22. Fix a milk and fruit shake for a snack.
23. Bake sweet potatoes for dinner.
24. Enjoy a hot bowl of vegetable soup in the winter.
25. Look for recipes that use vegetables. One of our favorites is tomato casserole. Yum!
26. When making a casserole, try adding a little corn or shredded carrots.
27. Instead of making brownies or cookies, try making banana, blueberry, or pumpkin bread.
28. In a hurry? Try stopping at a salad bar and loading up on pre-cut fruits and vegetables.
29. Make some fruit salad. I always add pineapple to mine. I like the taste that the pineapple offers with the other fruits.
30. Grow your own garden. If the vegetables are readily available, you’ll be more likely to eat them.
31. Can or freeze your excess vegetables so that you can enjoy them year round.
32. Add sliced tomatoes, onions, mushrooms, and bell peppers to pizza. Or try a ham and pineapple pizza.
33. Try apple slices with peanut butter. This was how I got my daughter to start eating apples. It’s a favorite now.
34. Mix up some juice and fruit in the blender.Â Use the mixture to make your own popsicles.
35. Serve dried fruit to kids instead of candy or cookies.
36. Use cookie cutters or a ripple cutter to cut fun fruits and vegetables for kids.
37. Take advantage of fruits and vegetables that have your kid’s favorite character on them. The over use of cartoon characters used to get on my nerves, but now I use it for good. When my kids wouldn’t eat soup, I tried buying the Dora soup. They ate it a few times, discovered they liked it, and now they’ll eat regular soup. Now there are fruits and vegetables coming out with cartoon characters on them.
38. Try these great ideas for using sweet potatoes.
39. Add a few vegetables to a traditional dish and give it a cool name. My husband makes macaroni and cheese and adds a little vegetables in it. He named it Rock-N-Roni. My kids eat it!
40. Keep fruit within easy reach. My 2-year-old son is not allowed to get food out of the cabinet without asking, but I know he’s going to do it. I keep dehydrated fruit on the bottom shelf. I know that’s the only thing he can reach other than canned foods. lol
41. Make fruit appealing. Arrange it in a pretty bowl as a centerpiece on a table. It will be within easy reach and will seem more appealing since it’s arranged so nicely.
42. Buy frozen and canned fruits and vegetables so that you always have them on hand.
43. Mix fresh fruit with plain yogurt.
44. Buy frozen fruit bars (100% fruit). Breyer’s makes a pretty good frozen fruit bar. These make great refreshing snacks.
45. Offer your child fruit juice rather than soda or a “fruit-flavored” drink.
46. Serve cut up raw vegetables with a yummy dip.
47. Stuff pita bread with fresh veggies. My friend taught me this trick when we were teenagers. We would cut up tomatoes, lettuce, green peppers, and other vegetables and put them into pita bread. We also included fat free cheese and a squirt of fat free Italian dressing. These were actually quite yummy.
48. Try vegetables in your omelet. Some of our favorites are onions, bell peppers, mushrooms, and tomatoes.
49. Eat a banana or tomato sandwich. I grew up eating banana sandwiches with a little Miracle Whip. I have yet to try a banana sandwich with peanut butter. A fresh tomato sandwich with mayo, salt, and pepper is pretty yummy too.
50. Keep baggies of cut up fruits and vegetables in the refrigerator for easy snacking. You’ll be more likely to eat it if the work is already done.
If you think of any more ways, just add them to the list below in the comments.