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50 Ways to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables

by Karen on December 3, 2007

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. 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.

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{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Regular Bob December 4, 2007 at 12:55 am

Good suggestions, all! You can never get kids into the fruit and veggie habit soon enough.

Do you try the different varieties of apples? I actually thought apples were bland until someone pointed out that I should try a different variety than my usual Red Delicious. What with my frugal nature I was looking at price first, taste second. When I started eating Pacific Rose, Braeburn, Fuji, Paula Rose, etc., it was like I had discovered a new food. They are just so much better than the standards, the Red or Golden Delicious.

Half a large Gala or Fuji plus a handful of pretzels and 4 or 5 dried plums are my preferred afternoon snack. Tasty and healthy!

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Karen December 4, 2007 at 1:05 am

The last time I saw a good variety of apples was when I was in Hendersonville, NC. They are known for their Apple Festival and apple orchards. We went to a farm day or something like that. There was a line of all the different types of apples. I had no clue there were so many. If I remember correctly, the Cameo was my favorite.

Thanks for reminding me. I’ll have to check out the different varieties when I go shopping. Red delicious and Granny Smith apples are definitely not my favorites.

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JHS December 8, 2007 at 4:20 pm

Thanks for contributing this article to this week’s Carnival of Family Life, hosted at the so-called me on Monday, December 10, 2007! We have many other wonderful entries, so stop by and read a few!

Interested in hosting the Carnival? The schedule is posted at Colloquium.

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buy hcg drops September 29, 2011 at 3:02 pm

Thanks for this article. Vegetables are a hard choice when dieting as fruit is much easier but also more full of sugar! Some great ideas here though.

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LR January 13, 2012 at 1:45 pm

Thanks! This is a great article. The most helpful to me is having them already cut up and ready to eat. It’s quick and easy to grab cookies or chips because there is nothing you have to do to prepare them and you can eat them right away. It’s nice when vegetables are that easy too.

One healthy snack that I grew up eating was celery topped with peanut butter and raisins. It might not sound too yummy but it’s actually delicious!

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