With so many of us living the on-the-go lifestyle, it’s easy to skimp on the most important part of our daily diets: fruits and vegetables!
It’s easy to eat packaged foods at our desks or in our cars, so it feels convenient. But it’s easier to eat healthy than you might think.
Here are some easy tips for fitting those vital fruits and veggies into your day, so that you can partake in Mother Nature’s menu –the best one there is, of course!
- Start with a strategy. It all begins at the checkout counter, so next time you go grocery shopping, make sure to keep a ready arsenal on hand. If you begin each day asking yourself, “What fruits and vegetables should I have today?” you won’t miss any opportunities to double down on the nutrients.
- Breakfast is key. Start your morning right by piling on berries, melon and citrus fruits onto your oatmeal, cereal or yogurt. They add bulk, flavor and a hint of sweetness without indulging in unhealthier options. If savory is more your style, adding some spinach, peppers, tomatoes or onions kicks any egg dish up a notch. So give your omelet some flair, we dare you.
- Customize your salads. Lunchtime doesn’t have to be indecision time anymore if you pack your own salad, and load it up with veggies. As many as you like, and the more colors the better will make an otherwise dull salad suit your tastes a bit more. Add fruits to your greens if that’s what you crave. Apples, oranges, pears and berries are crowd pleasers. And if you feel the need to make that salad feel even more substantial, tossing in a protein like beans adds bulk to your bites.
- Don’t leave sandwiches out of the party. Layer in lettuce, sprouts, tomatoes, avocado, onion, peppers (and beyond) between those slices of bread. Raw or sautéed, they’ll help fill you up the healthy way.
- No need to skip snacks. Eating between meals can be a good thing, if you make smart decisions. Carrots, celery, apple slices – they can all be “dressed up” with your condiment of choice or eaten as is. Plus, they’re easy to tote with you for those portable noshing sessions.
- Stir things up. Two words for dinner tonight: stir-fry. Another multi-tasking meal, preparing yourself means you control how much oil is used, the spiciness factor, and what you serve it over. Brown rice and quinoa are great options!
- Partake in dessert, if you please. Know what’s cold and sweet and perfect to have after dinner? (No, not ice cream.) From frozen grapes to cut up melon, to berries with honey or Greek yogurt, make fruit your nighttime go-to instead of high calorie options. It’s low calorie – therefore guilt free – and still satisfies those evening cravings. Dig in!
You can always puree fruits and veggies for finicky children and fold them into your cooking or baking recipes, but a word of caution with this method: it skips the real lesson here. Teaching your kids to eat healthy and choosing the options they like best is half the fun. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to help them develop lifelong nutritional habits.