We all know by now that we should be eating more fruits and veggies without having to be told that we aren’t doing so. But knowing and doing are two different things, right?!? Sometimes its easier to reach for that bag (or bottle) of temptation in the form of candy, drinks, and chips or worse, consume lot amounts of fast food instead. In this blog post, we’ll creatively explore a few ways to trick our minds into choosing more healthier food choices. Hopefully, our bodies will thank us in the end.
Tip 1: Start the day with a breakfast smoothie.
All you have to do is throw some organic fruits and/or veggies, organic Greek yogurt, or plant (or almond) milk, and a few ice cubes in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect on-the-go breakfast. If serving to kids, consider adding some frozen yogurt or a scoop of homemade ice cream. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast.
Tip 2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack anytime of the day.
Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase and keep some trail mix sitting around for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning. Perhaps even adding yogurt or even banana chips to your cereal. Nevertheless, keep in mind that dried fruits that come prepackaged could be full of sugar so please check the food labels beforehand.
Tip 3: Add some fruits and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches.
For example, a peanut butter sandwich – if nut allergies are not an issue, you can add some bananas, sliced apples, or strawberry slices. Then, top it off using vegan chicken slices or organic, grass-fed chicken or turkey slices with organic lettuce, tomato, cucumbers, and your other favorites. You could even consider making a sub sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some organic or vegan mayonnaise and cheese.
Tip 4. Have a salad for dinner.
Personally, this is my all-time favorite but not for fruit. Be creative – make it a family salad bar. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, cheese and croutons as well as your and your family’s favorite salad dressings and everyone can create their own perfect salad.
Tip 5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables is both a blessing and a curse.
You could keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to drink them as a snack. Perhaps, start a family cocktail hour by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favorite juice over ice. Be creative – add accessories like straws and cocktail umbrellas, then sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.
On the other hand, drinking your fruits and veggies might turn int a Catch-22. You’ll want to use caution when consuming prepackaged juices as they could be loaded with sugar and other preservatives that are harmful to the human body. Honestly, do you really know how many pieces of each fruit or vegetable are really in your cup? If you aren’t sure and you consume too much, especially if your body isn’t conditioned to eating fruits and veggies – whether raw or processed, you could find yourself with stomach issues. Its best to start slow to avoid digestion discomforts like constipation, diarrhea, gas and/or bloating.
Tip 6. Try for dessert.
Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt in a bowl and top it off with a serving of fresh or frozen fruit. Yum!
Tip 7. Offer fruits and vegetables as daytime snacks.
You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with your favorite dip. Spread some cream cheese or peanut butter on the inside of a stick of celery – maybe even sprinkle raisins on top. (Wow, fruits and vegetables all in one snack.)
Tip 8: Try some new fruits and vegetables.
Spark your family’s curiosity and pick a new fruit to try as a family. With a little luck, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. For example, consider artichokes, plantain, papaya, mango, starfruit, or anything else you can find in the produce section of your local health food store or at your farmer’s market.
Tip 9: Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew.
During the winter months, cook up your favorite veggies – with or without meat – for the ultimate comfort food.
Tip 10. Conduct your own Veggie Days.
Allow each family member to pick a vegetable for a day. Make it a game and set some ground rules. For example, you can pick this week’s veggie if you failed to try last week’s option. In that case, you could lose a turn and an adult – like Mom or Dad get to make the next pick.
Incorporating one or two of these ideas could lead to everyone in your family eating more fruits and vegetables in no time. With these ten tips in hand, get ready, set, and stock up!