Fruits and Veggies Take All. Here’s How:

Here’s how to boost your and your family’s fruits and veggie intake:

Boost Breakfasts:

  • Smoothies
  • Oatmeal with Banana, shredded coconut, berries
  • Grab a whole piece of fruit
  • Eggs with veggies—my fav is sautéed kale and onion and eggs. YUM

Double the Veggies: Double the amount called for in the original recipe. You are already doing the prep work; so a little extra chopping can go a long way for your vegetable intake.

  • Stir extra veggies into soups. It will enhance the flavor, nutritional value, and your daily vegetable tally.
  • Pile them on the pizza.
  • Cram them into casseroles.
  • Stuff them into sandwiches. A sandwich is another blank canvas just waiting to get stuffed with color. Add some extra peppers, mushrooms, and squash. Don’t be shy with topping with tomato- and veggie-heavy salsa, either. Take your routine turkey sandwich and jazz it up with sliced apples, cucumber, zucchini, sprouts, and spinach.

Be a Sneaky Chef: Try these tips to sneak in one or two extra servings into your day.

  • Puree cooked cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers and stir them into sauces, mashed potatoes, pot pies, or mac and cheese. DON’T FORGET THE KALE DUST.
  • Make a mean marinara that’s loaded with vegetables. In addition to traditional tomato sauce base, use chop up mushrooms, eggplant, onions, peppers, squash, cauliflower and carrots.
  • Add to baking: Banana, zucchinis, coconut, apples, dates, carrots, et al.

Go Meatless: Use this as a “day of preparation” for the entire week to assist your goal to increase your fruits and vegetables by three servings a day.

  • Sauté or grill extra vegetables on your meatless day, and continue to use the leftovers later in the week in pasta dishes, soups, sandwiches, and salads.
  • Make a large batch of fruit salad to have on hand for meals and snacks.

Become a food processing pro: Use the shredding blade to grate squash, carrots, zucchini, turnips, onions, sweet potatoes, etc.

  • Bag them up and keep them easily accessible in the refrigerator. Add them to sauces, soups, stir-fry, casseroles, pizzas—EVERYTHING AND ANYTHING.

Experiment with a new vegetable or fruit each week.

  • Get kids involved and let them pick the new produce to add it to the meal. Let them decide how to cook it. Let them hold it, handles it, peel it, etc.
  • When it’s the season, take kids to the U-pick farms and let them get dirty.
  • Try new seasonal veggies

Make all of your snacks revolve around fruits and vegetables. If these are the only options, they will eat them.

  • Stock countertops, pantries, refrigerators, desk, car, and purse with some form of fruit or veggie.
  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter at home or on your desk for a healthy (and eye-appealing) quick fix.
  • Keep dried fruit in your car or purse for busy days when a breather is just not an option.
  • Pack pre-cut fruit and veggies into snack-size bags to munch. Keep them eye level in the fridge for kid’s easy access.

Eat Salad all the time: Try to make them with Dark Leafy Greens

  • Supersize your salad. Endless possibilities. One cup of leafy greens is a serving;
  • pile on healthy toppings, and every 1/2 cup of chopped fruits and vegetables is another serving. You can easily get half your daily fruits and vegetables packed into one glorious salad.
  • Don’t cheat yourself on the dressing. Skip the fat-free and low-fat dressings full of sugar and sodium and are completely deprived on flavor. A few splashes of a good, heart-healthy olive-oil and flax seed oil-based dressings can do wonders to that bed of greens. Loving this creamy dressing, plus it boosts your veggie counts even more.

Dig the Dip: Crunchy crudités take on a whole new life with just a smidge of dip.

  • Replace chips with cut up veggies and dip.
  • Go sweet. Dip apple wedges, pears, sliced bananas, mango, and pineapple spears in a sweet sauce.
  • Go savory. A plate of raw vegetables pairs great with a nutty hummus, zesty ranch, creamy avocado, and fiery salsa.

Bag the Bread: Instead of bread or tortillas, make your next sandwich inside a leafy green.

  • Make lettuce Wraps: Kids love the fix it yourself thing too
  • Try replacing one bread serving a day with a fruit or vegetable. Stack 2 or 3 large, leafy greens such as Bibb lettuce, romaine, red lettuce, cabbage, or radicchio and pile on the fixings. Enjoy the added crunch factor.