Getting Your Fruits & Vegetables
Everyone has a tip or trick to get their daily servings of fruit or vegetables. Maybe it’s to mix spinach into canned soup or keep an apple in your backpack. What do YOU do to get more fruit or vegetables in your day? I asked this question as part of the 2010 Nutrition Month contest. Here is what you had to say….
Two weeks ago I brought to SFU Surrey my own cutting board and knife. And since then, everyday, I’ve been making my own salad at lunch by buying enough ingredients to last me three days, stocking it in the staff fridge (I’m a grad student and a research assistant), and then going to the chopping board every lunch time. My salads would consist of: parsley, cilantro, green onions, grape tomatoes, sprouts if they’re available, chopped mini carrots, an apple, and whatever is cheap and fresh at the market.
The easiest way for me to get fruit back in my diet is to treat it as dessert! Dip your strawberries in something sweet, or your apples in caramel sauce. Blueberries in your ice cream, raspberries mixed in to your waffle mix. Going big on the fruit and little on the sweet stuff makes you feel good about your health, and makes you realize how delicious fruit can really be!
Instead of putting syrup on my eggos in the morning I put fruit and yogurt!
I cut up pieces of fruit/vegetables in the morning, and pack them in my school book bag to munch on during classes.
Cut up a some carrots and celery and keep in Tupperware with a dash of water to prevent drying. Place lower down in fridge for little ones to graze on. Keeps all week, highly muncharific!
By making vegetable and fruit smoothies, you can get all of your necessary servings of fruits and veggies and enjoy a delicious and healthy snack at the same time. Choose naturally sweet fruits instead of adding sugar to make it extra healthy. Banana is an especially great choice as it makes the smoothie extra creamy.
When I make an Omelette in the morning I always put tomatoes, spinach and green onions. Or I add a banana to my cereal.
I make my own lunch which has to have at least 2 different kind of fresh vegetables: can be a cucumber, baby carrots, red or orange pepper (which I keep in a zipbag). I also try to have at least 2 fruit when I’m at school: apple, orange, banana or grapes.
I keep a small tupperware dish full of dried fruit (and nuts). This way it can stay in my bag and I don’t have to worry about it going bad.
Whenever I know I have a long day ahead at school, I bring a lot of fruits and veggies with me knowing that I will get hungry, and if I don’t have anything else to eat, I will finish all those fruits and veggies. Making smoothies for yourself also helps to get your daily fruit servings, plus you know exactly what goes into your drink.
When you’re trying to stay up when studying for those never-ending midterms, try eating greens instead of drinking coffee. They will make you re-energized for the time being, but when you do decide to hit the bed, they won’t prevent you from doing so like coffee.
Oh, and I always have an apple or 2 in my backpack anyway!
My tip, which is now my Sunday ritual, is that I buy half a dozen carrots, celery sticks, cauliflower, or what ever other veggie I’m feeling like and chop them up into nice bite-size dipable pieces. Then load them into a big tupperwear with a little water in the bottom (stops them drying out) and chuck them in the fridge for the week. Then anytime I’m feeling peckish and I’m hovering around the kitchen I can just grab one out, dip into some salsa or hummus, and there is a quick, cheap, healthy snack!
Put grapes in the freezer. Eat them as a snack when watching movies instead of popcorn. They’re like mini-popsicles!
Add a few frozen blueberries (the easiest) or cut up pieces of apple to my bowl of cereal of the morning. It tastes great, helps keep me full, and gives me a head start on consuming enough fruits and vegetables each day!
When you feel like having pizza, buy the oven-ready pizza’s and throw some chopped veggies, spinach or shredded broccoli onto the pizza before baking it.
Veggie soup from the can is a quick and easy way to get a few servings of veggies into your snack/lunch/dinner but the vegetables in there are usually cooked to a mush. Before adding the can, saute any veggies you have on hand like carrots, celery, onion, broccoli and/or peppers. This ensures that the finished soup isn’t all mush and has some crunch. Overall its a boost of flavour from the fresh vegetables as well as a few extra servings to cross off the daily list!
To eat more fruit, I start every day with a fruit smoothie made with frozen fruit (strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, etc.) that I buy in a big bag from Extra Foods, along with yogurt and fruit juice. Blend it all up in a blender and you have one delicious smoothie. What’s best is that it doesn’t need sugar so it’s even better for you!
Snack on a fruit while waiting for something to cook or waiting for a kettle of water to boil!
I live in rez. My tip is that I try and keep all my food in my fridge and cupboards, except I keep a bag of apples on the counter so that way if I feel like a snack, the first thing I see is apples, not junk food.
I make sure I have vegetables everyday in my servings for lunch and dinner. For fruits, I have them everyday as snacks so I can eat during breaks or after going to the gym !
Add frozen or fresh vegetables to prepackaged chicken noodle soup
(like Lipton’s Chicken Noodle Soup)!
- frozen peas, carrots, beans, corn
- fresh broccoli, bean sprouts
My tip: SMOOTHIES! Yogurt, fruit, orange juice and ice, this makes for the perfect smoothie. Plus, its completely healthy and delicious!
I like to keep a bag of mandarin oranges or small apples beside my computer while I’m working. That way, if I get hungry while studying, I have a healthy snack sitting right beside me! It saves me from going to find something quick (and likely processed) in the kitchen.
I think it starts from the food you buy – what you choose to stock up your refrigerator/pantry with while shopping at the grocery store. I try to get enough vegetables and fruits that will last throughout the week. I tend to choose “grab and go” fruit/vegetables like oranges, apples, pears, bananas. I also make sure to buy a variety of fruits and vegetables, so that I don’t get bored of them. When I open the fridge and pack my food for the day, the fruits are conveniently there for me to take.
I prepare veggies (ie. carrots, sliced cucumbers, bell peppers) and bag them in zip-locks. Its easy, quick, and can be easily taken out and thrown in my lunch bag in the morning.
I often eat Sunrype products. They make juices and fruit leather that contain fruits and vegetables, taste delicious and are EASY. Plus, you get two servings of fruits and veggies if you just drink one juice box!
Something I like to do to get more fruit into my diet is I like to add a handful of berries or sliced fruit (such as bananas) to my morning cereal.
Fruits and veggies are easy to sneak into your daily diet if they are as delicious as other sweet alternatives. When I am on campus, I often visit the Booster Juice to get some fruit in my system that is quick and convenient. Although very yummy, it is not cheap, so try doing it at home, all that you need is a blender. For a orange julious replica, use orange juice, fat free vanilla yogurt, banana and a bit of ice. It is delicious and nutritious! My favourite is frozen mixed berries, fat free vanilla yogurt, banana and skim milk. Very Very yummy!
If eating your greens is not one of the most appealing things to eat on your list, one thing you can do is to add taste and depth to your salad is to toss in a handful of nuts. Chopped pecans or walnuts are great to add a bit of texture to your salad, and tastes great lightly toasted!
I usually get all sorts of fruits and vegetables from the supermarket, and leave them in the fridge where I can only have them when hungry rather than chocolates and chips which I try my hardest not to buy from the supermarket.
I pack myself sliced apples and oranges in my lunch bag so I don’t get tempted to buy a cookie or a muffin. Also, when cooking at home I try to include a salad dish alongside my meal.
My tip to get enough fruits (and vegetables) into my day is to make a smoothie every morning!
The trick to getting a great-tasting salad meal is not so much finding the “right combination” of fruits and vegetables to put together, but to cut things up in *small* pieces… smaller even than what you might be used to! I even cut the grape tomatoes (which are small enough as they are) in half. This way, all the flavors blend, and you get a really vibrant-looking salad because of all the different textures and colors mingling with each other.
Thank you to everyone who entered the contest , it’s great to hear so many fabulous tips (you even gave me some ideas) and congratulations to our winners!