One of the simplest things you can do to improve your family’s health is to increase consumption of fruits and vegetables. Simple, yet it also one of the areas with which wellness clients struggle most. Following are 10 tips to help you and your family eat more fruits and veggies.

1. Kids love to dip. Dip carrots, celery and other vegetables in peanut butter or other dips (swap plain yogurt for mayo to make them even healthier). Speaking of dips, why not skip the chips? Slice up sweet bell peppers and use them with any dip you’d normally eat with chips.

2. Keep dried fruit and mixed nuts in your purse or briefcase for a healthy snack. Definitely beats most vending machine offerings.

3. Rather than throw away veggies you won’t get around to using in a meal, steam and puree them. Keep them in the freezer and then add them to soups, sauces, or meatloaf.

4. Always offer fresh fruit at the dinner table. Your kids will eat more of it and you’ll be more likely to replace second helpings of higher calorie dishes with fruit.

5. Serve fruit smoothies for a quick, easy weekday breakfast. It’s easy to pack several servings of fruit (and even veggies) into this yummy treat.

6. One of my favorite weekend breakfasts is sauteed veggies (pretty much whatever I have on hand) with an egg scrambled into it. Mmmm.

7. Add beans to soups, pastas, and salads.

8. Make your own hummus from almost any type of bean and add peppers, onions, spinach, zucchini and other veggies for a new twist on an old favorite.

9. Ask for extra veggies (lettuce, tomato, sprouts) when ordering sandwiches or burgers. Many restaurants will also substitute vegetables for fries or rice at no extra charge.

10. Experiment with recipes and cooking methods. Roasted or grilled veggies tend to have very different (and in my opinion, far better) flavor than steamed. Commit to trying one new recipe every week.

For additional ideas and tips, check out the following websites:

www.fruitsandveggiesmatter.gov

www.5aday.gov

www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org

www.mypyramid.gov

Be well!

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