Make Eating Healthier Easier

Eating the daily recommended five-a-day quota for fruits and vegetables can seem daunting.

There is no question there are numerous health benefits to eating fruits and veggies. They help reduce risk of chronic diseases, improve heath health, help with weight management and can protect against certain cancers and type 2 diabetes.

The USDA has also recommended filling half a plate with fruits and vegetables during each meal.

If you struggle with fruits and vegetables, here are some ways to make eating healthier easier.

  • Add one fruit or vegetable to each meal: Add a fruit to oatmeal, yogurt or cereal. Pile some vegetable on to a sandwich. Enjoy a salad with dinner. Simple additions can lead to more.
  • Smart snacking: Instead of that chocolate bar or bag of chips to get through the rest of your day, consider swapping them with veggies, like cut veggies and hummus or sliced fruit with yogurt dip.
  • Drink on the go: Try a smoothie at breakfast or as an afternoon snack. A smoothie can make it easy to get several fruits and vegetable servings.
  • Soup: Soups and stews can be an easy way to get lots of vegetables into a meal. If can be filled with a variety of veggies to try.
  • Fruits and vegetables at hand: Have cut vegetables and fruits in the fridge, read for munching or to easily pack in lunches. Have a dip on hand, which might encourage more snacking.
  • In sight, in mind: By stocking a fruit bowl on the counter at home or at work you can keep healthy eating in mind.
  • Experiment now and then: Aim for a wide variety of fruits and vegetables. You may find a new favorite. But it is also OK to stick to the ones you love.   
  • Sneak them in: Slice and dice vegetables into a manageable size. They can also be kept in the freezer. Shredded carrots, diced peppers and onions and chopped spinach can be hidden in pasta sauces, hamburger patties and omelets and casseroles.
  • On the go: Don’t let the hustle and bustle of life get in the way of healthy snacking. Baby carrots, celery sticks, chopped broccoli, bananas, apples, grapes and dried fruits are easy to have on hand for a quick snack.

By Kathryn Hanson, NP, ThedaCare Physicians-Weyauwega