Seven to 10 servings of fruit and veg a day can seem overwhelming if you’re not partial to eating your greens. Even managing a serving with every meal (or between them) can be a challenge when a hectic schedule creates inconsistent mealtimes and thrown-together food fixes. Health Canada named March nation-wide Nutrition Month. To help satisfy both the fruit & veg requirements they recommend and your tastebuds, try these simple tips.
Prepare them ahead of time
When choosing a piece of fruit or vegetable for a snack, sometimes half the battle is in the prep. It’s easy to choose a granola bar or crackers over carrots or peppers when having to cut them up is such a drag. But taking a half hour every few days to cut up a bunch of snack-sized veggie portions makes them a more available snack for next time.
Add them to side dishes
Bump up the nutrition in carbalicious side dishes like rice or potatoes by throwing some veggies into the mix. Stir some chopped green onions and wilted spinach into mashed potatoes, or add some sautéed onions and peppers to baked potatoes. Peas, carrots and diced beets are great with rice.
This is the most versatile way to sneak fruit and veg into your food. The thought of puréed fruits and vegetables might remind you of baby food, but don’t knock it ‘til you try it. Purées can add an entirely different level of flavour and texture to a variety of different dishes. Try adding puréed plums or applesauce to a barbecue marinade for a sweet & savoury twist. Puréed veggies can go in just about anything, but they work best in sauces or creamy dishes like pasta or risotto.
This isn’t the ideal method as many fruits and vegetables hold nutrients in their skin or pulp, so you won’t get the same vitamins from drinking the juice. That being said, fruit or vegetable juice is better than no fruit or vegetables at all. This can work when you’re on-the-go, but if you like the idea of sneaking fruit and veg into drinks, try blending a smoothie for breakfast. Veggies like carrots and even spinach are much easier to hide in smoothies when they’re paired up with flavourful fruit like berries or citrus.