Fruits and vegetables are an important part of an overall healthy eating plan because they’re typically high in vitamins, minerals, and fiber and low in calories and saturated fat. Most fruits and vegetables also have no or little sodium.
Fruits and vegetables are a key part of an overall healthy eating plan. They’re also delicious, colorful, versatile, convenient, affordable and fun. This guide includes great tips, resources and recipes to help you add color with heart-healthy fruits and vegetables.
You can easily add color to every meal and snack. Try some of these practical tips (provided by heart.org) that don’t require a lot of changes to the way your family eats:
• Pack portable, easy-to-eat fruits and veggies in your work or school bag, and avoid vending machine temptations.
• Add frozen peas or broccoli to rice when it’s almost done cooking.
• Add extra veggies to soups and stews.
• Have a meatless meal once a week. Think vegetable lasagna, Portobello mushroom “burgers” or grilled veggie kabobs.
• Fill out a sandwich with fruits and veggies. Try sliced or shredded vegetables like beets, carrots, celery, cucumbers, onions, peppers, radishes, tomatoes and zucchini and/or sliced fruits like apple, avocado and pear.
• Keep frozen and canned fruits and vegetables on hand for when you need to throw together a meal in a hurry. Compare food labels and choose items without sauces and too much sodium.
• Work fruits and vegetables into your family’s favorite dishes.
• Make adding fruits and veggies to meals a snap by cutting them up and keeping them in the fridge. They’ll also be handy for snacking!
• When eating out, ask if you can substitute a fruit cup or side salad for fries and other less-healthy sides.
• Top yogurt, oatmeal and cereal with berries or sliced fruit.
• Keep a bowl of whole fruit handy on the desk, table or countertop.
Eating enough fruits and veggies doesn’t have to be a complicated process. Heart.org put together a great infographic on what a serving looks like:
Fun and Easy Recipes: