The Kernel

6 Tips to Help You Eat More Fruits and Veggies

We know that fruits and veggies are good for us – they’re full of vitamins and minerals and low in calories. Yet, so many people still struggle with incorporating them into their daily diet. If you’re trying to boost your intake of this important food group, there’s no better time than the summer when farms and gardens overflow with a bounty of produce. Here are 6 super-easy tips to sneak more fruits and vegetables into your standard day.

1. Sneak Produce Into Your Meals

One of the simplest ways to eat more produce is to add it to your favorite foods. Let’s start with breakfast. Making scrambled eggs? Add some spinach. Grabbing a spoon for yogurt? Toss in some berries. Lunch and dinner can be just as easy and delicious. Zoodles are more than just a catchy name. They’re trendy because they’re good, and are a great substitution to your typical noodles. Same goes for cauliflower rice and cauliflower pizza crusts. Once you add all of your favorite mix-ins and toppings, you’ll never think twice.

2. Buy Produce You’ve Never Had Before

If your shopping list always looks the same – bananas, strawberries, avocados, sweet potatoes, more bananas – challenge yourself to buy produce you’d normally avoid. A fun way to eat a greater selection of  fruits and vegetables is the rainbow challenge. You can start by selecting one item from each category of fruits and vegetables sorted by color groups to eat throughout the week, until you reach the point that you are consuming each color group on a daily basis. Not only is it a great way to explore new foods you might like, but using this technique also provides health benefits, as fruits and vegetables have different levels of phytochemicals that help fight disease.

3. Make More Smoothies

This might be an obvious one, but the great thing about a smoothie is the open invitation to creativity. You are your own mixologist. There are so many smoothie recipes and combinations out there, and most of them involve fruit that totally hides the taste of greens. Looking for some inspiration? Try this delicious looking Triple Berry Smoothie.

4. Stock Up On Frozen Fruits & Veggies

Nutrition-wise, frozen vegetables are similar to—perhaps even better than—fresh. Frozen fruits and veggies are picked when they’re ripe and then frozen almost immediately, so there’s no time for important nutrients to be lost during harvesting, packaging, or while sitting on shelves for weeks at a time. Plus, they’ll last far longer than the fresh stuff, so you can always keep them on hand to add into any meal you’re making.

5. Try Dips and Spreads

Not everyone gets excited when they look at a plate of raw vegetables. But whip up a delicious dip and turn those healthy little crudités into the ultimate party food and now we’re talking. For a savory option try dipping your veggies into a creamy avocado, nutty hummus, or zesty ranch. If you’re in the mood for something sweet – slather nut butter on apple or banana slices – or dip orange slices or strawberries into melted dark chocolate.

6. Stay in Season

Fruits and veggies are available all year, but you may notice the quantity, quality, and prices ebb and flow throughout the seasons. Choosing fruits and vegetables that are in season is a great way to enjoy the freshest produce at the most inexpensive prices. For the freshest selection, seek out a farmer’s market, or pick your own fruit and vegetables at an orchard or farm. It’s a great way to support your community and you get to see where your food is coming from.