Insights & Actions for Healthy Living

Do you have ideas to help my family eat more fruits and vegetables?

It can be very difficult to get kids and even many adults to eat the recommended number of servings of fruits and vegetables each day. But there are some quick and easy ways to add it into the day’s meals without much fuss and bother.

How much do we need? Let’s be sure that we know where we are headed so we are confident we have arrived.

Recommended Daily Amount of Servings

Age Servings of Vegetables Servings of Fruits
Kids 2-3 yrs 1 cup 1 cup
Kids 4-8 yrs 1 ½ cup 1 – 1 ½ cups
9-13 yrs girls/boys 2 cups/2 ½ cups 1 ½ cups/ 1 ½ cups
14-18 yrs girls/boys 2 ½ cups/3 cups 1 ½ cups/2 cups
Women 19-30/31-50 yrs 2 ½ cups/ 2 ½ cups 2 cups/ 1 ½ cups
Women 51+ yrs 2 cups 1 ½ cups
Men 19-50 yrs 3 cups 2 cups
Men 51+ yrs 2 ½ cups 2 cups

 

Ways to Add Fruits and Vegetables

  1. Add fruit to your breakfast cereal (hot or cold), muffin or pancake.
  2. Add vegetables to your morning eggs.
  3. Have a 4 ounce glass of vegetable/fruit juice as your morning beverage.
  4. Have vegetable or fruit as part of your planned afternoon snack.
  5. Eat a piece of fresh fruit with lunch.
  6. Fill half your meal plate with vegetables – cooked or raw, fresh or frozen.
  7. Add sliced vegetables to your sandwich such as cucumber, tomato, onion, green pepper or avocado in addition to the lettuce.
  8. Make a fruit smoothie.
  9. Make a veggie smoothie.
  10. Add frozen or canned vegetables to your casserole or meatloaf.
  11. Have fruit for dessert in place of baked goods or ice cream.
  12. Keep raw vegetables cut up and ready in the fridge for a quick snack.
  13. Plan a Meatless Monday meal substituting plant protein for meat protein.
  14. Add a side garden salad or a meal salad to the day.
  15. Add a dried fruit to your salad like cranberries, raisins or dates.
  16. Keep fresh fruits available with a fruit bowl on the counter and cut up melons in the fridge.

It may take a little time to develop the habit of including fruits and vegetables at each meal but once you realize how tasty and nutritious they are, you will love what they add. It doesn’t have to be fresh all the time. Canned fruits and vegetables without added sugar and salt as well as frozen produce can be budget friendly and help you meet your goals.

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