Tips for Including More Delicious Fruits
and Vegetables in Your Diet
everyone knows that fruits and vegetables
are a very important part of a healthy diet.
Even though we know this to be true, many
of us still find it hard to include the
recommended 3-5 servings of vegetables and
2-4 servings of fruit per day in our diets.
Once you learn a few easy tricks, soon you'll
have no trouble eating a variety of fruits
and vegetables every day.
First, you'll want to become generally familiar
with serving sizes. They are not as big
as you might think. Here are the some guidelines
for one serving of fruits or vegetables:
* 1 cup of raw leafy vegetables (such as
lettuce or spinach)
* 1/2 cup of other vegetables, cooked or
* 1/2 cup cooked or canned legumes (beans
* 3/4 cup of vegetable juice
* 1 medium apple, banana, orange
* 1/2 cup of chopped, cooked, or canned
* 3/4 cup of fruit juice
* 1/4 cup dried fruit
Here are some practical tips anyone can
* Be sure to include at least one fruit
serving at breakfast, preferably two. Try
a glass of orange juice and a whole piece
of fruit, or a smoothie using both juice
and whole fruit.
* Use snacktime to add a serving or two
of fruits or vegetables to your daily diet,
such as raw vegetables with some light dip
or dressing, or a bowl of chopped fruit
topped with some fat-free yogurt.
* Include at least two servings of vegetables
with both lunch and dinner. A lunch example
would be to add both lettuce and tomato
to a sandwich, and some raw vegetables on
the side. For dinner, try serving 2 sides
of steamed vegetables. Or, eat a bowl of
tomato or vegetable soup or gazpacho as
an appetizer. Try a pizza with lots of veggie
* Before you prepare dinner, fix a bowl
of fresh veggies to munch on and then place
it on the table with dinner. You'd be surprised
how easy it is to down a 1/2 cup of cherry
tomatoes or sliced cucumbers when you're
* Fill half your dinner plate with vegetables,
and go for seconds on veggies before you'll
allow yourself seconds of the entree.
* If you don't have any fresh vegetables
or fruit, keep frozen and canned on hand
- they are surprisingly comparable in terms
* Drink an ice-cold glass of vegetable
juice with a meal or for a snack.
* Make it a point to try a new fruit or
vegetable as often as you can - it's a great
way to discover wonderful new favorites!
* Include fruit in your dessert selections.
You can serve it with angel food cake, yogurt,
light whipping topping, chocolate syrup,
light ice cream, or all by itself!
If you use all of the suggestions in this
list, you'd get 5-6 servings of vegetables
and 3-4 servings of fruit in a day. That
doesn't seem so hard, does it? Happy eating!
Erin Rogers, a work-at-home mom of two,
is the founder of Health-E-Meals.com, providing
practical healthy living resources for busy
people. She's also the author of the Healthy
Express Cookbook: 101 Fresh, Light &
Quick Dinners http://www.health-e-meals.com/ebook.html).
Visit her website http://www.health-e-meals.com)
to sign up for her FREE electronic newsletter,
'Dinners on the Double' - offering a quick
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