This post was done in partnership with One A Day with Nature’s Medley. All opinions are my own.
How to Eat More Fruits and Vegetables
This year has been a year of taking control of my health because the past two years have been brutal, health-wise. I’ve had a few surgeries, broken a tailbone, had kidney stones, allergies, gastritis and a stomach ulcer, migraines, anemia and vitamin deficiency and more issues than I feel I should have at the age of 34. I’ve taken my health by the horns and made doctor’s appointments, seen specialists, run labs and had scans, all in an effort to improve my health. Per my doctor’s orders, the biggest change I’ve been making is to my diet. Apparently I’ve been dehydrated and I’m not getting enough nutrients from the foods I eat. It’s a start anyway. It may sound simple, but since we don’t do it enough I’ve been working on how to eat more fruits and vegetables as a family.
1. Simply offer a serving of fruits and/or vegetables at every meal. I’ll go into how you can do this without it being alarming and pushy on the family. The Food Guide Pyramid states we should be eating 2 servings of fruit per day, and 3 servings of vegetables per day. We can get a lot of nutrients from a variety of fruits and vegetables but if we aren’t doing it, then our body could be lacking important nutrients to function properly. The nutrients that come from certain fruits and vegetables are said to help lower our risk for heart disease, stroke, cancer, and other health conditions.
a. Start with breakfast. Find ways to get produce in your breakfast, whether it be adding some onions, peppers and tomatoes to your eggs, or adding some berries or bananas to your cereal, yogurt and oatmeal. Breakfast is an important part of the day, so start it off right by not just carb loading, but adding fresh or dehydrated fruit to the sweeter items, and veggies to the savory. I’ve been eating a lot more smoothies and smoothie bowls in the morning, with a good source of fruits, plus a handful of spinach for my iron.
b. Do the great veggie sneak. If you’re creating a casserole or skillet recipe and your kids don’t like vegetables, then find ways to sneak them in. This works well with breads and cakes too, because kids can hardly tell there is zucchini, carrots or banana in breads and cakes. They just think they’re eating a treat! If you’re creating a dinner with ground turkey or beef, try chopping up mushrooms really finely and mixing it in with the beef. I do this with Tater Tot Casserole and the kids don’t even notice! Start thinking outside the box and finding ways to add fruits and vegetables into your recipes.
c. Swap simple carbs for vegetables. I used to make an excellent cauliflower pizza crust that the kids loved! I’m working on implementing this back into my diet. Then there’s the whole veggie noodle craze. Spiralize your vegetables and boil them instead of pasta. Toss them with a yummy sauce and voila!
d. Make soups! If I serve up a cooked vegetable by itself, my kids are likely to turn up their nose, depending on the veggie. If I cook it in a pot of soup, the complaints go away! You can get away with adding all kinds of vegetables to a pot of soup – it’s kind of magical
e. Try cooking fruits and vegetables in different ways. How you prepare fresh vegetables can make a huge difference in the taste and texture. Try boiling, steaming, grilling, roasting and adding different seasonings or sauces. Experiment until you find what works for your family, and it may vary from veggie to veggie.
2. Consider adding a multivitamin to your routine. Keep in mind that not all multivitamins are created equal. Take a look at One A Day with Nature’s Medley. They are the only complete multivitamin with plant-based antioxidants from one total USDA serving size of fruits & vegetables! The nice thing is One A Day with Nature’s Medley has a product designed just for kids too!
A multivitamin can be a great addition to a good basic diet to make sure you’re getting the essential nutrients you need. When you’re on your next Walgreens run, be sure to stop by the vitamin aisle and pick up One A Day with Nature’s Medley. They have a uniquely formulated product for Men, Women and Kids. Get the whole family covered! Who wants to take control of their health with me?