Tips to get you closer to your 2 & 5 serves of fruit & veg without living off salad!
Fruit and veg, most people know they should be eating them, and most people probably know how many serves they should be eating buuuutttttt it is hard right? You don’t have time, it is too much effort. Well, I am going to challenge that.
It isn’t necessarily hard, but rather just changing the way we think about fruit and veg. For one, questioning how you can add in a little fruit or veg to each meal. Yes, EVERY meal sounds excessive and I am not saying you need to eat your cereal with a side salad, but you can add half a banana and ½ cup of strawbs to your morning weet-bix. That alone is 1 serve of fruit and 50% of your recommended fruit intake. Add an apple as a snack later in the day and you’ve hit your quota!
Other ways to change up the way you think about Fruit and Veg are:
Think of fruit and veg as the main component of a meal rather than it being a side or afterthought. Why does the meat or protein get to be the star? Chicken and veg? Nope, not this time chicken, you’ve had your day, today it is Veg and chicken! Take that chicken, Carrot you are moving up in the world.
Think of fruit and vegetables as good quick snacks. Carrot sticks and hummus. Yes, please!
Aim to get some type of fruit or veg at each main meal. I like to do this starting with breakfast and adding baby spinach or zucchini to a smoothie, grating zucchini into porridge or overnight oats, or frying up some mushrooms and spinach and serving with an egg.
Use up all those old vegetables from the fridge by chucking them into a soup, stir-fry or my favourite- vegetable curry! Not only is this a super quick way of getting extra veg, it is also a great way to reduce food waste.
Bulk up a traditionally meat heavy dish. You can prep ahead and chop up veggies and store in containers in the fridge. That way you can just chuck them into a meal and reduce cooking time significantly.
Stuck for time? Frozen vegetables can be a huge time saver. Frozen is your next best option after fresh vegetables as the nutrient quality is only reduced minimally. The most common method of freezing vegetables is flash freezing which has shown to reduce nutritional damage in the freezing process and reduce those ice crystals you’ll often see on food that has been in the freezer forever! Canned fruit and veg is your next best thing. Just keep an eye out on what the vegetables and fruit are canned in. You want to ensure they are canned in water or juice rather than oil or sugar.
If you missed my article on serving sizes and what constitutes a serve, check it out here. https://www.heart.org/en/healthy-living/healthy-eating/add-color/how-to-eat-more-fruits-and-vegetables