5 Strategies to Increase Fruit and Vegetable Intake

An important aspect of eating healthy is to creatively increase your fruit and vegetable intake while reducing consumption of fats and empty calories. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and eating them contributes to...

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An important aspect of eating healthy is to creatively increase your fruit and vegetable intake while reducing consumption of fats and empty calories. Fruits and vegetables are packed with vitamins and minerals and eating them contributes to one's good health. It's not unusual to hear people talk about their struggles to add in more fruits and vegetables to their active days. Try a couple of these strategies to add more natural foods such as fruits and vegetables to your daily nutritional intake.

Plan ahead. Set a goal to eat 3 fruits per day plus 4 vegetable servings daily. It's a good idea to decide the night before which fruits and vegetables you'll eat the following day. Planning ahead each evening will omit the guesswork for the following day. If you prefer, write down the fruits and vegetables you'll eat the next day. Place your list on the kitchen counter or the dining room table so that the next day, you know exactly what you'll be eating.


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Shop twice weekly for fresh produce. When you grocery-shop, plan on getting enough fruit and vegetables for 3 days. Using the above suggestion, you'll need to buy 9 fruits and 12 servings of vegetables. So, 3 bananas, 3 oranges, and 3 apples, and you've got your fruits for the next few days.

Getting all your vegetables in can get a little more complicated. For example, a head of iceberg lettuce will provide about 3 servings. These days, you can buy baby carrots that are already peeled and cleaned. Celery can be purchased in a plastic container, already cleaned and cut into snack-size pieces. With a pound of baby carrots and a plastic container of celery, you've got another 8 servings. You've almost got your 12 servings together for the next few days. Just throw in a bag of frozen cauliflower or some fresh tomatoes and you'll even have a few extra servings, just in case.

Buy different varieties of fruits and vegetables to stay interested. Since variety is the spice of life, vary the type of fruits and vegetables you eat so you won't get bored with eating the same type over and over again. Each trip to the grocery or farmers' market, purchase 3 different types of fruits and 4 different types of vegetables for the next few days. So, if you had bananas, oranges and apples the last few days, buy strawberries, blueberries and peaches next.

Make fresh fruits and vegetables easily accessible. If you snack quite a bit, get a lovely clear glass bowl and place your fruit in it when you arrive home from the store, unless it needs to be refrigerated. There's nothing more appetizing than seeing a bowl of fresh fruit brimming with oranges, apples, bananas, grapes and a pear or two. You can head for the fruit bowl instead of the chips and cookies when you want a snack.

Store pre-cut and pre-washed snack vegetables in the refrigerator. They'll be ready to eat when you are.

Make it a point to eat more fruits and vegetables using one or more of these strategies. Planning ahead, varying the types you eat and having fresh produce easily accessible are helpful strategies to use to increase your fruit and vegetable intake.