I know you’ve heard it before, but it really is as easy as this: eat more fruits and veggies. I repeat, eat more fruits and veggies! I repeat, EAT MORE FRUITS AND VEGGIES! It is critical that your diet be comprised of lots of fruits and vegetables. The wonderful thing about these foods is that you don’t need to cook them, so there is no better quick easy snack food. You can eat them just as they are, so no more excuses about being busy, especially when it comes to snacks. It is just as easy to grab a <insert name of fruit> as it is to grab a bag of potato chips. It is just as easy to eat a handful of <insert name of vegetable> as it is to eat a bag of processed cookies.
Now, I am not going to lie to you, it will take some time for you to stop craving the processed foods and get used to feeling full and satisfied after eating raw fruits and vegetables. A key in this process is cutting out most of the sugar from your diet. Again, once the sugar is removed you will start to taste foods in a whole new way and appreciate the wonderful flavors that foods offer in their most basic form.
10 tips to increase your intake of and make fruits and vegetables easy and fun to incorporate into your meals:
- Shop at your local Farmer’s Market. It’s always more fun to buy fruits and veggies when they are fresh and local.
- Include at least two vegetables into every dinner, one of them preferably being a green one.
- Snack on raw fruits and vegetables. Pair them with a nut butter or hummus for added protein. Kids love dipping things!
- Lead by example for your family. If your children see you eating a bag of raw carrots every day, they will assume this is the norm and want to do it also!
- Incorporate fresh vegetable juices into your diet if you own a juicer.
- Incorporate raw leafy greens into your diet with green smoothies.
- Eat more salads!
- Cut your vegetables up ahead of time and put them in the fridge for easy and quick snacks.
- Have your children each pick out their own vegetable in the store to help you prepare. When kids are involved in the cooking process, they often are more willing to eat things.
- NEVER GIVE UP! It often takes up to 20 times before a child (or adults for that matter) will eat a new food or learn to like the flavor of a food. Continue serving a food even if your child doesn’t like it. I require my kids to try things, but I don’t force them to eat it. **It took almost 2 years for my oldest to eat broccoli, but it was worth it to have him enjoy this wonderful vegetable in his diet.