We all know that fruits and veggies are good for us, but sometimes they seem to be missing from our plates for one reason or another. Maybe we’re too busy, too tired, or too picky to eat enough of them, but don’t worry, we’ve got you covered. September is National Fruit and Veggies Month and we’re here to help you discover new and delicious ways to enjoy more fresh produce every day.
From smoothies and salad to pasta and pizza, there are so many ways to include more fruits and veggies in your meals and snacks. And the best part is you don’t have to sacrifice taste or convenience. Here are eight easy and fun tips to get more fruits and veggies into your diet this month and beyond.
1. Eat the rainbow. Make healthy eating fun for kids by filling their plates with a rainbow of colors. The vibrant colors of each fruit and veggie are produced by phytochemicals, natural compounds that protect plants and provide unique benefits for our bodies. For example, red tomatoes contain lycopene, an antioxidant that helps heart health. Try serving up all the colors of the rainbow in a simple veggie tray of snacking veggies or in a tasty kid-friendly recipe.
2. Chat at the dinner table about your diet. Talking as a family about the health benefits of specific fruits and vegetables can help kids learn how their bodies work and the role of fresh food in keeping them healthy. Fruits and vegetables are rich in essential nutrients, vitamins, and minerals that support various aspects of health. For example, tomatoes can help protect your cells from damage thanks to their high lycopene, cucumbers can keep you hydrated and benefit your heart, and peppers can boost your immune system and fight inflammation with high Vitamin C.
3. Experiment with new recipes. One of the most fun and creative ways to celebrate National Fruit and Veggies Month is to experiment with new recipes that feature fresh produce as the main ingredients. You can explore diverse and exciting cuisines from around the world that highlight the flavor and nutrition of fruits and vegetables. Try a Mediterranean dish like a Greek Chicken Mediterranean Meatball Bowl featuring Uno Bites™ Nano Cucumbers or an Asian recipe like Glazed Pork Chops with Warm Melon Slaw made with Alonna™ Canary Melons.
4. Get sneaky, chef! You can add more veggies to your meals by blending or masking them with other ingredients. This can help your family eat more fresh produce if you have picky eaters at the table. For example, you can blend carrots and peppers into a tomato sauce, soup, or stew. You can easily grate some veggies and add them to your meatballs, burgers, or meatloaf to make them moist, flavorful, and nutritious.
5. Plan and prioritize. Plan ahead and prepare some easy meals and snack options for the busiest days of the week. Make a grocery list with fruits and veggies that you’ll need for the week, prioritizing fresh produce that are particularly nutrient-dense like Aurora Bites Mini Peppers, Azuca Red Cherry Tomatoes, or Sangria® Medley Tomatoes. The better you plan, the better you’ll eat!
6. Get the whole family involved. By involving everyone in the meal preparation fun, your family is sure to enjoy every bite. It’s a great way to introduce kids to different fruits and vegetables, while also teaching valuable skills like how to cook and eat healthy. Lead by example when it comes to healthy eating, but let the kids pick new recipes, help with shopping, and cook meals to create a positive association with healthy foods. Not only will you eat well, but you’ll enjoy premium bonding time, the greatest benefit of all.
7. Pack a snack. One of the easiest and most enjoyable ways to eat more fruits and veggies is to snack on them throughout the day. Snacks are sometimes overlooked as a chance for healthy eating, but they can actually help us meet our daily requirements of fresh produce and keep us satisfied until the next meal. Convenient grab-and-go options like Mini Munchies® Snack Sized Veggies make it easy to choose low-calorie snacks rich in nutrients.
8. Select high-quality fruits and veggies. You can enjoy more fresh fruits and veggies throughout the week by choosing greenhouse grown produce that is harvested at peak ripeness and quality. Greenhouse grown produce has a long shelf life, which means you can reduce food waste and enjoy your favorite fresh fruits and veggies all week.
These tips can help create healthy eating habits so your family can live a life of Pure Flavor®.
If you want some more inspiration, don’t forget to sign up for our newsletter for the latest recipes. Happy National Fruit and Veggies Month!