“Each meal or snack should ideally always have a fruit or vegetable component,” confirmed Mary Brown, a Clinical Metabolic Dietitian at the LiVe Well Center. “Fruits and vegetables are naturally low in calories and high in fiber and nutrients making them a perfect food for healthy bodies.”
Brown admitted, “It takes a little planning and preparation to eat more fruits and vegetables. I know someone who regularly sets aside a few hours each week to wash, cut, and prep fresh fruits and veggies into easy-grab snack bags for her family. She is taking the time to plan, prepare, and provide healthier snacks for her family.”
Fruits and vegetables come in many forms: fresh, frozen, canned, dried, and juiced. Fresh and frozen fruits and veggies contain no added sugar and salt and are excellent options. All other forms are still good, nutritious options and are better than not having any fruits or vegetables. The possibilities for cooking and serving fruits and veggies are limitless. Brown suggests regularly trying something new.
“Try grilling pineapple or corn on the cob,” Brown said. “Vegetable kabobs, sweet potatoes, or sliced zucchini are also excellent cooked on the grill. Salads, stir-fry, and smoothies are good ways to incorporate more fruits and veggies. Try adding apples, bananas, blueberries or zucchini to baked goods like pancakes or muffins. Or make veggie pizza using garden produce.” The possibilities are endless.
Eating healthier doesn’t always mean spending more money. Fresh fruits and vegetables can be home grown or purchased at farmer’s markets or local grocery stores. They provide excellent taste, nutrition and value. Eating fresh may not always be the most convenient alternative, but with a little planning and preparation, it can be accomplished.
“Eating more fruits and vegetables can be fun and enjoyable,” indicated Brown. “Be adventurous and try something new today. Remember to plan and prepare to make eating healthier a reality.”