We may think we’re getting enough fruits and vegetables in our diet, but research shows only one in five Americans is eating the recommended number each day. Many of us need to double the quantity we currently eat.
So, how do we overcome obstacles like picky eaters and limited time?
“Remember that all forms of fruits and vegetables count toward your daily amount: canned, fresh, frozen, dried and 100% juice,” says Elizabeth Pivonka, PhD, RD, head of the Produce for Better Health Foundation. “Keep your pantry stocked, your freezer full, and refrigerator packed with all forms of fruits and vegetables so they are always handy.”
There are many ways to enjoy a variety of fruits and vegetables throughout the day.
“Add fruit to your morning cereal or vegetables to your omelet, have a salad for lunch, and try two different vegetables with dinner and fruit for dessert,” Dr. Pivonka says. “Substitute nutrient-dense oranges and watermelon for high-fat snacks like chips and chocolate bars. And limit your intake of saturated fat by including fruits and vegetables with monounsaturated fat in your diet, like fresh California avocados and California black ripe olives.”
Dr. Pivonka has the following advice for parents of picky eaters: “If kids help with the cooking, they are more inclined to try new fruits and vegetables. At my house, we make meal planning and preparation a family activity.”
Tune in tomorrow for a spinach salad recipe that features a delicious pineapple chile vinaigrette, accompanied by watermelon slices and a fruit-laced couscous salad.