Looking to add more fruits and vegetables to your meals, but feeling uninspired? The key is to tap into your current eating habits and find simple ways to add them into the mix.
A recent report, Hacks To Habits: A Behavioral Research Study To Bolster Fruit & Vegetable Consumption, showed that piggybacking off moments in time when people are already eating or enjoying other foods they love can present an opportunity to increase fruit and vegetable consumption. The report found 40% of high-medium vegetable consumers add fruits and vegetables to favorite dishes, meals and snacks. For example, 43% said they add vegetables to sandwiches and burgers — an easy, tasty and healthy addition.
When you tap into moments that are already happening, it’s easy for everyone to add more fruits and veggies to their diet. In honor of National Fruits & Veggies Month, set a simple mindset for yourself and your family that “Every Time You Eat, Have A Plant®!” Here is some inspiration and easy ways you can do so:
Create a color theme and make eating fun
If you’re putting together your kiddo’s lunchbox (or even your own), stick with a fun color theme! A “go green” lunch box filled with green fruits and veggies is sure to be a hit. Think cucumber slices, broccoli, celery plus some pesto hummus for a dip and green fruit like kiwi, honeydew melon or green grapes. You could even include green napkins and silverware to extend the theme and broaden lunchtime smiles.
Shop smarter, not harder
To save time and money, shop smarter by always making a list before you go. Start by noting what days or meals you’ll be eating at home for the week. Take a quick inventory of what you have in the fridge and pantry, then add your staple items and any other ingredients you may need for recipes to the list. When hitting the grocery store aisles, shop savvy by looking for deals on items you frequently purchase, utilizing the convenience of fresh-cut, frozen and canned produce, and purchasing seasonal fresh produce items.
Every time you order, Have A Plant®
Buzzing through the drive-through or calling in delivery? The next time you’re ordering a meal, think of what fruits or veggies you could add. When ordering a burrito bowl, can you add extra veggies on top? Or maybe if you’re craving a burger and fries, add some apple slices for dessert. On pizza night, a bagged salad makes a great side dish and the crisp, cool greens perfectly complement the salty, gooey main dish.
Grazing boards are great for snacking
What do you do when your household has a case of the munchies? Make a grazing board for everyone to munch on as they walk by, do homework or wait for dinner to be ready. This is a great way to use up fruits and veggies that you have on hand as well. For example, pull out some fresh veggies, add canned or dried fruit and some nuts alongside crackers and dips or dressings. It’s very low effort and hits the spot every time.
Delight guests with taste-bud tantalizers
When planning your next party, think of simple ways to add produce to your appetizers, desserts and beverages. Toss together a vegetable or fruit salad to start or make fun fruit and veggie skewers for everyone to enjoy. Think of all the ways you can add fruit into baked goods, including pies, cakes and cookies. Don’t forget about the drinks — 100% juice along with fresh, frozen and canned fruits are perfect for sprucing up cocktails and mocktails. Every bite (or sip) counts!
Shifting your mindset matters. Eating is an important part of every day. Always asking, “What fruit or veggie can I add to this?” is a surefire way to up your intake of fruits and vegetables. So, whether you’re lunching, shopping, dining out, enjoying a meal with your family, snacking or hosting, every time you eat, Have A Plant®. By doing so you can create healthy habits that last a lifetime.
Follow along on our Instagram, Facebook and Twitter channels and let’s build the #haveaplant hype! For more fruit and veggie tips as well as recipes and plant-passionate inspiration, visit fruitsandveggies.org.