Ways to Make Sure You Get Enough Fruits and Vegetables
In 2010, after completing a rigorous application and site review process by Meals On Wheels America, we were awarded “Exemplary Status” Magnet Accreditation for our outstanding senior nutrition program.
Sometimes it is hard to get your recommended daily dose of fruits and vegetables. Forgetting to eat them is probably the biggest difficulty for many people. According to Everyday Health, only 30 percent of seniors eat five or more daily servings of fruit and vegetables, which is the minimum amount recommended for a healthy diet. Krisha McCoy, author for Everyday Health, goes on to tell the reader five tricks for getting enough fruit and veggies:
- Adding Fruit and Veggies to Your Favorite Dishes
Here’s a great idea. If you are a big pizza lover, add some veggies as toppings. For breakfast, if you love pancakes, try adding strawberries or blueberries for some extra sweetness. For your favorite casserole or pasta dish, add some extra greens to the mix.
- It’s All About Displaying
Most people come home from the grocery store and put their fruits and vegetables in a drawer in the fridge, or possibly on the countertops still wrapped in the grocery bag. Instead, it would be wise to display your fresh fruits and vegetables on a countertop or in an easy-to-see area in the fridge. This way you will see them and be more likely to eat them more often.
- Try New Things
This could be fun! Next time you are out buying groceries, pick out a new fruit or vegetable you have never tried before. Your taste buds could surprise you.
- Go Vegetarian
Before you say no, just try doing it one meal at a time. When you become a professional at this, try cooking vegetarian for an entire day once every week. This is another great way to try new recipes.
- Snack, Snack, Snack
Snack away! Dried, frozen, or baked fruits make for a great appetite pleaser. Crunch down on some carrots or celery with a non-fattening dip, or have some baked chips with some fresh salsa. The options are endless.
Now that you know how to get more fruits and vegetables in your diet, what is a normal serving size of fruits or vegetables? Serving sizes usually mean a half cup or an amount a person would be able to hold in a cupped hand. Try getting five or more servings of fruits and vegetables a day for the most nutritious diet. HealthinAging.org states that “older adults who eat more fruit and vegetables and exercise regularly live longer than those who have just one of these two healthy habits.” So, why not try both?
How does Meals on Wheels help clients eat more fruits and vegetables? Each Meals on Wheels meal contains a minimum of 2 servings of fruits and vegetables. Meals on Wheels serves a wide variety of delicious fruits and vegetables. Vegetables are served raw, steamed, baked, and sautéed. If the vegetables are cooked, salt is never added in the cooking process, rather salt-free seasonings and herbs are used to add flavor. Fruits may be canned, baked or raw and served whole or sliced. When in season, Meals on Wheels clients enjoy a variety of fresh and local produce, provided by area farms.
In conclusion, eating more fruits and vegetables will improve the quality of your diet. Try one of the ideas above to increase your fruit and vegetable intake. Meals on Wheels is also here to help you eat more fruits and vegetables and achieve optimal health!