Your healthy habit challenge for Week 4 is to add a fruit or vegetable to each meal on at least 3 days this week.
Why is it a good idea to eat fruits and vegetables?
Fruits and vegetables are a delicious part of a balanced plate. They add color and texture to meals and with a wide variety, you won’t get bored.
The health benefits are stacked in favor of fruits and vegetables too:
- Fruits and vegetables contain fiber which aids in digestion and has been linked to a decrease in the risk of heart disease and stroke, high blood pressure, and the risk of some cancers, such as breast cancer.
- Fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals we need for the health of our bones, teeth and gums, skin, eyes, brain, and the list goes on.
How can I get more fruits and vegetables into my day?
Add fruits and vegetables to meals you already eat!
- Top oatmeal with fresh or frozen and thawed blueberries
- Add chopped bell peppers and onion to your favorite chili recipe
- Enjoy an apple or easy-to-peel tangerine with a meal or as a snack
Plan it: It’s tough to eat fruits and vegetables if you don’t have any on hand. Write them on your grocery list. If you opt for fresh produce, wash and chop vegetables ahead for the week so they are easy to add to your recipes. Don’t forget to stock your pantry and freezer too. Frozen fruits and vegetables are equally nutritious, can be stored longer, and are chopped and ready to use! Canned versions are an option as well. Though they may contain added salt and sugar that we don’t need, there are options for minimizing the salt and sugar. Look for fruit packed in its own juice and no added salt or low-sodium varieties of vegetables and beans. Another option is to drain off the liquid in the can and give the fruit or vegetable a quick rinse.
Learn more about frozen and canned fruits and vegetables vs. fresh at fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
Ask for support: Get the household involved in choosing fruits and vegetables for the week or ask a friend for ideas of how to prepare a new vegetable recipe.
Shape your space: Place fresh fruit in a bowl where it is easy to grab, place prepped vegetables where you can see them in the fridge so you remember to use them in your recipes.