Eating more fruits and vegetables is a great way to improve your nutrition. It can be as easy as adding fruit to a bowl of cereal or adding grated carrots and zucchini to pasta sauce. These tips can help you get started.
Make it easy
Keep a bowl of fruit within easy reach on the kitchen counter or your desk at work so that you can grab a piece of fruit when you're hungry.
Buy packaged, ready-to-eat fresh vegetables and fruits. These cut down on preparation time.
Keep dried fruit on hand for a snack that is easy to take with you when you're away from home.
Use the microwave to quickly cook vegetables.
Pump up the flavour
Dip raw vegetables in low-fat salad dressing, hummus, or peanut butter.
Toss raw or cooked broccoli and cauliflower with low-fat Italian dressing and Parmesan cheese to make a flavourful side dish.
Roast vegetables and fruits to bring out their flavour. Just drizzle them with a small amount of olive oil, and bake them in the oven until they are tender.
Season cooked vegetables with lemon juice and a small amount of olive oil. For extra flavour, add fresh herbs such as basil, tarragon, and sage.
Try baked apples or pears topped with cinnamon and honey for a delicious dessert.
Keep track of how many fruits and vegetables you eat each day. You are more likely to eat more fruits and vegetables if you write down how many servings you get.
Have a goal. Start with small goals you can achieve easily. Then set larger goals as you go. For example, you might want to start by eating one extra serving of fruit or vegetables a day. When you have achieved that goal, your next goal could be to include an extra serving of fruit or vegetables at most meals.
Take small steps
Mix sliced fruit or frozen berries with yogurt or cereal.
Add apple chunks, pineapple, grapes, or raisins to tuna or chicken salad.
Make fruit smoothies by blending together fresh or frozen fruit, fruit juice, and yogurt.
Add dried or fresh fruit to oatmeal, pancakes, and waffles.
Add lots of colourful vegetables, such as red cabbage, carrots, and bell peppers, to green salads.
Top salads with dried cranberries or raisins, or with sliced pears, oranges, nectarines, strawberries, or grapefruit.
Add extra vegetables, such as grated zucchini or carrots, spinach, kale, and bell peppers, to pasta sauces and soups.
Add lots of vegetables to sandwiches. Lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and avocado slices are flavourful choices.
Author: Healthwise Staff Medical Review: Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Medical Review:Adam Husney MD - Family Medicine & Martin J. Gabica MD - Family Medicine & Kathleen Romito MD - Family Medicine & Rhonda O'Brien MS, RD, CDE - Certified Diabetes Educator
Healthwise, Healthwise for every health decision, and the Healthwise logo are trademarks of Healthwise, Incorporated.
If you have questions about physical activity or exercise, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and heard of hearing) toll-free in B.C. Our qualified exercise professionals are available Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm Pacific Time. You can also leave a message after hours.
Translation services are available in more than 130 languages.
HealthLinkBC’s qualified exercise professionals can also answer your questions by email.
If you have any questions about healthy eating, food, or nutrition, call 8-1-1 (or 7-1-1 for the deaf and hard of hearing) toll-free in B.C. You can speak to a health service navigator who can connect you with one of our registered dietitians, who are available 9am to 5pm Monday to Friday. You can also leave a message after hours.
Translations services are available in more than 130 languages.
HealthLinkBC Dietitians can also answer your questions by email.