Increase your consumption of fruits and vegetables with these recipe suggestions.
Just in case you're feeling the need for more variety, we've got all new meal and snack options for you. But first, the goal for this week is to pump up the fruits and veggies in your diet:
Produce is a health powerhouse, but only 1 out of 10 people get the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables each day. The U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends a person eating 1,500 calories per day should eat a minimum of 1.5 cups of fruit and two cups of vegetables each day. Fruits and vegetables are a dieter's best friend because they are the lowest-calorie food group (one serving of veggies is only 20 calories and a serving of fruit is 60 calories). They are also extremely filling because of their high water and fiber content, which means you won't be as hungry for higher-calorie foods. As a bonus, fruits and veggies may prevent high blood pressure, heart disease, diabetes and some types of cancer. Here's how to get extra fruits and veggies into your day:
Tips to get more fruit:
- Keep plastic sandwich bags filled with grab-and-go fruit for a snack such as grapes, strawberries and peeled oranges.
- Have a fruit bowl out on the counter -- if you see fruit you will be more likely to eat it
- Have fruit for dessert. Try unique things such as grilled bananas and pineapples, baked apples with cinnamon and a dash of brown sugar and berries on top of low-fat frozen yogurt or angel food ake.
- -Blend fresh or frozen fruit with a 6-ounce container of low-fat plain or vanilla yogurt for a naturally sweet and nutritious breakfast shake
Tips to get more veggies:
- Buy frozen veggies. They're already cleaned, cut and ready to cook.
- Add extra veggies to meals you already make such as stir fry, pizza, pasta and sandwiches.
- Experiment with dried and fresh herbs, seasonings, spices and low-fat marinades and dressings to keep veggies tasting different and delicious.
- Keep a tray of cut veggies with low-fat dip at eye-level in the fridge. When you are looking for a snack, the veggie tray will be the first thing you see and you'll be more likely to grab from it.
For more produce ideas & recipes visit www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org
MORE BREAKFASTS MENUS
Ham, egg and cheese English muffin sandwich and a medium coffee with nonfat milk
Maple Waffles and Berries
2 frozen whole-grain waffles
1 cup berries
1 Tbsp. maple syrup
Serving directions: Top waffles with berries and syrup.
Banana Nut and Honey Oatmeal
1 packet plain instant oatmeal, cooked with water (as directed on package)
1 small banana, chopped
2 Tbsp. chopped walnuts
2 teaspoons honey
Serving directions: Top oatmeal with banana, walnuts and drizzle with honey.
Peanut Butter Toast with Apple
1 slice whole grain bread
1 Tbsp. peanut butter
1 small apple, sliced
1 (8 oz.) glass skim milk
1 Tbsp. sugar-free chocolate syrup
Serving directions: Spread peanut butter on toast. Put apple slices on toast or on the side. Serve with chocolate milk.
Blueberries and Bran
1 cup high-fiber bran cereal
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup blueberries
Serving directions: Pour all ingredients in a bowl. Enjoy a standard cereal breakfast with plenty of added fruit for fullness.
Cereal & Yogurt Parfait
1/2 cup whole-grain cereal
1 container (6 oz.) low-fat vanilla yogurt
1/2 cup grapes, halved
2 Tbsp. pistachios, chopped
Serving directions: Layer cereal, yogurt, grapes and nuts in glass or bowl.
Bagel and Fried Egg
2 egg whites
1/2 (3-inch) whole-grain bagel
1 medium grapefruit
Serving directions: Coat a skillet with butter-flavored cooking spray. Fry eggs in skillet and serve on bagel half. Enjoy grapefruit.