Fresh foods are an essential part of a healthy diet. The summer months provide a great opportunity to get in the habit of including more fruits and vegetables in your diet and decreasing the amount of processed foods you consume.
This may seem like it’s easier said than done, but following these 10 tips can help you start eating and feeling better!
Eat A Fruit Or Vegetable With Each Meal
One of the easiest ways to start eating more fruits and vegetables is to include them with foods you already eat. For instance, you could try including some fruit on your breakfast cereal, add vegetables to your omlettes or even try making a fruit smoothie for an extra boost of vitamins!
Another way you could include more vegetables is to add them in to meals you eat regularly. If your family loves pasta, try using zucchini noodles instead of wheat pasta. If you have a family of picky eaters, adding vegetables to your normal meat loaf or pasta sauce might disguise the taste, but give you and your kids a healthy serving of veggies.
Always Keep Healthy Snacks On Hand
Many of us don’t have time to always sit down and enjoy all our food throughout the day, and you may find yourself grabbing something from a vending machine or even fast food so that you don’t have to take extra time preparing something.
In this case, doing a little preparation ahead of time can save you a few extra dollars and keep your eating on track. Try to always keep some fruit like an apple or orange and some nuts or trail mix in your bag. This way you have enough food to hold you over to your next meal, and you’ll still be getting some extra nutrients in throughout your day.
Meal Prep Every Week
Along with preparing healthy snacks for yourself throughout the day, consider setting some time aside one day a week to prepare meals. Even if you won’t be cooking all the food that day, even taking time to cut everything and set it aside for cooking can save you time and energy.
If meal prepping for an entire week seems too daunting, start by preparing two or three meals and build up from there. You may even find it easiest to make just a few meals in bulk each week that can work for your lunches and have one dinner that’s just leftovers.
Keep The Fruit In Plain Sight
Making fruit more visible, like keeping some out in a fruit bowl on the counter or table, will help encourage you and your family to reach for it more often. If you do start meal prepping each week, cut up some extra carrots or cucumbers or fruit and put them out at snack and meal times to encourage munching on a little extra produce.
Try Meatless Mondays
An easy way to incorporate some more produce into your diet is to take part in Meatless Mondays. Rather than meat being the main focus of your meal, you could make a large pot of minestrone soup or make a pilaf with couscous or quinoa and seasonal vegetables.
Summer is the perfect time to add an extra serving or two of fruit and veggies into your diet. Don’t be afraid to get creative and try some new produce and new recipes. Don’t worry too much about how many servings you’re eating each day and focus instead on having fun and enjoying your food.
Emily is a freelance writer, covering conservation and sustainability. You can read her blog, Conservation Folks, for more of her work.