There are several advantages of eating fruits and vegetables. Despite this, Canadians aren’t eating enough: more than half of Canadians eat less than 5 servings of fruits and vegetables every day. The best way to ensure you are getting your recommended portions is to integrate fruits and veggies into every meal. And it’s easier than you think! By filling half your plate with veggies at lunch and dinner, and incorporating fruits at breakfast, snacks, or dessert – you’ll be getting the recommended amount without having to do any calculations!
Fruits are your best friends at breakfast and provide lots of energy to get you through the day. Here are a few examples of how you can incorporate them:
- Add apples dusted with cinnamon to your oats
- Add dried fruits to your cereal
- Add banana slices to your toast
- Add smaller fruits, such as frozen raspberries, to your yogurt
- Top your waffles or crepes with some blueberries
- Try a smoothie that you can even prepare the night before to save some time in the morning. Here are a few options: Avocado Melon Breakfast Smoothie , Mango Banana Smoothie
For a satisfying lunch filled with a rainbow of fruits and veggies, here are some tips:
- When you’re at the cafeteria or restaurant, opt for a salad or veggie soup as your main dish.
- Give your sandwich a facelift by adding new toppings like spinach, avocado, cucumbers, apples or pear. For a few great ideas check out the post “Adding Extra Veggies to Sandwiches”
- Bring a veggie juice or some cut up veggies as a side. Baby carrots or cherry tomatoes are great choices because they come in ready-to-eat sizes!
- Put together a beautiful, big salad. The more colours it has, the more vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants it contains, which are beneficial for your health as well as being delicious. Have you tried this picnic salad in a jar?
- Choose fruit for dessert
Snacks are important to keep your energy up between meals, and they’re an easy way to integrate extra fruits and veggies into your day. For a quick snack try these:
- Dried fruit
- Apple or other fruit sauce
- Fruit salad
- A ready to go, ready to eat fruit, like an orange, grapes or apple
- Cut up veggies with your favourite dip
At dinner, visualize half your plate! There are lots of ways to incorporate fruits and veggies on your dinner plate.
- Serve them as your side. By changing up the way you plate them and the way you cook them, you’ll never fall into the same routine. Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Bacon, or Stuffed Portobello Mushrooms are two easy choices.
- If you’re having pasta, you can add veggies into your sauce or in a side salad.
- Soups and stews are a great way to use up lots of veggies. For something different, try this Carrot and Squash Ginger Soup or Dairy Free Cream of Asparagus Soup
- You can also integrate veggies into your main dish like in this Asparagus Frittata with Bell Pepper or Eggplant Lasagna
- Want to end your meal with something sweet? Why not incorporate your fruits and veggies into baked treats, like in these Chocolate Sweet Potato Bars!
There are so many ways to incorporate fruits and veggies all day, you just have to find the inspiration and dedication to do it at every meal! After all, eating fruits and veggies is easy and tasty!
Article written by Marie-Ève Caplette, Registered Dietitian and Half Your Plate ambassador