Nutrition Articles

How to Eat 5 Fruits & Veggies Each Day

Tricks for Healthy Treats

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"Eat your fruits and vegetables." We've heard it all of our lives. If only it were so simple.

Our bodies crave fruits and vegetables more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need. We often think we'd survive just fine on 2-3 servings a day – or less. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA both recommend at least 5 servings per day! What you’re missing could be the difference between just surviving and all out thriving.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible.

Tips and Tricks
 
  • Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
  • Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fresh fruit.
  • Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
  • Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
  • Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
  • Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon and cheese.
  • Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish. It's an easy way to get in another serving of the good stuff.
  • Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
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About The Author

Laura Bofinger Laura Bofinger
As a freelance writer, Laura uncovers some kind of inspiration every day when she writes about health and fitness.

Member Comments

  • I eat five servings of produce before noon, never a problem for me, I love it! - 4/3/2016 12:44:56 PM
  • I am diabetic, so I count carbs to keep my blood sugar down, keeping my A1C down too. I never touch caffeine, except tea, decaf.
    Almonds are the best source of low salt protein I can find. - 4/3/2016 12:44:20 PM
  • Fruit juice instead of coffee? I think not. Fruit juice is a concentrated source of sugar and lacks fiber. Eat fruit instead. Also, coffee is not bad for you.

    Frozen vegs are *almost* as healthy as fresh?? Nope, they are often more so.

    One of the best ways to get more veggies is to add them to smoothies ... Kale, spinach, even beans and beets, can be added to a good protein powder mix and nut milk for a fantastic punch of antioxidents and vitamins.

    This article appears to be about 3 years old. Time to update this info. - 4/3/2016 9:03:54 AM
  • I guess juice is a good choice compared to nothing - but too much concentrated sugars and calories - tea is a better pick ,, and frozen veggies and fruit can be more nutritious than out of season ones - and cheaper and won't go soft and overripe. - 4/3/2016 8:05:54 AM
  • Most of what is in this article is great information but...we should never consider fruit juice of any kind a proper substitute for fruit. There is no fiber in juice and it is just liquid sugar, high calorie and can cause spikes in blood sugar. - 2/23/2016 8:31:23 AM
  • Glad I love my freggies! - 2/8/2016 12:06:25 PM
  • Since I have truly committed to eating five fruits and veggies a day, I can honestly say that I feel better because of it. This alone has reinforced the idea that we are what we eat, annnnnnnd a food's caloric value is only a little piece in the healthy living puzzle. It has also helped learning what a true fruit/veggie portion size is...thanks to another Spark article. Yes, I have now become that girl who eats the lettuce, tomato, and onion on my sandwiches as every little bit helps! - 9/17/2015 6:40:07 AM
  • I doubt the comments are read on articles, but I will leave this anyway. The author needs to research frozen veggies again. Frozen veggies are flash frozen at their peak ripeness and nutrition which can make them healthier than fresh since you can't always buy fresh at that absolute peak ripe stage. I think there is even a sparkpeople article on this very topic. - 7/21/2015 9:18:55 AM
  • I plan ahead for my week at work: bring 5 pieces of 5 or 6 different fruits with me on Monday, and eat one of each every day throughout the week.

    This week, I packed 5 each of:
    Apples
    Clementines
    Bananas
    Nectarines
    Pears
    Lemons (I slice one in the morning and put it in my water glass for the day)

    I also have a bag of baby carrots to dole out a serving or two of veggies. I usually eat another serving or two of veggies with dinner when I get home. I find it's easier to eat 1 piece of fruit every hour or so than it is to cram in 5 at a time. You can change up what you bring, so if you need more veggies, swap out (or add in) a couple of veggies. I usually try to bring veggies for lunch. If I cook veggies, I do a big batch on the weekend and pack them out in individual servings.

    Disclaimer: I am not a vegetarian. I usually stack up proteins with lunch and supper. - 9/22/2014 2:48:18 PM
  • ETHELMERZ
    Can't say that my body "craves fruits and vegetables", really. Sometimes I crave strawberries, but the vegetables, I have to force myself to eat them, and I detest Kale and celery and cucumbers most of all, photos of them make me sick to my stomach. - 8/24/2014 2:23:09 PM
  • AZRIDERS
    No! Fruit juices and dried fruits are very high in calories. - 8/5/2014 1:53:15 PM
  • Great article...thank you! I have a NutriBlast by Magic Bullet that I use daily to drink part of my veggies and fruits, and for on the go quickie fruits and veggies when I can't carry fresh ones, I eat Gerber Organic Fruits & veggie pouches (3.5 oz). These are so good and come in so many flavors. Yeah, its baby food, but what purer way to get packaged food. I learned this tip from Men's Health. - 5/1/2014 1:47:45 PM
  • This is a great article. It is true that caffeine is an addictive substance found in coffee, tea, and soda, so juice is a good alternative for many people. I think it is inappropriate for someone to imply that drinking juice is dangerous. For diabetics, there are better choices. But for people just beginning their journey, juice is a great option, since it does contain vitamins, and therefore is more nutritious than coffee, tea, or soda. - 1/15/2014 12:55:57 AM
  • GILLIAN520
    Juice is not a good option to choose when you're trying yo lose weight or if a person has diabetes or is on the fence on the way to diabetes. While it may have more nutritional value than coffee and soda pop it is a full on sugar hit which research is showing is a lot more dangerous than eating good fats. I also disagree with your statement about teas being addictive. There are lots of teas that can be very good, healthy and tastey. Juice also lack the fiber of a whole fruit which means both a sugar and insulin spike. Eat fruit, don't drink it!
    Gillian (ret . Diabetes Nurse Educator) - 10/22/2013 11:25:51 AM
  • I am so fortunate at work. Our company is trying to help us be healthier, in spite of ourselves. We have a fresh fruit program going in our lunchroom. The company has fresh fruit brought in every week for us (FOR FREE) to enjoy, rather than looking to the other side of the lunchroom - to the candy and snack machines. The machines also have been stocked with healthier choices along side the dreaded candy and chips.

    We frequently have fitness and nutrition challenges to help us along. Makes it fun, while improving our health.

    My thanks to them! - 7/19/2013 1:55:07 PM

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