Nutrition Articles

13 Shortcuts to Meet Your 5-a-Day Quota

Easy Ways to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

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4. Slurp some soup! Soups and stews can be a nutritious, filling way to get lots of vegetables into a meal. Soup is an easy way to increase the variety of veggies you eat, too, as it can make some of your least favorite options more palatable. If you don’t make your own, make sure you know the healthy soup options at the grocery store.
 
5. Be ready at all times. Have cut fruits and vegetables in the fridge ready for munching at all times. Whether you buy the pre-cut options in the produce department or take the time to cut and bag it yourself, you’re more likely to eat it if it’s readily and easily available. Have hummus, low-fat ranch or fruit dip on hand, too, if it’ll encourage you to eat up.
 
6. Keep them in sight, in mind. Just like you keep sweets out of sight to discourage incessant snacking, keeping fruits and veggies in sight will help you think of them as an option for eating. Stock a fruit bowl at work each week and keep a bowl on the kitchen counter at home so you’ll be more likely to eat it when you’re hungry.
 
7. Bar hop. Next time you’re blanking on a quick, easy place to grab lunch, head to the salad bar at a local grocery store. With an endless variety of vegetables, cut fruit and soups, it’s an easy way to make sure you get a meal rich in nutrients and fiber.
 
8. Start smart. Make it a habit to order a salad or vegetable-based soup when you’re out at restaurants. These fiber-rich starters may keep you from overeating when your meal comes, in addition to helping you add more vegetables into your day.
 
9. Bag it up. It may be more expensive to buy pre-chopped lettuce mixes, but they make whipping up a salads a breeze. Throw a few into your shopping cart so you can take salads to work for lunch or have dinner salads ready throughout the week. Just make sure your salad toppings are healthy ones!
 
10. Use the freezer. If you buy produce in bulk only to have it rot in your refrigerator before you get to it, start using your freezer more frequently (and check here for produce storage tips!). Have a stock of frozen fruits and veggies on hand at all times so you’ll always have them ready for smoothies and easy dinner sides.
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About The Author

Erin Whitehead Erin Whitehead
is a health and fitness enthusiast who co-founded the popular website FitBottomedGirls.com and co-wrote The Fit Bottomed Girls Anti-Diet book (available May 2014). Now busier than ever with two kids, she writes about healthy pregnancy and parenting at FitBottomedMamas.com.

Member Comments

  • I do the bagged salad, it makes lunches easy. There is variety in the bag. To add that variety on my own I'm buying a lot of different items, each with a different shelf life. I'll toss something into each salad to make it different for the day; a fruit, a veggie, nuts or seeds.

    And freezing is great. That half bell pepper you don't need tonight. Slice it in strips and freeze it. The strips will dice easily while frozen and you toss them in whatever. Works well for that morning egg. This works great with most anything. Slice it to strips first and freeze. - 5/18/2016 10:37:15 PM
  • If I'm cooking, there always will be a minimum of 2 or 3 vegetables per meal. I eat an apple or banana as part of my lunch but tend to eat more veggies - especially in winter. I'm not overly fond of meat although I do eat it but absolutely love fish. I'm not a big dressed salad eater - I eat mine sprinkled with Club House vegetable seasoning and it doesn't need anything else. I don't know if I'll be able to do a garden this year but would love to. - 3/16/2016 6:16:56 PM
  • I try to add loads of veggies to everything. I am vegan and although I do eat too many breads, pastas, and sweets I still eat a lot of plant foods. I start out the morning with a green smoothie with fruit and greens, I make veggie chili with many different types of veggies, stir-fries, baked egg rolls, curries. I'm not much a salad fan but does like sautéed greens with a veggie burger. I cook most things from scratch so I know what I'm getting. My grandson will help himself to fruit or a organic carrot from the refrigerator. - 1/10/2016 12:20:49 AM
  • I was a vegan/vegetarian for about 25 years . . . and was very unhealthy. One of the main reasons I signed up with SparkPeople was to learn how to eat healthfully. What a great resource! - 9/15/2015 1:17:44 PM
  • I was a vegan/vegetarian for about 25 years . . . and was very unhealthy. One of the main reasons I signed up with SparkPeople was to learn how to eat healthfully. What a great resource! - 9/15/2015 1:17:43 PM
  • We always have a big bag (or more) of frozen fruit in the freezer. We eat it for dessert instead of ice cream. Just make sure there' s no added sugar or syrups! - 4/10/2015 4:27:51 PM
  • I have recently started eating veggie/cheese rollups that are always loaded with at least three different veggies each time. So much that I do not miss the deli meat I leave off. - 11/7/2014 9:04:32 PM
  • LILYOFVALEE
    Yes, it would be nice if they'd bring back the fruit and vegetable tracker to make it easy to see how we're doing. - 1/23/2014 11:18:32 AM
  • Great article and love the comments - 1/8/2014 9:04:29 AM
  • Great suggestions! I have printed out this article and am sharing with my friends who don't eat enough fruits and veggies.

    Another valuable article from SP! Thank you - 12/6/2013 9:29:02 AM
  • Great article. - 8/14/2013 4:01:21 PM
  • I guess I was blessed with parents that made sure their kids ate veggies and fruits every day. I can't imagine anyone having an excuse for not eating them, given the variety of fruits and vegetables in the supermarkets nowadays.

    The only time I don't is when I am ill (which is rare). But then, I don't eat much of anything during those time as the body is much more interested in spending its energy healing itself than in digesting a lot of food. - 7/28/2013 10:50:56 PM
  • I love veggies, but not so much fruit. Except for fresh berries. I love those added to fat/sugar free yogurt. What I really love is roasted veggies, even in the hot summer! I roast most anything, such as my faves....yellow & zuchinni squash, red, yellow, orange peppers, lots of onion, w/only a few red potatoes cut up. Some times I'll add cut up pcs of fresh green beans. I always stir the veggies up w/a tiny bit of olive oil and layer them on a cookie sheet that's been sprayed w/olive oil to prevent sticking & then roast in oven. I'm not a big soup fan, so this is how I get my daily veggies. And if I roast alot of veggies, that means easy leftovers in the fridge for the following day! Hubby, who is steak & tators type guy, loves the roasted veggies. And in hot summer, make foil packets of veggies/olive oil and put on the grill! Major yums! My biggest issue is food allergies though. I'm allergic to most fruits, even watermelon! So I have to stay away from those. And some veggies, such as broccoli, carrots and even lettuce and greens make me sick when I eat them. I love boiled cabbage, but only on days when hubby is at work as he hates the smell, lol. Even boiled yellow squash & onions are good to have in the fridge! Just reheat in the microwave. I wish I liked humus, but have never developed a taste for it. Though the recipe below for sprouted humus sounds great! - 2/26/2013 7:57:04 AM
  • I love carrots and hummus as well as broccoli with fresh squeezed lemon. So far, I am not tired of eating either veggie, so getting my day quota is easy! - 2/25/2013 10:44:10 AM
  • I also make lots of veggie soup - based on the cabbage soup diet recipe. Any cruciferous vegetable and tomato mixed together seems to be the secret to that recipe. I buy veggies on sale as much as possible, checking the produce department for clearance items, then freeze them right away until needed. I make a full pot of it, but then as I start to get tired of it that way, I'll add some instant rice or ramen noodles or add more tomatoes and turn what's left into a pot of chili, etc. For some strange reason, the ramen noodles turn this into a magical dish and is a favourite treat of mine. I'm not so worried about the lack of fibre in the noodles as the veggies more than make up for it. :D - 1/28/2013 3:12:27 AM

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