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

  • 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
  • When I do resort to a can of soup, I'll add some frozen veggies while it heats up. I'll cook them first if they're the kind that don't cook as quickly.

    One other thing I do a lot is I'll cook and chill some frozen veggies to add to bean salad. I try to keep bean salad in the fridge at all times as it's handy in a hurry or even to take on the road. Trouble is, it disappears too quickly! :D BTW, if all that fibre is more than your tummy can handle, some peppermint works wonders. Peppermint tea won't have any added sugar and if you're like me, don't care for hot tea, I make a pot of tea, mix it with a batch of lemonade and drink it chilled. I go through gallons of the stuff! :D - 1/28/2013 3:03:42 AM
  • JFREE104
    Veges and Hummus: yum! I make hummus from raw, sprouted garbanzo beans. I sprout the raw garbanzo beans (per sprouting instructions from sproutpeople.org)
    . I rinse and drain for 3 days, till they just begin to sprout. then make my hummus for dipping veges or using as a spread on sandwiches. I didnt realize how easy and inexpensive it is to do your own sprouts...another great way to get in your 5-a-day.
    1 cup Sprouted garbanzo beans
    1 Tbs. tahini
    1 Tbs. lemon juice
    1 Tsp. olive oil
    1 clove garlic (more or less - to taste)
    1 tsp. ground cumin
    1/2 tsp. salt
    1/2 tsp. ground white pepper
    Hot Sauce of your choosing (optional)
    Mix all ingredients to desired consistency using a food processor. (Add more Olive Oil, more Tahini or hot H2O for smoother hummus)-[I personally use hot H2O] Serve.
    Spread hummus on serving platter drizzle olive oil + sprinkle paprika over top. Slice cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, etc. and place around hummus or Spread Hummus on flour tortilla, top with Leafy Sprouts. Roll it up. Serve whole or sliced
    - 1/24/2013 2:04:13 PM
  • NJC8985: I bought great green bags at Bed Bath and Beyond that are reusable and we extend the shelf life of my veggies as long as I dry them first. They are by Debbie someone I think.

    As for me I get my veggies in each morning with my vitamix. It has made a huge change in my life.

    The links in this article were very interesting. - 1/24/2013 12:28:50 PM
  • Great article I will have to fav this one! - 1/24/2013 9:54:59 AM
  • Stir fry is the best way I get my veggies. Uses up a lot of food in my fridge too - no more throwing rotten food out! - 1/24/2013 9:01:12 AM
  • CISCOKID60
    I make a wonderful soup to get my veggies in! It is so easy and adaptable to anyones preferences! I use chicken thighs, simmer 4 in large pot of water til falling off the bone. Debone, strain broth. You should end up with 4-6 cups of broth. In a large stock pot saute large diced onion, celery (3-4 stalks w/ leaves), garlic (1-3 cloves to your taste). Add sliced to your style, 2-4 large carrots, 2 medium potatoes, zucchini, summer squash, fresh green beans (cut in smaller bites) and about a 1/4 of cabbage cut in bite sized peices. . Then when that all has a chance to tenderize a bit, I add one can of diced tomatoes (sometimes spicy ones like rotel) and even sometimes a can of corn. Than add the broth back into the pot. If I am adding potatoes I don't add pasta. If not I may add some pasta for body, but honestly I don't even miss the pasta when I don't have it. Love this soop! I take it for lunch and everyone always wants the receipe. (I don't always make it with the chicken either). Just let the veggies flavor it! Please feel free to make the receipe your own! - 12/14/2012 5:10:18 PM
  • All great ideas... - 12/14/2012 11:48:07 AM

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