10 ways to sneak some extra fruits and vegetables in and improve your family’s diet

improve your family’s diet

Want to improve your family’s diet?

We all know by now that we should be eating at least five servings of fruits and vegetables each day.

But knowing and doing are two different things, aren’t they?

Sometimes it is just not easy to get them all in there and we are constantly tempted to fill up on convenience and junk food. Would your family rather fill up on a bag of crisps or a bowl of rice or pasta instead of trying an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli?

If so you will have to get creative…
Here are a few ideas to “sneak” some extra vegetables and fruits into your diets.

1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie and improve your family’s diet from the start!
All you have to do is throw some fruits, low-fat yoghurt and ice in a blender. You may also want to add a scoop of protein powder in there or some milled flax seed for good measure. Just blend for a few seconds and you have the perfect breakfast ready to go. You can use a thermal cup and enjoy it on the way to work. To make it even more appealing for kids, try a little frozen yoghurt or a small scoop of ice cream in the smoothie. They won’t believe that you are letting them have ice cream for breakfast!

2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day.
Try some small cartons of raisins, yoghurt-covered raisins or a little trail mix for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal and cereal in the morning.

3. Add some fruits and vegetables to your sandwiches.
You can add some banana, sliced apples or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber. You can even make a sub shop style vegetable sandwich by combining several different vegetables with some mayonnaise and cheese on wholemeal bread.

4. Have a salad bar at dinner.
Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, some cheese and croutons as well as a little salad dressing with the lettuce and let everybody create their own perfect salad.

5. Try getting the family to drink some fruits and vegetables.
Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge drink them as a snack. Get creative. You could start a “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of his or her favourite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to talk about how everybody’s day went.

6. Try this for dessert.
Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yoghurt in a bowl and top it with lots of fresh or frozen fruit.

7. Offer fruits and vegetables as snacks.
You can cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Cut up some fresh veggies and serve them with a healthy dip.

8. Try something new.
Pick something exotic to raise your family’s curiosity. With a little luck, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to trying something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew that’s heavy on veggies and easy on the meat.
Both of these make some great comfort food when the weather gets cold.

10. Start “My Veggie Day”.
Each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. They qualify to pick a vegetable as long as they tried each vegetable the week before, otherwise, they lose a turn and Mom gets to pick.

Incorporate a few of these ideas and you will improve your family’s diet in no time.

Here is another tip:
Now that everyone in the family has gotten a taste for it, make sure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies available and ready to snack on.

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