Sneak more fruits and vegetables into your day
With spring approaching, it’s the perfect time to make a healthy change. So start fresh this spring by adding vegetables and fruits to your daily routine.
Adults should eat 1 ½ to 2 cups of fruit and 2 to 3 cups of vegetables every day. Yet in Georgia, only 12% of adults are eating enough fruit — and only 8.5% are getting the recommended amount of vegetables.* So, how do you add more of these important foods to your meals? Try these simple tips.
1. Brighten up breakfast with fruit. Whether you add bananas to oatmeal or include sliced oranges with eggs, start the day with a serving of fruit. Another option? Avocado toast. Slice avocado onto whole wheat bread for a healthy — and filling — breakfast. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice, cayenne pepper, or a (small) sprinkling of sea salt for extra flavor.
2. Commit to eating greens. Add a salad — either for your main meal or as a side — to your daily routine. You can dress it up with an array of colorful veggies — and fruits — such as red peppers, roasted sweet potatoes, or sliced apples.
3. Sneak veggies into favorites. There’s no shame in sneaking veggies into your favorite recipes — especially if it helps your kids eat them. So layer zucchini in lasagna, put leeks in chicken noodle soup, or add finely chopped veggies to scrambled eggs. And sometimes just including veggies or fruits on a favorite dish — like mushrooms or pineapples on pizza — will up your intake. If you need inspiration, you can find endless recipe options with just a quick online search.
4. Snack smart. Skip the plate of cookies and instead choose veggies, like carrots, red peppers, and celery with hummus dip as an afternoon snack. Or freeze grapes for a cool and refreshing treat. Need a pick-me-up after a long meeting? Avoid chips and chocolate and instead try a Greek yogurt parfait with blueberries, a brain boosting superfood. It’s a tasty treat — without the empty calories.
5. Spice up your smoothies. Instead of only fruit, mix kale, spinach, or celery leaves into your next smoothie. You can also use flavorful — and healthy — spices like ginger and turmeric for an added kick. You’ll get a dose of healthy living in one glass.
So remember to keep fruits and veggies on hand — that way it’s easy to include them in your next meal. By making produce a part of your eating habits, you’ll set yourself for a healthy start to spring.
Did you know?
Kaiser Permanente Georgia is sponsoring the relaunch of a community garden program with 2 Clayton County schools, Mount Zion Elementary and Primary schools. Children will get hands-on experience with gardening and learn about the benefits of fresh fruits and veggies. And this program aligns with teachers’ curriculums — giving them new tools to teach academic skills in a healthy, outdoor setting — and helps kids thrive.
*“Georgia Action Guide on Fruits and Vegetables,” CDC.gov, accessed, December 17, 2018, cdc.gov/nutrition/data-statistics/pdfs/Georgia_StateActionGuide_Sept2018_508.pdf.
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