You have probably heard it before: eating more vegetables and fruit is linked to better health. But most of us do not get enough.
It is possible to eat more. And it can taste good. Here are some simple, practical and tasty ways you can get more veggies and fruit on your plate.
Fill half your plate with vegetables and fruit at meals. Then fill a quarter of your plate with whole grains (bread, rice, pasta) and a quarter of your plate with protein (meat, fish, dairy, poultry, eggs, legumes, nuts and seeds). Your plate may look a bit different from what you are used to, but this simple switch will help you eat more vegetables and fruit.
Try eating your veggies at the beginning of the meal, when you are most hungry. Or start your meal with a salad or raw veggies and dip. You may be surprised at how many more servings of vegetables you eat.
Tips to get more
• Snack on fruits or vegetables. Pair with a dip like yogurt or hummus for a boost of flavour.
• Keep fresh fruit like apples, pears, bananas and oranges in a bowl on the counter.
• Make it easy by buying ready-to-eat vegetables such as cherry tomatoes, pre-washed salad greens, baby carrots and snap peas.
• Take the time to peel, wash and chop vegetables so they are ready to use. Store them in the fridge in plain sight. Add to sandwiches and salads or pack them in lunchboxes.
• Try recipes that make veggies the centrepiece of the meal, such as grilled kabobs, hearty vegetable soups or stir fries.
• Save time by using frozen vegetable mixes such as spaghetti, soup or slow cooker varieties.
• Choose fresh, frozen or canned vegetables and fruit as they are all good choices.
• Eat fruit for dessert. Try slicing different fruit and serving with a low-fat vanilla yogurt.
Roast it up!
Roasting vegetables and fruit adds flavour and brings out their natural sweetness. Short on time? Stop by the Sobeys produce department for pre-cut veggies and fruit, ready for roasting.
Toss vegetables with olive oil and your favourite spices. Try roasting cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potato, squash, beets, carrots and parsnip.
Combine fruit with sweet spices such as cinnamon, nutmeg or ginger. Try roasting apples, pears, pineapple, plums and peaches.
Cut veggies or fruit into the same size pieces so they will cook evenly. Place on a parchment covered baking sheet. Roast at 425 F until tender and golden. Roasted veggies can be served as a side dish or added to soups, pastas and salads. Enjoy roasted fruit on top of oatmeal or yogurt or serve as a dessert.
Try these flavour combinations:
Carrots with garlic and thyme
Squash with sage and orange zest
Beets with rosemary and balsamic vinegar
Cauliflower with garlic and pepper
Apples with cinnamon and lemon zest
Pears with cinnamon and ginger
Pineapple with brown sugar and lime zest
Adding more veggies and fruit to your day is possible. Start by eating one more serving of veggies and one more serving of fruit per day, and work your way up from there. You’ll be glad you did.
Hungry for more? Like @SobeysDietitian on Facebook and Twitter for more tasty tips and recipes or receive our schedule of events and Healthy Bits and Bites Newsletter directly to your inbox. Register at www.sobeyspharmacy.com/newsletter.
Join our Walking Program starting Thursday, May 2 from 10:30 a.m. to noon at Sobeys Aberdeen. For more information contact Teresa at 902-755-3645 or e-mail Teresa.email@example.com.
Teresa Flynn is a Sobeys dietitian in New Glasgow.
Watermelon and Feta Bruschetta
1 Baguette, multigrain, sliced into 14 rounds
2 cups 500 ml Watermelon, seeded, diced
¾ cup 175 ml Feta cheese
2 tbsp 30 ml Chives, chopped
2 tbsp 30 ml Mint, fresh, chopped
1 clove Garlic, minced
1/3 cup 75 ml Olive oil
3 tbsp 45 ml Balsamic vinegar
¼ tsp 1 ml Pepper
1. Pre-heat oven to 350°F. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
2. Arrange baguette rounds on a baking sheet. Toast in oven for 10 minutes.
3. Combine all remaining ingredients in a small bowl and toss gently.
4. Top each baguette round with 1 tbsp of bruschetta mixture and place back in oven
for 5-7 minutes.
Nutrition Information per Serving:
Fat 7 grams
Carbohydrate 11 grams
Fibre 1 gram
Protein 3 grams
Sodium 189 milligrams
Tip: Slice your baguette on an angle to allow for a little extra topping.
Source: Sobeys Dietitians