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10 Ways to Sneak Extra Fruits and Vegetables into Your Family’s Diet

By this point, it’s common knowledge that incorporating five servings of fruits and vegetables into our daily meals is recommended. However, understanding this concept and implementing it are distinct challenges. There are occasions when ensuring the intake of these servings becomes quite the task. The allure of quick and unhealthy snacks often proves hard to resist. If your family is anything like mine, they might prefer opting for a bag of chips, a dish of rice, or pasta instead of considering an apple or a plate of steamed broccoli. This calls for a touch of ingenuity. Here are a few suggestions to cleverly introduce additional fruits and vegetables into your family’s dietary habits.

1. Start the day with a breakfast smoothie. All you must do is throw some fruit, low-fat yogurt, and ice in a blender. Also, add a scoop of VG Plant Power for good measure. Blend for a few seconds, and you have the perfect breakfast ready. Use frozen yogurt in the smoothie to make it even more appealing for your kids.

2. Dried fruit makes an excellent snack any time of the day. Add some small cartons of raisins to your child’s lunch box, pack some yogurt-covered raisins in your husband’s briefcase, and keep some trail mix for snacking. You can also add dried fruit to oatmeal in the morning. My family loves raisins and dates in their oatmeal.

3. Add some fruit and vegetables to your family’s sandwiches. Add banana, sliced apples, or strawberry slices to a peanut butter sandwich. Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato, cucumber, and anything else they will eat. You can even make a sub-shop-style vegetable sandwich by combining several vegetables with some mayonnaise, hummus, and cheese on bread.

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

5. Let them drink their fruits and vegetables. Keep an assortment of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge and encourage everyone to consume them as a snack. Get creative. You could start “family cocktail hour” by pouring everybody a glass of their favorite juice over ice. Add some straws, cocktail umbrellas and sit together to discuss how everybody’s day went.

6. Try this for dessert. Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yogurt 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 help them with ranch dip. And, of course, there are ants on a log. Spread cream cheese or peanut butter inside a celery stick and sprinkle raisins on it (wow, fruit, and vegetable in one snack).

8. Try some new fruits and vegetables. Pick something exotic to get your family’s curiosity. With some luck, their curiosity will outweigh their initial apprehension to try something new. You could try artichokes, plantains, papaya, mango, star fruit, or anything else you can find in the produce department of your local store.

9. Make a pot of vegetable soup or a stew heavy on veggies and easy on the meat. Both 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 if they tried each vegetable the week before; otherwise, they lose a turn, and Mom gets to choose.

Incorporate a few of these ideas, and everyone in your family will devour more fruits and vegetables.

Here is another tip:

Now that everyone in the family has tasted it, ensure you always have plenty of fresh fruits and veggies washed, prepared, and ready to snack on.