Fruits and Veggies – How to get more each day!

Think it’s too tough to get enough servings of fruits and vegetables each day? It may be easier than you’d imagine. The key is to have fresh foods on hand, which means planning ahead and shopping often for groceries. Fruits and vegetables are great foods to include for health – they are loaded with fiber, antioxidant, vitamins and minerals! You should aim to eat a variety of colored vegetables each day in order to get the most bang for your buck!

Weight loss is usually a major motivator for increasing fruit and vegetable intake. Fruits are moderately low in calories, averaging about 100 calories for 1 cup serving. You should aim to consume fresh or frozen fruits without added sugar. Dried fruit can be very high in calories and sugar for the same serving size. One serving of fruit is considered 1 whole fresh fruit, ½ cup chopped fruit or ¾ cup 100% fruit juice. Fruit is not directly related to weight gain because of sugar content – however; should be included as part of a healthy diet and even in place of sugary desserts! Vegetables are even lower in calories and can be added to recipes to increase serving size and satiety! 1 cup of salad greens is considered a serving size, along with ½ cup of cooked or fresh chopped vegetables, and ¾ cup vegetable juice. Vegetable juice is an acceptable way to include more vegetables if it is made fresh or low sodium purchased at the store. Despite this, food benefits have been found to be maximized when consumed in the whole form. For both fruits and vegetables, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommends at least 3-5 servings of vegetables per day and 2-4 fruits- a maximum of 9 total servings! The problem remains – how do we get all of these servings in each day?

Ways to include more Fruits and Vegetables:

  • Add them in to each meal.
    • Breakfast: Add vegetables (such as peppers, tomatoes, onions, spinach) to egg omelets. Add fruit to top cereal, use frozen (defrosted) fruit to make yogurt parfaits.
    • Lunch: Have lettuce wraps, add veggies to sandwiches. If you are eating canned soup or frozen meals – add fresh/frozen chopped veggies to increase nutritional content!
    • Dinner: Always include a side dish salad of dark green leafy veggies with all dinner meals! Also, make sure to include frozen veggies or fresh veggies to fill ¼ – ½ of your plate!
      • Chop up fresh veggies, spray with olive oil and garlic powder – roast in the oven at 350 degrees for 20 minutes!
  • Have them as snacks.
  • Make smoothies.
    • Experiment with different fruit and vegetable combinations such as carrot and green apple!
  • Try 1 new recipe each week!
    • Eating more fruits and veggies forces you to become creative with healthy eating. Each week – set a goal to look up a new healthy recipe with fruits or vegetables included!

If you are in need of assistance with healthy meal planning, or have a specific goal such as weight loss – be sure to check out our website at or call us at (330) 702-1311 to set up a FREE Nutritional Consultation with our Registered Dietitian or a FREE Fitness Assessment with one of our nationally certified Personal Trainers!

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Posted by on January 21, 2013. Filed under Nutrition,Weight Loss. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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