Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

The 6 Basics

  1. Half Your Plate. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and snack.
  2. Add More. Add extra fruits and vegetables to dishes, even if they already contain/call for them in the recipe.
  3. Substitute. Substitute fruits & veggies in any meal – they’re lower in calories than many other foods.
  4. Stay Stocked. Always stock frozen and canned fruits & veggies for quick meal prep. Choose canned fruit and vegetables without added sugar, syrup, cream sauces, or other ingredients that will add calories.
  5. Steam & Flavor. Steamed vegetables make great sides. Add flavor with low-calorie or low-fat dressings and herbs and spices.
  6. Grab & Go. Always have fresh fruits and vegetables in easy-to-grab places (a fruit bowl, sliced in the fridge, trail mix)

Tips for Every Meal

Breakfast

  • Substitute spinach, onions, or mushrooms for one of the eggs or half the cheese in your morning omelet. This will add volume but decrease the fat!
  • Add fruit to your whole-grain cereal, top with low-fat milk and grab a bottle of vegetable juice for the road.
  • Get up 10 minutes early or plan an on-the-go nutritious breakfast (including fruits or vegetables) the night before.
  • Make some thick oatmeal in a mug that’ll fit in your car’s console. Top with nuts, seeds or dried fruit.
  • Make a waffle or pancake the night before (add blueberries and sprinkle wheat germ in the batter) then pop it in the toaster before you leave in the morning.

Lunch

  • Reduce the amount of meat or cheese on a sandwich by ½ and replace with veggies.
  • Chicken or tuna salad – add an equal amount of chopped fruits or veggies such as celery, grated carrots, cucumber, apples, grapes, pineapple, or dried cranberries.
  • Add ½ a sliced banana or 1 sliced apple to a peanut butter sandwich and reduce the amount of peanut butter by half.
  • Replace pasta in soups with veggies.
  • When eating out, chose vegetarian options that have lots of fruits and vegetables.

Dinner

  • Reduce your portion of meat at a meal and have an extra serving of veggies or salad
  • Replace ½ pasta portion with vegetables topped with sauce
  • Stir-fry veggies with chicken instead of other starchy foods
  • Make chili with ½ the meat replaced with beans and veggies
  • Make a portabella mushroom or black bean burger instead of your traditional hamburger

Snacks

  • 1 cup of whole strawberries AND 1 cup of carrots with 1/4 cup of low-calorie dip
  • Pop a few strawberries, blueberries, carrots, broccoli, or any other ‘popable’ fruits & veggies; they’re great options to snack on as is
  • Make fruit kabobs or fruit popsicles
  • Try hummus with carrots, celery, cauliflower, or other vegetables
  • Guacamole! It’s heart healthy and delicious
  • Apples. DYK? 1 snack-size bag of corn chips (1 oz) has the same number of calories as a small apple

 

Jump To …

How to Create a Healthy Eating Plan
What About Your Favorite Foods?
100-Calorie Snack Comparison Chart

Dietary Guidelines for Americans
Fill Half Your Plate with Fruits & Veggies
Recipes with Lots of Fruits & Veggies
How Many Fruits and Vegetables Do You Need?
What Does a Cup of Fruits & Veggies Look Like?
The Importance of Physical Activity

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