The 6 Basics
- Half Your Plate. Fill half your plate with fruits and veggies at every meal and snack.
- Add More. Add extra fruits and vegetables to dishes, even if they already contain/call for them in the recipe.
- Substitute. Substitute fruits & veggies in any meal – they’re lower in calories than many other foods.
- 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.
- Steam & Flavor. Steamed vegetables make great sides. Add flavor with low-calorie or low-fat dressings and herbs and spices.
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- 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
- 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 …
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