As you hold tight the memories of summer, look forward to the routine and excitement of a new school year and after-school activities. This school year make fruits and veggies a priority in your life and the lives of your family members by pledging to add one more, try something new, educate yourself, teach the kids, or try a new recipe.
10 Ways to Grab n’ Go with Fruits & Veggies
- Keep it simple. Many fruits and veggies are already grab n’ go with little prep – bananas, apples, grapes, baby carrots, and cherry tomatoes, to name a few!
- Smoothies. Besides being a great way to add fruits and veggies, the best part about smoothies is that most kids will drink them because it changes the texture of fruits and veggies, which is often what kids don’t like. Make ahead and freeze or put in a to-go cup. Fillable squeeze pouches work great for toddlers!
- 100% Juice. Keep 100% fruit and veggie juices on hand for when you are really crunched for time. They’re portable and contain many of the vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients of fruits and veggies. Stick to no more than 6 ounces for kids under 7 and 12 ounces for 7-18 year olds.
- Add Here and There. Taking your breakfast to work? Don’t forget sliced banana on your peanut butter toast, frozen blueberries in your oatmeal or tomato on your egg sandwich. Every little bit makes a difference!
- Fruit & Veggie Trays. Grocery stores are making it easier than ever with fresh cut fruit and veggie trays. It’s true for kids and adults – if fruits and veggies are ready to go, they are more likely to eat them!
- Dried Fruit. Dried fruit like apples, dates, and apricots can be an easy way to get a fruit serving or two. Combine with nuts and seeds or even dry roasted chickpeas or soy beans for a balanced snack.
- Fill with Cheese. Feeling bored with your fruits and veggies? Get fancy by filling strawberries with cream cheese or cherry tomatoes with goat cheese. Other cheeses go great with fruits and veggies too – mozzarella with tomatoes or cheddar with apple slices!
- Sandwiches. Most kids love anything in the form of a sandwich! Whether it’s peanut butter or turkey it’s a great opportunity to add fruits and veggies. Thinly sliced apples work great on both! Put it in a pita pocket for a more portable sandwich!
- Squeezable Fruit! Squeezable applesauce can be easily found at your local grocery store and the best part – no spoon needed! Switch it up with ones that combine apples with other fruits like berries, banana, or mango!
- Baked Green Peas. There are always new products available that make getting the recommended amount of fruits and veggies easier. A new favorite is a packaged snack made from baked green peas and a little salt! Easy to grab n’ go with this fiber-filled alternative to potato chips!
No matter how hectic your schedule is this fall, remember to make fruits and veggies part of your plan for every meal and snack. You’ll be happy you did!
Sarah Glunz, MS, CNS, LDN
GIANT Food Stores and MARTIN’S Food Markets
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