Have a Plant: Fruits & Veggies for Better Health

Fruits and vegetables are so versatile! They add color, flavor and texture to almost any recipe and meal. Here are some simple food substitutions that will help you incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your family’s lifestyle.
Fruits & Veggies-More Matters: Healthy Food Substitutions
Calorie Substitutions
Meal Substitutions
Ingredient Substitutions

Calorie Substitutions

Eating fruits and vegetables instead of higher-fat and higher-calorie foods may make it easier to control your weight. But remember, fruits and vegetables have calories too. The key is substitution, which can decrease the total amount of calories eaten in a day.

  • Choose pieces of fresh, whole fruit instead of baked goods for a sweet snack.
  • Choose crunchy vegetables instead of chips for a lunchtime side-dish.
  • Choose broth-based vegetable soups instead of cream-based soups for a lower fat alternative.
  • Choose a fruit smoothie instead of a milkshake.
  • Choose fruits and veggies packed in water or 100% juice rather than those packed with syrup, fats, oils or creamy sauces.

Meal Substitutions

When used as a substitution for higher-calorie, higher-fat ingredients, they bring healthy goodness to most any recipe.

  • In casseroles, add vegetables like corn or spaghetti squash in place of starches such as rice or pasta.
  • Use roasted vegetables in place of meats in Italian-style casseroles, such as lasagna or baked ziti.

Ingredient Substitutions

  • Use fruits and vegetables to reduce the amount of fat needed, and lower the overall calories in a recipe.
  • Use applesauce in place of oil in baked goods.
  • Use puréed dried figs in place of oil in baked goods.
  • Use puréed vegetables as a thickener for soups or gravies.


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