Beyond the obvious ways you can enjoy vegetables and fruits, try these ideas for making it easier to eat at least three vegetables and two fruits every day:
Add fresh or dried fruit to breakfast cereals.
Include grated raw vegetables or dried fruit to batters and doughs for quick breads, muffins and cookies.
Replace the oil in baked goods with thick fruit purees such as applesauce, mashed bananas or prunes.
Choose a wide variety of salad greens, including arugula, chicory, collards, dandelion greens, kale, mustard greens, spinach and watercress.
Look for pasta made with vegetables such as spinach or beets.
Stir-fry vegetables with tofu or just a small portion of poultry, seafood or meat.
Use vegetables as a base for, or as added ingredients in, soups.
Saute with juice instead of oil.
Enrich and thicken soups and sauces with cooked and pureed vegetables in place of cream or whole milk.
Add grated raw carrot or apple to lean ground beef or turkey when making meatloaf or meatballs.
Make fruit sauces and toppings for desserts or pancakes.
Drink 100 percent fruit juice mixed with sparkling water instead of soda.
Freeze fresh grapes and enjoy them instead of sugary iced treats.
Place a pack of dried fruit in your car, purse, briefcase, backpack or lunch box for a between-meal snack.
Enjoy fruits and vegetables as snacks by keeping them ready to eat in the refrigerator or in a display bowl at all times.
(Source: Mayo Clinic website – www.mayoclinic.com)