Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits and Veggies Each Day

Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits & Veggies Each Day images
Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits & Veggies Each Day images

Tricks for Healthy Treats

Easy Ways to Eat 5 Fruits and Veggies Each Day, “Eat your fruits and vegetables.” We’ve heard it all of our lives. If only it were so simple.

Our bodies crave fruits and vegetables more than just about any other food because we tend to get far fewer of them than we need. We often think we’d survive just fine on 2-3 servings a day – or less. But the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the USDA both recommend at least 5 servings per day! What you’re missing could be the difference between just surviving and all out thriving.

With just a little thought and a tiny bit of effort in snack preparation, you can make these nutritious foods more convenient and accessible.

Tips and Tricks

Add fruit to your cereal, oatmeal, waffles or pancakes at breakfast.
Create your own yogurt flavors with plain yogurt and different combinations of fresh fruit.
Snack on raw vegetables or fruits instead of chips or pretzels. Keep sugar snap peas, raisins or carrot sticks in your car, your office or your backpack.
Use chunky salsa instead of thick, creamy snack dips.
Drink 100% juice instead of addictive coffee, tea, or soda.
Going out to lunch? Take a trip to the grocery salad bar. Use lots of dark green leaves and other vegetables instead of piling on all of the extras like eggs, bacon and cheese.
Add frozen veggies to any pasta dish. It’s an easy way to get in another serving of the good stuff.
Keep fruits and vegetables in line of sight. Grapes, oranges, bananas, and apples make a colorful bowl arrangement on the table. If you see them, you will eat them.
Dried fruit is just as portable as potato chips — and less messy. It tastes especially good when added to basic trail mix.
When cooking vegetables, makes 2-3 times more than you need and immdiately store the extra away for tomorrow. It’ll save you time later on.
Add your own beans and vegetables (tomatoes, spinach, peppers, cabbage) to canned and quick-serve soups.
If you must have pizza, load on extra veggies and pineapple instead of fatty meats and extra cheese.
Try berries, melons or dates for a naturally sweet dessert rather than the usual candy bar, cookie, or ice cream sandwich.
Frozen fruit and veggies are nearly as healthy as the fresh stuff, and only take minutes to prepare.
Combine fruit with your main meal courses. Raisins, apples and tangerine slices add sweet, crunchy variety to a salad. Apples complement pork, pineapple is great with fish, and orange slices are perfect with chicken.
Besides being packed full of nutrients, fruits and vegetables can also be quite filling. They may even ward off any empty calorie snacking that might follow! Don’t be discouraged by the recommended 5 servings a day. The guide below shows that one serving is less than what you might think.

One serving equals:
1 medium piece of fruit
1/2 cup fruit (raw, canned, or frozen)
1/2 cup cooked vegetables (canned or frozen)
1 cup raw vegetables
1/4 cup dried fruit
4-6 oz. of 100% juice (serving size depends on the type of juice)
1/2 cup cooked peas or beans

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Strawberry Banana Smoothie

Strawberry Banana Smoothie images
Strawberry Banana Smoothie images

Whether you’re suffering from nausea, heartburn, or just in need of a cool and refreshing snack or breakfast idea, this is the perfect nutritious pick-me-up. Leftover shake can be frozen in pop molds or 5 ounce paper cups with popsicle sticks.

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt
  • 1/2 cup frozen strawberries
  • 1/2 cup orange juice or skim milk
  • 1 banana, sliced

Instructions:

Place all ingredients in a blender and blend until smooth.

Makes 2 servings.

Calories per Ingredient:
Here are the foods from our food nutrition database that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe.

Calories per serving of Strawberry Banana Smoothie

90 calories of Trader Joe’s Vanilla Nonfat Yogurt, (0.50 serving)

53 calories of Banana, fresh, (0.50 medium (7″ to 7-7/8″ long))

52 calories of Strawberries, frozen, unsweetened, (1 cup, unthawed)

27 calories of Orange Juice, (0.25 cup)

Nutrition Facts:

Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 221.3

Total Fat 0.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.1 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.1 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 4.2 mg

Potassium 572.4 mg

Total Carbohydrate 33.7 g

Dietary Fiber 4.7 g

Sugars 6.8 g

Protein 1.7 g

Vitamin A 3.3 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 20.8 %

Vitamin C 145.4 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 3.4 %

Calcium 3.4 %

Copper 7.9 %

Folate 11.9 %

Iron 7.8 %

Magnesium 10.1 %

Manganese 26.7 %

Niacin 5.9 %

Pantothenic Acid 4.3 %

Phosphorus 3.8 %

Riboflavin 7.4 %

Selenium 2.5 %

Thiamin 8.3 %

Zinc 2.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Chewy Cupcake Brownies Recipe

Chewy Cupcake Brownies images
Chewy Cupcake Brownies images

Introduction

Remember how delicious Mom’s brownies were? You can duplicate the taste for a fraction of the fat if you substitute cocoa for bittersweet chocolate and use applesauce in place of some of the butter or oil.

Minutes to Prepare: 15
Minutes to Cook: 20a
Number of Servings: 12

Ingredients

3/4 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
1 Tbsp unpacked brown sugar, firmly packed
3 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa
1/2 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp table salt
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup unsweetened applesauce
1/2 tsp vinegar, cider
1 1/2 tsp margarine, melted
1/2 tsp vanilla extract

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350°F.
2. In a bowl, stir together flour, brown sugar, cocoa, baking soda and salt. In a second bowl stir together remaining ingredients. Pour water mixture over flour mixture and stir until batter is smooth.
3. Pour into a nonstick 12-hole muffin tin coated with cooking spray, filling until half full. Bake until toothpick inserted in center of cupcake comes out clean, 18 to 20 minutes.
4. Remove from oven. Let sit 5 minutes, then turn out onto rack to completely cool.

Number of Servings: 12

Recipe submitted by SparkPeople user DARBYMERRIMAN.

Calories per Ingredient

Here are the foods from our food nutrition database that were used for the nutrition calculations of this recipe.

Calories per serving of Chewy Cupcake Brownies

33 calories of Brown Sugar, (0.04 cup, packed)

27 calories of Flour, white, (0.06 cup)

3 calories of Cocoa, dry powder, unsweetened, (0.25 tbsp)

2 calories of Blue Bonnet Light Margarine, (0.06 tbsp)

2 calories of Applesauce, unsweetened, (0.02 cup)

1 calories of Vanilla extract, imitation, alcohol, (0.08 tsp)

0 calories of Cider Vinegar, (0.02 tbsp)

0 calories of Salt, (0.08 tsp)

0 calories of Water, tap, (0.04 cup (8 fl oz))

0 calories of Baking Soda, (0.04 tsp)

Nutrition Facts

Servings Per Recipe: 12
Serving Size: 1 serving
Amount Per Serving

Calories 72.2

Total Fat 0.6 g

Saturated Fat 0.2 g

Polyunsaturated Fat 0.1 g

Monounsaturated Fat 0.2 g

Cholesterol 0.0 mg

Sodium 255.6 mg

Potassium 65.2 mg

Total Carbohydrate 16.2 g

Dietary Fiber 0.7 g

Sugars 0.6 g

Protein 1.1 g

Vitamin A 0.7 %

Vitamin B-12 0.0 %

Vitamin B-6 0.4 %

Vitamin C 0.1 %

Vitamin D 0.0 %

Vitamin E 0.1 %

Calcium 1.1 %

Copper 4.6 %

Folate 3.7 %

Iron 4.1 %

Magnesium 2.9 %

Manganese 7.1 %

Niacin 2.5 %

Pantothenic Acid 0.5 %

Phosphorus 2.1 %

Riboflavin 2.6 %

Selenium 4.2 %

Thiamin 4.3 %

Zinc 1.1 %

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich

This tastes just like cheese pizza, plus you get about 25% of your daily calcium in one meal! Pair this with a salad and you have a great pizzaria style lunch without the calories attached…or the bill.

Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich images
Grilled Cheese Pizza Sandwich images

Minutes to Prepare: 2
Minutes to Cook: 5
Number of Servings: 1

Ingredients

2 slices mixed grain bread….I like Orowheat.
2tablespoons marinara sauce
1/4 cup mozzarella cheese (low moisture, part skim)
1 teaspoon shredded parmesan
Salt and pepper to taste

Directions

Spread 1 tablespoon of marinara sauce on each piece of bread. Spread mozzarella cheese evenly, on side with sauce, on first piece of bread. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese over mozzarella. Top with second piece of bread, sauce side down. Place in heated pan and cook until cheese inside is melted and outside is golden brown…or darker if you like. Plate up and enjoy! Makes one (1) serving.

Nutritional Info:
Servings Per Recipe: 1
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 234.0
Total Fat: 8.0 g
Cholesterol: 16.1 mg
Sodium: 607.4 mg
Total Carbs: 27.7 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.8 g
Protein: 13.2 g

Mini Eggplant Pizzas

Ditch the crust and boost your veggie intake with these eggplant “pizzas.”

Mini Eggplant Pizzas images
Mini Eggplant Pizzas images

Minutes to Prepare: 5
Minutes to Cook: 12
Number of Servings: 4

Ingredients

1 eggplant – 3 inches in diameter, peeled and cut into 4 half-inch thick slices
4 teaspoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/8 teaspoon ground black pepper
1/4 cup pasta sauce
1/2 cup shredded part-skim mozzarella cheese

Directions

Preheat the oven or toaster oven to 425 degrees F. Brush both sides of the eggplant with the oil and season with the salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking sheet and bake until browned and almost tender, 6 to 8 minutes, turning once. Spread 1 tablespoon of pasta sauce on each eggplant slice. Top with the shredded cheese. Bake until the cheese melts, 3 to 5 minutes. Serve hot.

Number of Servings: 4

Nutritional Info:
Servings Per Recipe: 4
Amount Per Serving
Calories: 119.1
Total Fat: 7.5 g
Cholesterol: 7.5 mg
Sodium: 458.6 mg
Total Carbs: 8.9 g
Dietary Fiber: 3.2 g
Protein: 4.9 g