Produce Pump-Ups

The Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics offers the following ideas to get you packing your plate with nutrient-dense, lower calorie fruit and vegetable options:

Begin with Breakfast

  • Wake up to fruit; make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle
  • Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana

Snack and Shop Smart

  • Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite dip or low-fat salad dressing
  • Stock up: Fill your fridge with raw vegetables and fruits —”nature’s fast food”—cleaned, fresh and ready to eat

Mains that Matter

  • Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla
  • Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions
  • Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables; add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans) and top with a low-fat dressing
  • Stuff an omelet with vegetables; turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese

Complement Your Plate

  • Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges
  • “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables; add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumbers and tomato as fillings

Topping Tips

  • Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza topping; try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini
  • Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese
  • “Grate” complement: Add grated, shredded or chopped vegetables such as zucchini, spinach and carrots to lasagna, meat loaf, mashed potatoes, pasta sauce and rice dishes

Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth with Fruit

  • Get saucy with fruit: Puree berries, apples, peaches or pears for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles
  • Banana split: Top a sliced banana with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts

For more great nutrition tips, visit the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics’ Nutrition Information page.

Source: Academy of Nutrition & Dietetics, Nutrition Care Manual: Resources, 2012.