Just because September – Fruits & Veggies: More Matters Month – is coming to a close, doesn’t mean you have to stop powering your plate with more colorful produce!
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
- 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.