We all know that it’s necessary to have fruit and vegetables in our diet, but trying to incorporate 5 portions into our day can often be a big struggle. This issue has got to the point where The Government are creating initiatives to encourage the UK to eat their 5-a-day, but what many people don’t realise is that the 5 should really be 7. For most of us it can often seem daunting or even impossible to tackle this issue, so I’ve put together some easy ways to get your fruit and vegetable intake up without even thinking about it! So before yourun for the hills screaming– ‘But I’m not even managing 3 of my 5 a day and now you’re talking 7?!?… !!!’ keep reading…
By just throwing in a handful of blueberries or strawberries or grating half an apple into your porridge or cereal first thing in the morning whilst sipping on a glass of fresh fruit juice, you’ve packed in 3 of your 5 before you’ve even stepped out of the door!
If you love a cooked breakfast, go large on the mushrooms and grilled tomatoes or add some spinach with that omelette.
Mid Morning, why not grab a handful of grapes or a banana, or add a small handful ofblueberries or strawberries to your yoghurt.
At lunch time, if you add a large mixed leaf salad to the base of your meal (even if it’s a sandwich), you’ve added at least another portion – throw in a handful of cherry tomatoes and that’s one more. That’s 6 already !
Tip 4 … Go For More!
Load up on vegetables at meal times, so if you want your usual bolognese add in some carrots, sweetcorn, garden peas, peppers or extra tomato. Having a side salad with meals is another great way to up the vegetable intake. And if you want to have pizza, go ahead! Just make sure you ask for extra vegetables and a luscious salad.
Snack Up Baby!
- A snack mid afternoon is not only great for your energy levels, it’s a brilliant way to help you stop over eating later. Crudites with humous or salsa is a tasty savoury snack packed with vegetable nutrients (I love mange tout, red and yellow pepper sliced and even some baby sweetcorn).
- Dried fruit also counts, so why not try a mini snack pot of raisins or sultanas with a banana and thats’s 2 portions or your 7-a-day!
- Vegetable soups also qualify in your daily intake – so when you’re in need of something warmer this is a great alternative.
A refreshing glass of tomato juice after work is also counted as a portion of fruit (so why not have a stick of celery in it too!)
- Get some sugar free jelly and throw in some blood oranges, red berries and blueberries for a colourful delicious twist.
Roasted vegetables are an absolutely delicious side to any dish whether it be fish or meat or vegetarian dishes.
- Like strawberries and cream? Try this as a yummy nutritious alternative: add a handful of strawberries to some crushed ice and pour in some rice milk and hey presto you’ve got an instance delicious summer drink without giving up on taste!
Remember: although potatoes are a vegetable, they do not count as one of your 5-a-day!
As much as it may seem an impossible task to eat or drink 7 different portions of fruit and vegetables every day, it really is easy and can be deliciously enjoyable too!