How can I incorporate more fruits & vegetables into my diet?

Real Mom Problem

“My son wanted grapes and I thought, awesome, I haven't had any fruit today--I'll have some. Then I realized I didn't have any vegetables today, so I had some spinach. I need to do a better job of remembering my fruits and vegetables!”

by countrybaby89 countrybaby89

Quick Tips

  • 1. Sneak fruits into breakfast by adding berries or diced fruit to your oatmeal or yogurt
  • 2. Enjoy a salad full of vegetables for lunch, or add veggies to your sandwich
  • 3. For dinner, half your plate should be filled with vegetables
  • 4. Try to eat a wide variety of colors when you choose fruits and vegetables--the more colorful, the more nutrients you get

Real Mom Solutions

Do you have a hard time incorporating fruits and vegetables into your diet? Find tips here from our expert nutritionist and other moms.

Jane Schwartz Jane Schwartz

Our Expert Mom Says...

Though getting in the recommended 7-10 servings of fruits and veggies a day may sound daunting, a serving is a mere half cup of cooked or raw vegetables, half cup of fruit, one cup of leafy greens, or one small piece of fruit. If you can aim for one cup each at breakfast and lunch, and two cups at dinner, you've knocked off eight servings right there. For breakfast, add a cup of berries or other diced fruit to your breakfast cereal or yogurt; or toss a big handful of spinach into the frying pan when cooking your eggs. Lunch can always be a hearty salad, or simply munch on a cup of raw veggies along with your sandwich (try peppers, carrots, grape tomatoes), or add sprouts, sliced cucumbers, roasted red peppers, and/or tomatoes right into your sandwich. At dinner, fill half your plate with vegetables. When making stews, soups, or stir fries, double the veggies in the recipe. Between meals is also a great time to sneak in fruits and veggies. Munch on a crisp apple or pear, or dip raw veggies into hummus. And remember, think "rainbow." The more colorful and varied your choices, the more nutrients you are getting.

Jane Schwartz is a mom of two and a registered dietitian and health writer based in Princeton, NJ. She is the Outpatient and Community Education dietitian at the University Medical Center at Princeton. You can find out more about her work at her website, http://www.janeschwartz-rd.com.

More Fruit & Veggie Ideas from Moms

  • BrittBurke
    BrittBurke

    Make an egg white omelet and load it up with veggies (peppers, onions, mushrooms, spinach).

  • katieGrace
    katieGrace

    Always have a green veggie with dinner. I try to make that a rule, and it's usually broccoli. I sometimes sprinkle it with parmesan cheese to add flavor. When you make pasta (whole wheat of course!), it's really easy to just load it with veggies; I always add red or green peppers, onions, sometimes spinach, usually tomatoes, and mushrooms, too. That way I get my carb and veggie fix!

  • amonkeymom
    amonkeymom

    Pizza can be healthy. I love it with lots of veggies (mushrooms, caramelized onions, green and red peppers), a little cheese, and of course tomato sauce.

  • new_mom808
    new_mom808

    We add fruits and vegetables to smoothies, and to favorite dishes. My four-year-old thinks macaroni and cheese should have peas in it. He also likes spinach on his grilled cheese.

  • eema.gray
    eema.gray

    Avocados can be made into a cold soup, smoothies, added to sandwiches or salads, or you can make a fabulous chocolate avocado mousse pie that happens to be raw vegan so there's no baking involved.