Eleven tips that make it easier to add more vegetables and fruit to your diet

We all know that vegetables and fruit are important in a healthy diet. But it can be challenging to meet the recommendations for including these foods in your daily diet as described in Canada’s Food Guide.

Here are a few simple strategies to help you get enough vegetables and fruit each day:

  • Aim for half your plate to include a mix of colourful vegetables and fruit at lunch and dinner.

  • Eat seasonally and savour the taste of fresh, locally grown vegetables and fruit.

  • Snack on pieces of fruit; add a yogurt-based dip for extra zip!

  • Add vegetables to your sandwiches: grated carrot, roasted zucchini, spinach leaves, diced or sliced tomato, avocado slices, or sautéed mushrooms.

  • Try featuring more vegetable-based dishes in your repertoire such as chicken minestrone soup or a hearty egg salad packed with vegetables.

  • Opt for frozen vegetables and fruit to make preparing soups, spaghetti sauces, smoothies and muffins easier. They are just as nutritious as fresh vegetables and fruit, with the added advantage of being a cinch to use.

  • Reserve some time after grocery shopping to wash and cut up larger vegetables and fruit (e.g., melons, pineapple, mango). You’ll save time during the week and always have some conveniently on hand to snack on.

  • Have prewashed and precut vegetables on hand (for example: baby carrots, prewashed lettuce, baby spinach, green beans, diced squash, coleslaw). They may cost a little more but will save time when life gets busy.

  • Keep a variety of dried fruit on hand to quell hunger in between meals.

  • Excite your taste buds by discovering new vegetables and fruit. Add a little adventure to your grocery basket with some fennel, kale, Cara Cara oranges or an orange honeydew melon.

  • Get creative in the kitchen by preparing veggies and fruit in new ways: make vegetable skewers, create a spicy salsa, incorporate overly ripe fruit into your muffins or have fun varying your milkshake flavours.