We all know that fruits and vegetables are good for us, that’s why I was shocked to learn over half of trips to the grocery store do not include purchasing produce! How can we fill half our plates with fruits and veggies, when they don’t even make it into our bags half the time?
As my research took me deeper, I realized that the statistic from a recent United Fresh Produce Association report on how many grocery trips were missing produce shouldn’t come as a shock. After all, the CDC found that in 2013 only 13 percent of American adults were meeting their recommended 1.5-2 cups of fruit, and even fewer (8.9 percent) were eating the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables.
If you struggle to consistently get enough fruits and vegetables, I’m with you! It can seem difficult, but I found five ways to help make produce a bigger part of your diet:
- Make it easy – We all lead action packed lives! Make eating fruits and vegetables easier by purchasing fresh cut produce, or committing to menu planning or prepping so that they are readily available. It can also help to have fruits and vegetables in a fruit bowl or in clear view in the fridge so that they are an easy first choice. Arctic® apple slices come in convenient grab ‘n go bags – doesn’t get much easier than that!
- Fear not! – There’s a lot of negative information out there about pretty much everything, and fruits and vegetables are no exception. In truth, the US and Canada are lucky to have extremely safe food sources, and the benefits of eating fruits and vegetables far outweigh any risks! And don’t forget that washing whole produce is always a good plan.
- Start small – Big changes can seem daunting, so try starting small. For example, you could make it a goal to eat fruit at breakfast or order vegetables as a side at restaurants.
- Know how much – Put down the measuring cups and focus on filling half your plate with fruits and vegetables to help you meet your goals. It might surprise you to see how little you need to eat to add up to your full daily recommended fruit and vegetable intake for a day.
- Try something different – We talk a lot about how kids may need to try something multiple times before they like it. Well, adults are no different! Try different ways of cooking, a new recipe, or even a new fruit or veggie to help you find your favorite way to eat produce. Our Arctic® apple Pinterest page is full of inspiring recipes and ideas!
My goal will be to set aside more time to meal plan to ensure I’m getting all the fruits and veggies I need. Do you have any plans or goals?