Hey there, I'm Jill, the founder of GrownupDish.com and your go-to gal for everything midlife. As a recovering CEO, food lover, world traveler, and self-proclaimed pop culture aficionado, I've got a wealth of experience and wisdom to share with you.
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Nutrition is a crucial part of living a healthy and positive life, but getting all your essential nutrients daily isn’t always easy. If you’re in a hurry or have a lot on your schedule, grabbing the first snack you see is often easier than cultivating an intricate diet for yourself. Interestingly, fruits and vegetables harbor the necessary vitamins, minerals, and nutrients our bodies need for proper function; in fact, most of us need at least four servings of fruits and vegetables daily. Check out my tried and true easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your diet to maintain good health.
If you’re anything like me, you often buy fresh produce, hoping you’ll eat it. Unfortunately, we tend to reach for the easiest thing when we’re busy, and that isn’t the fruit that you have to clean and dry. However, choosing a prep day can turn fruits and veggies into your quick snack. I like to prep my fruit and veggies as soon as I bring them home from the store to ensure I’ll eat them throughout the week. Simply rinse and dry them, then store them in containers in the refrigerator. Here’s my hack for washing strawberries and making them last longer.
Pro Tip: Opt for airtight glass containers for your fruits and vegetables—glass jars keep air out and make produce last longer. I use mason jars and I love the specialty lids from Mason Jar Lifestyle.
If you’re not a fan of many fruits and veggies, you can sneak them into your favorite recipes. Even though you know they’re there, hiding them from your taste buds is possible. Whether you add peppers, onions, and squash to your pasta sauces or hide leafy greens, avocados, or carrots in your smoothies, you can get more nutrients in your planned meals and snacks without tasting them. I love most fruits and vegetables, but there are a few I don’t enjoy; sneaking them into my food has been a huge help for me.
Even though many people warn against fruit juice because of the high sugar content and lack of fiber, not all of it is bad. I make sure to buy only 100 percent fruit juices without additives. As long as you drink it in moderation, fruit juice is an excellent source of vitamin C and other vital nutrients. You can also make your own if you have a juicer.
There’s nothing wrong with enjoying the occasional dessert, but consuming an excessive amount of processed sugar isn’t good for your health. That said, you can swap your sugary dessert for a piece of fruit or a fruit-based dessert. I find myself wanting something sweet after dinner most nights, and fruit is a great choice. In the summer, you will always find a bowl of cut watermelon in my fridge. It’s sweet and satisfying but with more vitamins and nutrients than pastries or ice cream.
After learning a few easy ways to add more fruits and veggies to your daily diet, you may consider starting a garden. I have an outdoor garden and I also use my Lettuce Grow Farmstand to grow fresh fruits and vegetables year round. Depending on where you live, blueberries are one of the best fruits to grow in a home garden, and you can do so easily with the ultimate guide to growing blueberries. Even though we all need other food groups, fruits and veggies should always take up the most space on our plates.