Mix up your plate, and get saucy with fruit!
In our last post, we shared the USDA’s MyPlate, a helpful tool for balancing calories and portions while reminding us to increase our veggie intake by making half our plate consist of fruits and vegetables. Fruits and vegetables are filled with vitamins, minerals, and fiber, and are low in calories and fat, packing nutrition into your plate, and your diet. The ADA (American Dietetic Association) advises making 2 cups of fruit, and 2.5 cups of vegetables a daily goal.
One fun way to start adding more vegetables into your diet is to use the ADA’s approach and “Color Your Plate with Salad.” This technique provides creative ways to add a colorful side dish or main course to any meal. Combining vegetables, fruits, and beans allow for an endless variety of interesting meal options for people of all ages. The ADA recommends mixing and matching one or more of the ingredients from their list, providing constant variation in flavor, texture, and color.
If salad isn’t your thing, no fear! There are many other creative ways to add more fruits and vegetables to your plate. Starting with breakfast, we have used some guidance from the ADA on how to build a healthy filled with fruits and vegetables.
- Mix up a smoothie with low-fat milks, frozen strawberries, and bananas.
- Stuff an omelet with broccoli, squash, carrots, pepper, tomatoes, onions, and some low-fat cheese.
- Add fruit to your morning oatmeal, cereal, yogurt, or pancakes.
- Get saucy with fruit! Puree apples, berries, peach in a blender for a sweet sauce on waffles and pancakes
- Give your sandwiches an added punch with pineapples, apples, peppers, and cucumbers as fillers.
- Make a veggie wrap with roasted vegetables and low-fat cheese wrapped in a whole-wheat tortilla.
- As a side, try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing for dipping.
- Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
- Add fruit to your grill. Pineapples, peaches, and bananas on the grill make for excellent, flavorful kabobs
- Pile on tomatoes, mushrooms, spinach (the list is endless) to give pizza more variety and the extra nutrients to make your plate a healthy one.
And of course, guilt free dessert is as easy as slicing a banana lengthwise and topping with a scoop of low-fat yogurt.
How do add pizzazz to your plate? Let us know in the comments!