September is national Fruits & Veggies – More Matters month! During this month, everyone is encouraged to make a special effort to get the recommended servings of fruits and vegetables each day. According to the Fruits & Veggies – More Matters website, over 90 percent of adults and children don’t eat the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. Um.. wow! Ninety percent is a lot!
One of the main reasons many of us don’t get enough is because our lives are fast-paced, and most of us tend to eat on the go. Since fruit and vegetables usually require some degree of extra effort when preparing meals, and are sometimes unavailable when we eat out, they’re usually the first thing to get left out when we’re in a rush. I know how hard it is to get enough fruit and vegetables everyday, especially when you’re busy! But here are a few ideas to help you out:
- Buy easy-to-pack fruit like oranges, apples, etc. so that you can have fruit to take with you when you’re on the go.
- Also try buying dried fruit next time you shop. (All fruit, whether it’s dried, frozen, fresh or in juice, counts toward your daily serving requirements!) And dried fruit is great because it doesn’t spoil as quickly as fresh fruit. So even if you don’t have time to get to the store as often as you’d like. Dried fruit can also be sprinkled over cereal in the morning, which takes a few extra seconds, but gets you that much closer to the recommended servings of fruit and veggies per day.
- Keep a bag of frozen fruit in your freezer. My roommates and I like frozen peaches! They’re actually GOOD! 🙂 They’re also a quick, refreshing snack in the summer and are low calorie as well. Does it get any better?
- Smoothies and juices are also a great way to get extra servings of fruit (and even vegetables). If you don’t have time to fix a big breakfast or lunch at home, choose to grab a smoothie or fruit juice when you do stop for a snack. You can down it in the car without having to stop to sit down and eat.
- Pile on the veggies when you make or order a sandwich! This might require a mere extra five seconds… (which I would bet even the busiest people probably can afford) 🙂
- Bring a V8, V8 Splash, or another vegetable juice with you to replace your usual soda or snack while you’re at work. You could even bring a veggie juice to have at lunch. And many vegetable juices are available in a diet or low calorie option as well.
This month is a great time for all of us to pay extra attention to our nutrition and eating habits. Eating more fruits and veggies is one of the most important parts of maintaining a well-balanced diet. Make a special effort this September and let us know how it goes!