Spring is the Perfect Time to Put More Fruits & Veggies on Your Plate

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With rising costs of groceries, more processed foods on store shelves and a plethora of fast-food chains, it has become harder to eat with nature. Roughly over the past two decades, the number of adults consuming produce has decreased by 11%.

We all know fruits and vegetables are good for our health, but it can be hard to think of ways to incorporate them into our meals every day. The U.S. Dietary Guidelines recommend eating four-and-a-half servings of fruits and vegetables every day. Although this might sound like a lot, it really isn’t. One serving is about ½ cup, which is equivalent to how much you can hold in one cupped hand.

In honor of Eat More Fruits and Vegetables Day on May 21, here are a few ways you can incorporate more of these nutritious (and delicious) foods.

Choose one or two days a week to be a vegetarian.

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The Meatless Monday campaign was founded in 2003 to encourage people to adopt a plant-based diet. However, you don’t just have to go meatless on Mondays. You can have “meatless mornings,” or you can choose one meal a day that is plant-based, or even pick a couple of days a week to go vegetarian.

Take some time to plan what you want to cook for the week. When you have a plan for the produce in your house, you’re more likely to eat it. Although nutritious meal planning takes time, your body will thank you for it later.

For your next meatless dinner, we recommend these vegetarian enchiladas from Bon Appétit.

Don’t be afraid to use canned or frozen fruits and veggies.

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It’s a tale as old as time: You buy fresh fruits and vegetables thinking you’re going to prepare them during the week. Then one night, your friend asks you out to dinner. Another night, you get tired and decide to order takeout or fast food. This cycle continues, and by the time you want to eat your produce the following week, it’s already spoiling.

In these situations, frozen and canned fruits and vegetables can be life savers. However, most of these can be high in sugar and sodium, so be sure to buy low-sodium or unsweetened versions. With canned foods, make sure to drain any liquid and then rinse off the excess sugar or sodium.

One of our favorite sites has collected recipes where frozen vegetables shine. Check them out on Delish.

When it comes to eating fruits and vegetables, have fun!

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Eat a vegetable you’ve never tried before. Experiment with different colors, flavors and textures that will brighten up your dish. The more color you have on your plate, the more nutrients your body will receive.

If you have family at home, gather them around the table for a taste test of different produce items and varying preparations. You can then have a vote and learn about each other’s tastes at the same time.

The next time you’re meal planning, you can find plenty of fruits and vegetables (fresh, canned and frozen) at your local Doris Italian Market.

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