Half My Plate, Really?
April 27, 2015 | Christine Hradek
It’s no surprise that healthy eating includes fruits and vegetables. In fact, MyPlate recommendations say we should make half of our plate fruits and veggies at each meal. For adults, that is about 2 ½ cups of vegetables and 2 cups of fruit per day. For children, 1 ½ cup of fruit and 1 ½ cup of veggies will meet their daily needs.
As you plan your week’s meals, this can seem overwhelming particularly if you have a picky eater at your house. Here are some tips to make fruits and veggies a fun part of every meal.
- Mix it up – choose a variety of fruits and vegetables to purchase each week. Fresh, canned and frozen varieties are all nutritious. When shopping for canned fruits, choose those packed in water as opposed to syrup. Here are some examples of fruit and veggie combinations that are $10 or less.
- Work veggies into your family’s favorites. Whether it is mac and cheese, pizza or chili, there is always room for a veggie boost.
- Add frozen mixed veggies or broccoli to macaroni during the last 3 minutes of cooking time.
- Top pizzas with spinach leaves, chopped tomatoes and peppers.
- Boost your chili’s flavor and nutrition with chopped peppers or grated carrots.
- Don’t forget about breakfast! Start your day off right with fruits and veggies.
- Serve fresh or canned fruit as a breakfast side dish, so quick and easy!
- Smoothies are a fun way to work fruit into breakfast that children tend to enjoy. Here is a recipe for tasty and easy fruit smoothies.
- For busy mornings, have breakfast ready in the freezer! Make Ahead Breakfast Burritos are ready in no time and they include veggies. Serve fruit on the side and you’re well on your way to a healthy day.
- We’re not far from the growing season here in Iowa. When fruits and veggies are in season in your area, they will likely be at their peak of flavor and lowest price.
For more tips on meeting your family’s fruit and veggie needs, check out this video!