Today is the first day of Spring. It has been a loooong time coming this winter but even with the slow start and the impending cold that they are telling us is coming in a few days, Spring has definitely started springing! This afternoon my sons and I ran around noticing all the signs of Spring around us—the different types of buds on the trees, the bulbs pushing their way out into the sun, the buttercups blooming, the greener tone in the grass. It was wonderful!
The change in seasons is also a time of change within us. We are staying up later as the sun stays up later. We are more eager to be outside. We are often increasingly social. Some of us start to get senioritis (or as I have decided it should really be called, Springitis, since it doesn’t just happen when you are senior in high school. Or maybe that’s just me…). It is also a time when we start to crave different foods. Instead of soups, stews, casseroles, and other hearty fare, we start to be more interested in salads, fruit, and other lighter fare, like grilling!
If you have been thinking about trying a healthier diet, this can be a great time to take the plunge! As we hear over and over again, at least half of our diet should be made up of fruits and vegetables. This is not the case for many of us. So if you know you should be eating produce, why not take advantage of the fact that your body is naturally inclined towards fruits and vegetables at this time of year and start trying to incorporate more of them into your diet? Here are some ideas on how to do that (and these work for kiddos, too):
- Make sure you are getting at least one serving of fruit or vegetable at every meal, evening breakfast.
- If you are already doing that, add another.
- If you are there, make sure that at least half of your food at each meal is a fruit or vegetable.
- Add a banana to your cereal at breakfast
- Mix a ¼ cup of dried fruit into your oatmeal
- Add frozen organic berries into your yogurt or granola
- Stir some veggies into your eggs
- Snack or breakfast on an apple with peanut butter
- Have a smoothie
- Pile your sandwich high with veggies
- Have a side salad
- Munch on fruit or veggies for snacks
- Veggie sticks and a healthy dip are your friend
- Even if there are veggies in your main entree, have a salad or side vegetable
- Mix veggies into your main entrée if they aren’t there (peas into mac ‘n cheese, extra veggies into marinara, etc.)
- If a recipe calls for veggies and it won’t mess up the ratio too much, double the veggies (for example, when I make marinara sauce or chili, I always double the amount of carrot and green pepper)
- Have a side or main course of veggie soup
- Fruit for dessert
How do you sneak more fruits and veggies into your diet?