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Springtime is here! What a great time to focus on eating more fruits and vegetables. Instead of thinking about the foods we should limit, we can focus on which foods to eat more often. We can improve our eating habits by “overcrowding” daily meals with goodness. For example, by increasing fruit and vegetable intake at every meal, less healthy foods will naturally be reduced as they are “crowded out” by healthy foods that really satisfy.

Eating a variety of types and colors of fruits and vegetables is important to give your body the nutrients it needs. Fruits and vegetables are loaded with disease-fighting nutrients that are vital for achieving and maintaining good health. Fill half your plate with colorful fruits and vegetables at each meal and aim for 5 or more servings every day. Remember, fresh, frozen, canned, and dried: fruits and vegetables are a delicious way to make every bite count!

5 Ways to Brighten Your Meals with Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Try these tips to boost your fruit and vegetable intake:

1. Start your day the fruit and veggie way

  • Add veggies to your eggs
  • Spread avocado on your toast instead of butter or jelly
  • Top your oatmeal with fresh fruit
  • Have a side of fruit along with your regular breakfast

2. Seek Out Spring Veggies like these:

  • Artichokes are delicious and very filling because they’re rich in fiber. Try replacing the typical butter dipping sauce with one made with Greek yogurt and garlic or mint and chives or a Dijon vinaigrette made with olive oil.
  • Asparagus supplies many nutrients like fiber, folate, and the antioxidants vitamin E, lutein, and beta carotene.
  • Fresh spring peas are rich in iron and the antioxidants beta carotene and lutein.
  • Radishes are a member of the cruciferous family of vegetables that includes broccoli and kale, which contain compounds that may help protect against certain cancers.

3. Make fruits and veggies the main dish instead of the side dish.

  • This is a great way to maximize fruit and vegetable intake. Simply shift typical main dishes such as fish, meat, or pasta to a small portion of the plate and load up the remaining portion of the plate with fruits and vegetables.

4. Eat colorful meals.

  • Brighten up meals by ensuring they have colors of the rainbow. For example, add color to a cheese pizza with spinach, peppers, eggplant, and/or tomatoes, or add color to a bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, strawberries, and/or apples.

5. Add more natural sweets to meals.

  • Eat more naturally sweet, healthy foods, such as carrots, apples, and sweet potatoes, to satisfy a sweet tooth. The more natural sweetness that is incorporated in daily meals, the less likely there will be intense sugar cravings for unhealthy sweets, such as candy, cookies, and cake.