Tips to Increase Your Fruit & Vegetable Intake

1. Add fresh produce to foods you already eat – like berries or bananas to yogurt & cereal; your favorite veggies to pasta, pizza, soups & casseroles; and spinach leaves, tomato, cucumber & onion to sandwiches; fresh strawberries or raspberries with peanut butter on toast (my favorite!)

2. Keep fruits/veggies easily accessible by pre-cutting (99% of nutrients remain for days) and keeping them ready to go in the fridge a. pre-made fruit salad: grab a scoop to toss over cereal, blend in a smoothie or mix with low fat yogurt in plastic container – breakfast to go! b. Keep pre-portioned veggies in baggies to grab on the run – keep in car, office fridge, school/gym bag

3. Make homemade vegetarian pizza with tomatoes, spinach, mushrooms, onions, sweet bell peppers or any other veggies (pizza can be topped with anything – get creative!), or if ordering pizza ask for triple veggies and skip the pepperoni!

4. Pack ready-to-eat fruits and vegetables for a convenient snack on the go, such as an apple, pear, banana, grapes or baby carrots (if you pack it, you’ll eat it!)

5. Eat dried fruit instead of candy (be aware: dried fruit calories can add up if weight loss is goal)

6. Make a smoothie by combining fruit (frozen berries, banana,) yogurt, juice and ice 7. Make homemade salsas/dips with tomatoes, mangoes, avocados, red onions, cilantro, & lime juice – enjoy with baked tortilla chips

7. Add bell pepper strips, broccoli florets, carrot slices, or cucumber to pasta salad or potato salad

8. Purchase pre-cut vegetable, fruits and salad mixes (convenience helps improve intake and research shows that very little nutritional value is lost)

9. Add apple chunks, pineapple or raisins to chicken or tuna salad.

10. When grilling, include vegetable in aluminum foil, or grill skewers of pineapple, eggplant, zucchini, or cherry tomatoes

11. Add fruit to your cold or hot cereal (sliced apples & cinnamon in oatmeal – yum!)

12. Try a new fruit or vegetable every week (get creative with new foods)

13. Choose juices whose labels claim: 100% fruit juice, or invest in a juicer and juice your own

14. Use bell peppers sliced in half as a pocket for tuna, salmon or egg salads – a nice change to bread and a good dose of nutrients to go with it.

Chris & Steve Parker are the founding members of FarParker your complete online recreational hockey resource destination. Find out more about your favorite hockey team in our forum section, we also have the best articles, blogs and games room on the net. If you like hockey, you will love FarParker “Life is Short, Park Wisely, Play Hard