Winter 5-a-Day Shortcuts That Make it Easy to Eat More Fruits and Veggies

eat more fruits and veggiesDuring the winter, when the last thing that you want is a cold green salad to make up your entire meal, it seem as though healthy dieting can be a lot harder to accomplish. As fruits and veggies make up a vital part of nutritious eating, and are also a critical component to any proper effort to lose weight, the winter can present a notable challenge when you’re not enjoying as many fruit platters and vegetables that are fresh off the farm.

The USDA recommends that half of the plate at each meal should be taken up by fruits and veggies, and that at least five servings per day should be consumed. But how do you do that when you are facing the winter blahs, and those heavy meals full of gravies and cheese, and those holiday treats filled with fats, salts, and sugars, look far more appealing than anything in the produce aisles?

The trick is to know what you’re craving and to make sure that your fruits and veggies satisfy those needs. Use the following tips to help you to get more fruits and vegetables into your daily diet without making it feel like work:

• Choose heartier veggies – sweet potatoes and different kinds of squash are great examples of veggies that are hearty, flavorful, and satisfying, without having to add a lot to enhance them. Mashed sweet potato, all on its own, can add richness to many meals. Slices of squash that have been baked and very lightly basted in maple syrup with a touch of balsamic vinegar and a light sprinkling of nutmeg can provide all of the sweetness and richness of a dessert, but without having to use very much syrup at all!

Tweak your dips – one of the most common types of foods to serve when you have guests over during the winter is dips. They taste great with fruits and veggies, but their traditional recipes are too fatty to be right for your healthy diet. Instead of regular mayonnaise as the base, use low fat, and replace your sour cream with low fat plain yogurt. This will turn your dips into a tasty delight that will encourage you to eat more veggies and fruits, but without spiking your calories at the same time.

Choose bright colors – the more colorful the meal, the more appealing it will be. If you stir fry green, red, and yellow peppers, it will be a feast for the eyes even before it is a feast for your pallet. Your dinner – including its veggies – will taste even better when it looks appealing.

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