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How to get 5+ fruit and veg into your daily diet

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So we know we’re supposed to eat 5+ servings of fruit and vegetables every day to ensure we get the vitamins, minerals and fibre necessary for a healthy diet. But if you’re currently doing just one serving (or even zero!) it can seem near impossible to fit in that much without entirely overhauling your eating habits.

Here are some quick and simple ways to get 5+ a day into your diet:

A basic plan to start you off

You know your eating routine better than anyone else, take a look at your daily eating habits and look at where you can insert the fruit and veg. It makes it easier if you think about adding one serving to each of your meals and snacks throughout the day. For example:

 Breakfast  Hot breakfast – Grilled tomatoes, mushrooms and/or asparagus.
Cereal/porridge – Chopped up fruit salad on top or on the side.
 Morning tea  1 piece large fruit (i.e. apple) or 2 pieces smaller fruit (i.e. mandarins).
 Lunch  Large side salad (should be half a dinner plate).
 Afternoon tea
 Handful of raw carrot or celery sticks with flavoured hummus dip.
 Dinner  Grilled or roasted tomato, capsicum, eggplant, carrots, courgettes with a little salt, pepper and your favourite herbs added (drizzle with a little olive oil).

If you don’t like the taste of vegetables

Often, fruit isn’t the problem when it comes to the 5+ a day – it’s the veges. Get creative and think of ways to ‘disguise’ your veges. Use herbs and spices to add flavour to them. Use your favourite low-fat dressing on salads and add ingredients that will make it more appealing than your average lettuce and tomatoes salad. For pasta sauces, you can cut or even blend up the veges so small and stir them in that you will barely notice them. Roughly slice up some spinach and chuck it in a lasagne or omelette… The options are endless!

Most people have some veges that are in the no-go zone. If you really don’t like particular veges, it’s okay; move on and find the ones that you do like.

One thing to remember is that many of us hate certain veges because of the way they’ve been presented to us in the past. Most veges seem pretty unappealing with no seasoning, no herbs, no spices and when they’re boiled until all the life has been drained from them! Think about how you can cook the same thing in different ways.

If you don’t have the time to prep veges

Don’t feel like you have to spend ages peeling, chopping, de-seeding and slicing vegetables. You don’t have to be dealing with fresh veges to get the benefits (they are usually snapfrozen pretty much straight from picking), so why not buy pre-packed frozen ones?

You can get many different kinds of stirfry mixes, or even get something more substantial like frozen corn cobs. The only preparation you have to do is open the pack so there are no excuses!

Photo / FreeDigitalPhotos.net – xedos4

Article brought to you by NZ Real Health

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