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19 Easy Ideas for Adding Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet
by Jill Weisenberger, M.S., R.D., C.D.E.

peppers multicolored

Adding fruits and vegetables to your diet can be as simple as tossing in some extra ones here and there. Not only will this add nutrition to your classic recipes, but it can make them lighter, reducing calories and fat per serving.

Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing. What other ones do you have?

  • Lower the calories and punch up the nutrition of your pasta and potato salads by tossing in broccoli florets, carrot slices, red pepper strips or chopped cucumber. Do the same with casseroles and lasagnas, while decreasing the amount of cheese.
  • Toss green beans, eggplant or zucchini into spaghetti sauce or stews.
  • Use spaghetti squash instead of pasta.
  • Add fresh or frozen vegetables to canned soups.
  • Thicken chili and stews by adding mashed white beans to the liquid.
  • Add white beans to tuna salad, red beans to pasta salad and grapes or apples to chicken salad.
  • Top grilled chicken or fish with jarred salsa.
  • Perk up green salads with raisins, dried cranberries, pineapple chunks, apple slices, strawberries or pears.
  • Make an unusual salsa with mangoes, avocados, red onions, cilantro and lime juice.
  • Add a variety of dried fruit to trail mix.

JILL WEISENBERGER, M.S., R.D., C.D.E., is a registered dietitian with National Clinical Research—Norfolk, in Virginia, and a consultant to the food industry with Jill Weisenberger Health Communications LLC.


Last updated and/or approved: September 2010.
Original article appeared in spring 2007 former print magazine. This health-care information is not meant as individual advice. Please see our disclaimer.
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