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How to Make Fruit and Vegetables More Exciting

By Jonathan Jenkins

How many times during childhood did we hear the words "Eat your vegetables!" How we wished we were all grown up and never had to eat the horrible things again. Unfortunately vegetables and fruit are a vital part of our daily diet. If you choose not to eat them you will undoubtedly feel unwell and will put on weight. Possibly the foremost reason for our dislike of vegetables is because we tend to overcook them, leaving them tasteless and soggy. This is the worst way to cook vegetables as you're taking all the goodness out of them. Ideally a person should try to eat between 5 - 10 servings of fruit and vegetables per day. Remember having that drummed in to you at school? Turns out they were actually right!

If you think 5 - 10 servings is rather a lot to consume in one day, let's look at what the size of a serving actually is. One serving is a medium sized piece of fruit or vegetable. That's one carrot or 1 apple or 1 banana equalling one serving. 5 or 10 of those don't sound quite so bad now does it?

A simple way of eating more fruit and veg is by cutting them up and storing them in a small freezer bag or sandwich bag. Prepare them the night before for use the next day. Buy a peeler and peel and cut up lots of different types of fruit or vegetables and store them in the plastic bags in the fridge. Maybe try some celery, carrots or an apple.

These cut pieces of fruit and veg are ideal to take into work to snack on. At coffee break have some of these healthy alternatives instead of chips from the vending machine. Keep a salt shaker handy at work. A little sprinkled on the veg will help bring out the natural flavour and make them more appetising. These are handy snacks you can take anywhere. If you're going on a long journey, take some along. Store some at work, at home in the fridge for when you feel peckish or want a snack late at night. A great way of getting lots of vegetables into your diet is soup. Be careful of the canned variety though as they often contain a lot of salt. Why not try making your own soup? A lot healthier as you'll also cut down on any unnecessary fat.

Another way of getting one serving of vegetables is by eating a small salad. If you're eating out try ordering a salad next time. Go easy on the salad dressing and just use vinegar and oil, using just enough oil to balance the acidic taste of the vinegar.

It's important to introduce as many fruit and vegetables to your diet as you possibly can. Eat them raw whenever you can as this is the most beneficial to your body. Also try and use fresh produce as sometimes the canning or freezing process can alter the taste and the goodness.

If you insist on cooking your vegetables then only blanch them slightly. Just for long enough to remove the hard, raw feeling and definitely don't overcook until they're limp and tasteless. This will take away all the nutrients and vitamins from the vegetables. Remember you're eating these to benefit your health, so don't waste your time and money making them worthless.

Try these ideas for increasing your fruit and veg intake.

Breakfast. Chop up some fruit and add to your cereal. Makes your cereal sweet tasting without adding sugar. Drink a glass of fruit juice with your breakfast. Juices are another good way of consuming more fruit. Try to use the juice with the 'bits' still in it as they're a great source of fibre.

Lunch. Eat lots of salads, but remember to go easy on the dressings. Having vegetable sticks with your meal will fill you up if you're hungry. Have a piece of fruit for desert, much better than ice cream or something even more fattening!

Dinner. Try meals that are vegetable based like vegetarian pizza or other non meat meals. How about some fish with lots of corn and green veg? Mix together your own personal favourites.

The key to eating lots of fruit and vegetables is to make them fun. If you make them bland and boring they won't seem appetising. Buy yourself a cookery book or look at some recipe websites and learn some new ideas for fruit and veg. make them exciting and you'll want to eat them and you'll soon notice a big difference in your health and well being.

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