Eating fruits and vegetables regularly is absolutely critical for overall health and energy. We all know that. But here are a few extra pointers that we thought you might find useful.
- Best practice for cleaning fruits & veggies: Soak in water with vinegar! A study done by Cook’s Illustrated tried four techniques – washing with soap, scrubbing with a brush, rinsing with water, and soaking or spraying with 3 parts vinegar, one part water, followed by a water rinse. The results: Soap? Don’t do it, because you don’t want to ingest it. Both scrub brushing and rinsing removed around 85% of bacteria. And the vinegar method removed 98%!
- Best balance of fruits & vegetables: Go with color variety! If you get a good dose of dark greens, and balance it out with other great colors, believe it or not, this is a great rule of thumb for what our bodies need. Try eating fruits & vegetables every meal for about half of what you eat. And no, potatoes don’t count!
- Best way to eat fruit more often: Leave it out! Simply enough, if your fruit is in a place where you’ll see it all the time, you’ll want to eat it more often. Fill a lovely looking bowl and put it on your table or kitchen counter. We tried this and were amazed at how much more often the kids wanted to eat fruit.
- Best approach to including veggies in cooking: Good recipes! Get a couple of great vegetarian cookbooks, or find recipes online. If your husband absolutely must have his meat, you can always add it to the recipe, but keeping the heart and soul of the dish the vegetables makes sure there’s a good amount and balance.
- Best way to get kids to eat fruit: Cut it up! Slice up those apples and they’ll disappear. Cut oranges into wedges and the kids will jump on the opportunity to put them in their mouths. The other nice thing about serving fruit sliced is it’s less wasteful – most kids won’t finish a whole apple by themselves.
- Bananas – the amazing fruit. The great thing about bananas – besides being so darn good for you – is that they come with their own case, and kids love them! Entire countries in Africa subsist off of bananas as their primary food item. And they’re easy to pack on the run if you get banana keepers.
- Best snack items. Stay away from cookies, crackers and junk food. Fruits and veggies can make fantastic snacks if cut up into nice portions. For more filling snacks add some raw nuts.