Fit in Fruits and Vegetables

Fruits and vegetables are full of nutrients that keep you healthy and help prevent cancer. Furthermore, since obesity is a significant risk factor for cancer, a diet that emphasizes plant-based foods helps you maintain a healthy weight.

Here are a few tips for adding healthy fruits and vegetables to your diet:

Learn what a serving looks like. You might be surprised that it doesn't take a Popeye-size can of spinach at every meal to get your daily fill. One serving is generally about the equivalent of a half cup.

Be creative. There are countless ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables into recipes.

  • Add them to stews, soups, pasta dishes, and omelets. You can include them in bite-size chunks or shred them so they are virtually indistinguishable in sauces or baked goods, for example. Some veggies, like squash, make a good thickening agent in other recipes.
  • Add veggies as toppings to your pizza or baked potato.
  • Add greens and other veggies to your sandwiches.
  • Add a variety of vegetables to your basic green salad.
  • Use leftovers to make other dishes. For example, turn tomatoes into salsa and fruit into a smoothie.
  • Add fresh fruit to your breakfast cereal or pancakes.

Make it fun. Your kids might turn their nose up at fresh celery. But when you add peanut butter and raisins to make kid-friendly ants on a log, you'll likely get a more positive response. Add a tasty dip with raw vegetables, or use them to create faces or pictures on other foods.

Make it easy. Keep fresh fruit and precut veggies readily accessible so they're easy to grab on the go or when you need a quick snack. Buy prepackaged salad greens and load up on veggie toppings at the salad bar. Keep frozen or canned products handy. The more convenient these foods are, the more likely you are to use them.

Have fruit for dessert. Bake apples with a bit of cinnamon and sugar and the neighbors will follow their noses to your front door.

Try new recipes. Tired of the same old dish? Put a new twist on it. There are thousands of recipes on the Internet, including recipes on Quality Health's website.  


Centers for Disease Control. "Fruits and Vegetables." Web. 22 September 2009. Web.

American Dietetic Association. "It's about eating right." Web.