On the face of it, it should be easy to eat healthy during the summer. Farm stands, farmers’ markets, and even ordinary grocery stores are filled with lovely, fresh produce that tastes as good as it looks. Getting your daily requirements of fruits and vegetables should be easy, but often it’s not. It can be all too simple to avoid cooking dinner by picking something up on the way home — a something that typically doesn’t fall into the fruit and veggie category.
There is one thing you can do to make it more likely that you will eat all of those fruits and veggies that you buy: As soon as you get them home, spend 30-60 minutes preparing them. If something is easy to eat (or toss into a recipe) you are more likely to do it. I’m far more likely to eat a big salad for dinner if the lettuce is already washed and torn (you can store it loose in the crisper drawer lined with a damp tea towel) and the other veggies (peppers, carrots, cucumbers, radishes, etc.) are already washed and trimmed. I can just toss stuff into a bowl (maybe with some leftover grilled meat), and it’s dinner or a workday lunch.
I’m more likely to grab fruit as a snack if the strawberries are washed and hulled or if the watermelon is cut into easy to manage slices. Cutting fruits and veggies into snack sizes and placing them within reach in the fridge might encourage kids to grab some as they go by.
Don’t discount the freezer either. On a hot summer day, frozen grapes or cherries are a tasty and healthy cooling treat.
Looking for other ways to incorporate more fruits and vegetables?