Not getting enough fruit in your diet? Time to get creative

For some of you, fruit is an easy addition to your day. I’m not so lucky. I struggle to make sure I’m eating enough fruit. So I’ve had to get creative.

I make fruit convenient to eat, I sneak it into recipes, or I spice it up.

And it’s worth the trouble: Fruit is chock full of vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and it’s essential to a healthy diet.

How much fruit should you be eating every day?

Hilo 7It depends on your age and gender. Women 19 to 30 years old and men should be eating about 2 cups of fruit a day. Women over 30 should be getting about 1 1/2 cups daily.

If you’re not in the habit of carrying a measuring cup around, I’ve made a list of how much of different fruits make up a 1/2 cup serving.

You could also use the “five a day” rule of thumb. With fruit, more is better.

Now that you know how much fruit you need, it’s time to start thinking about how to make sure you’re getting it. Here are a few things I do to make sure I’m getting enough fruit:

Make fruit bite-sized. If it’s easy to eat, you’re more likely to eat it. Consider making a big fruit salad that you can keep in your fridge for a few days. Mix apples, bananas, pears and grapes with acidic fruit like oranges, pineapple or lemon juice to keep the salad fresh.

Pineapple 1Sneak fruit in where you can. For example, did you know you can use applesauce or canned pumpkin (technically a fruit!) as a fat-free substitute in cakes or cupcakes?

Make fruit the star of your dish. There are lots of yummy recipes whose primary ingredient is fruit. Baked apples, for example. Or, banana ice cream. Want a really simple, easy treat? Freeze grapes. No cooking required.

Go for the good stuff. Not all fruit is created equal. Go for the fresh stuff, and you won’t be disappointed. Consider shopping at a farmers market, or see if a local farm in your area allows you to pick your own. Better yet, consider growing your own.

shawndraShawndra Holmberg writes about small things we can all do to live a healthier lifestyle. And she believes weight loss is a journey not a destination. Like any journey, weight loss has switchbacks, reduced speed zones, blind curves ahead, and a few fast lanes (yes, even on the Big Island). She also believes that a successful journey begins with small steps. Connect with Shawndra on Facebook or check out her blog.


One comment

  • I used to not eat lunch. Then I started buying lunch. That proved expensive and not particularly healthy. So what do I do for lunch now? I bring an orange or an apple, and that’s lunch. Just about the right amount to keep me going through the afternoon until dinner.


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