There are now 18 restaurants and convenience stores in Franklin County offering Fit Pix choices. The Fit Pix project makes sure customers can choose to eat more fruits and vegetables when dining out or grabbing snacks and lunch on the go. Each of us has the opportunity to follow Fit Pix guidelines and incorporate them into our menu planning and purchases at home too. Here are some ideas for adding more fruits and veggies to every meal.
Boost Your Breakfast
- Breakfast gives you energy to start your day and boosts your metabolism. Stir berries, dried fruit or banana slices into yogurt or cereal or on top of nut butter on toast. Make a smoothie with one cup almond milk, ½ cup berries, ½ a banana and handful of spinach for easy breakfast on the go that provides 3 servings of fruits and veggies.
- Add peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms or onions to your eggs for a delicious omelet or pile the whole scramble on your favorite bread, tortilla, or bagel for a booster breakfast sandwich.
- Don’t have time for breakfast? Grab an apple, peach, banana, or orange and enjoy it on your way to work.
Be a Sneaky Chef
- Shred or grate fruits and vegetables or puree them and see how creative you can get with your favorite recipes. Grated zucchini and carrots do wonders for turkey burgers, meatloaf, pancakes, muffins, and marinara sauce.
- Puree cooked cauliflower, winter squash, or red peppers and stir them into sauces, mashed potatoes, pot pies, or even mac and cheese.
Don’t Skip the Snack or Dessert
Snacks have gotten a bad rap. A healthy snack can help you curb hunger throughout the day and provide energy and important nutrients. Make all of your snacks revolve around fruits and vegetables. Stock your countertops, pantries, refrigerator (at home and work), desk, car, and purse with some fresh or dried fruits & veggies.
- Freeze grapes and bananas for a super satisfying, pop-able delight. For an added yum-factor, dip half a banana in a small amount of antioxidant-rich dark chocolate.
- Desserts tend to be regarded as a sweet treat for special occasions only. But a fruit-based dessert has the ability to offer a light, refreshing, naturally-sweet ending to a satisfying meal with the added bonus of an extra serving of fruit.
- Recreate the Chip by using kale, mustard greens, collard greens… crunch and munch away on our delightful twist on greens: http://www.myrecipes.com/recipe/garlic-roasted-kale.
- Pack pre-cut fruit and veggies into snack-size bags for perfectly-portioned munchies. Keep them eye level in the fridge for easy access. Whip up a delicious dip and turn those healthy crudités into party food.
- Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the counter at home or on your desk for a satisfying quick fix to hunger.
Start with Salad
Salads have the potential to be a healthy habit gold mine, rich in fruits, vegetables, and nutritional value if made with dark green leafy beds of greens with colorful, crunchy toppings. Skip the iceberg lettuce, bacon and creamy ranch dressing.
- Start one meal a day with a small salad. Get creative. One cup of leafy greens + 1/2 cup of fruit or veggie toppings = 2 servings. A few splashes of a good, heart-healthy canola or olive oil based dressings can do wonders to that bed of greens: http://www.wholefoodsmarket.com/recipe/spinach-and-strawberry-salad.
- Supersize your salad. Just think of the possibilities of an entrée-sized salad. One cup of leafy greens is a serving. Pile on healthy toppings because every 1/2 cup of chopped fruits and vegetables is another serving. You can easily get half of your daily fruits and vegetables packed into one glorious salad.