Including fruits and vegetables in your daily snacks is a great way to ensure you eat the recommended 5 servings per day. Use the following snack ideas to get you started:
- Cut-up fruit and vegetables are a great snack consideration. Eat them as is or include some kind of dipping sauce. Prepare this snack before heading out the door, or buy prepackaged items, such as sliced apples.
- Keep dried fruit and nuts in your desk or file drawer for quick and easy midmorning or midafternoon snacks.
- Keep your snacks fresh and interesting by combining fruits of different flavors, such as cherries and apples, or blueberries with pears.
- Snack on a fresh apricot – skin and all. Your taste buds will savor the mild sweet taste, while your body will benefit from nutrients like beta-carotene, which converts to vitamin A in the body and helps protect the eyes, skin and hair.
- Combine cottage cheese with Artisan Organics peaches and/or nectarines. You’ll not only get a serving of fruit, but also a calcium boost!
- For a satisfying and healthy snack, dip Stemilt apples into peanut butter as is, or mix it up with a drop of honey.
- For a quick, take-along snack, try dried cherries, raisins, apricots and others.
- Keep it simple by eating a whole apple or pear for your afternoon snack. Both are rich in fiber and may keep you feeling full until dinner time!
- Pair your favorite Stemilt apple or pear variety with cheese and crackers for a tasty-yet-filling snack.
- If you’re in the mood for something sweet and salty, try eating an apple or pear with your favorite type of nut (almonds and pistachios are great choices).
Breakfast is the most important meal of the day for a reason – it revs up the metabolism, providing you with the energy you need to feel good throughout the day. Read through these tips to learn ways to add good-for-you fresh fruits and veggies to your breakfast plate:
- Wake up with Stemilt fruit! Add sliced cherries, blueberries, nectarines or apples to your morning cereal or oatmeal.
- Stock fresh apples, pears and other fruits in your fridge for those mornings when you’re running late. Don’t skimp on eating breakfast – it helps get your metabolism going.
- Start the day with a 12 oz glass of 100% fruit juice. This counts as two fruit servings and puts you well on your way to more.
- For citrus fans, oranges and grapefruit are a great way to get a dose of fruit in the morning. Eat them fresh or squeeze into a juice.
- Don’t forget the veggies in the morning! Combine eggs, bell peppers and other veggies into healthy omelets to quickly feed the whole family.
- If you start the day with exercise, be sure to get something in your stomach before you set out. Bananas are great for potassium, while quercetin in apples can help keep your immune system high.
- Combine cottage cheese with sliced Stemilt pears or peaches. This is a great way to “hide” fruit in something that kids will eat.
- Fruit or veggie smoothies are a great way to get fuel for the day. Make them at home or stop by your local smoothie shop. Add a scoop of protein powder for an extra boost!
- Challenge yourself to combine several important food groups into your breakfast. For instance, eat a whole-wheat English muffin with egg and cheese for carbs, dairy and protein, then finish up with a serving of your favorite Stemilt fruit.
Lunch and Dinner Ideas
The potential for adding fruits and vegetables to these two important meals are endless. We’ve got tips for brown bag lunches, side dishes and even a fun take on a classic dinner:
- Add fruit and vegetables to your brown-bag lunch. Carrot sticks, freshly sliced pears and bell pepper slices are all easy to pack and full of nutrition.
- Slice fruit onto your sandwich! You’ll be surprised at how tasty a ripe pear sliced onto a ham and cheese sandwich can be. Plus, a peanut butter and sliced apple sandwich will win favor with the kids.
- Toss your choice of fresh fruit with lettuce, nuts and a gourmet cheese. Pears, blue cheese and pecans make for a great salad combination.
- Grill different types of fruit on bamboo skewers for a healthy side dish. Pineapple and soft fruits like peaches and nectarines are great choices for grilling.
- Believe it or not, sweet potatoes are rich in antioxidants. Cut them into fry shapes, and then toss with olive oil, your choice of spices (curry and paprika work great) and bake at 350 until they are slightly soft.
- Add crunch and color to pasta or potato salad with sliced bell peppers, broccoli florets, carrot slices or cucumber.
- Enjoy a new spin on a classic dish! Sauté sliced Stemilt apples (without peel) and onions together until caramelized. Use the mixture as a “topping” for broiled or baked pork chops.
- Eat sandwiches or wraps that include several vegetables, such as mushrooms, tomatoes, sprouts, green peppers, cucumbers or other raw vegetables.
- One night a week, skip the starch (potatoes, bread, pasta) during dinner and make a fresh fruit salad instead. Use yogurt instead of whipped topping for added nutrition.
- Get creative by combining fruits and vegetables into a healthy soup. For instance, roasted butternut squash and pears can be found in many fall soup recipes. The best part? Soup goes a long way, which means you could have it for dinner one night, and lunch the next day!
Dessert may not be the first meal you think of when the word “healthy” comes to mind, but that doesn’t mean you can’t add in fresh fruits to help satisfy those sweet cravings. The following ideas are great for getting a serving of fruit in several common desserts:
- Combine apple slices with peanut butter and honey for a tasty, high-protein dessert.
- Use applesauce or apple butter as an alternative to real butter when baking your favorite cookies.
- Heat up baked apples with caramel and cooked oats for a healthy spin on apple crisp.
- For dessert, try fresh fruit, such as cut-up melon, fresh strawberries or raspberries.
- Eat a cup of your favorite Stemilt cherry variety shortly before you go to sleep. Not only are they delicious, but cherries contain melatonin, a natural hormone that helps regulate sleep patterns.
- Indulge with a delicious peach smoothie. Simply blend 2 cups of peeled, pitted and diced Artisan Organics peaches, a cup of vanilla ice cream, 1/2 cup of low-fat milk and a tablespoon of lemon juice. Pour and serve!
- Enjoy a classic dessert – poached pears with red wine reduction drizzled on top.
- Top off a bowl of frozen yogurt or low-fat ice cream with berries or sliced fresh fruit. They add flavor and texture.
- Make a healthy fruit trifle by layering several different fruits between low-fat whip cream or cool whip.
- Make fresh fruit popsicles for a kid-friendly dessert. Simply pick your favorite fruits, place them in a popsicle tray with water and freeze until hard. Check out a recipe for Cherry Lime Popsicles on our blog, The Stem.