Sometimes healthy eating can seem restrictive, but here at the Food Bank, we’re big believers in a well-rounded diet with healthy foods that we genuinely enjoy. (And, of course, some treats. After all, one of our favorite days of the week is cookie Tuesday — remember, it’s all about balance).
Check out these healthy eating tips from our staff on how they incorporate fresh fruits and vegetables into their meals and snacks to have a balanced diet:
- I love fresh fruit for breakfast. I add it to whatever I’m having — cereal, oatmeal, yogurt, pancakes, or smoothies. I also like adding fresh bananas to my peanut butter toast.
- Add olive oil and taco seasoning when you’re roasting potatoes and sweet potatoes — it’s really tasty! After they’re roasted, I love combining them with black beans, tomatoes, corn, onions, peppers, cheese, and rice to create a Southwest bowl.
- I add fresh veggies to my grilled cheese sandwiches — mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, and spinach are a few of my favorites.
- Always plan a veggie side with each meal (my grandparents taught us that NO meal is complete without at least 2 sides to go with your main dish), and then use fruit as dessert.
- I love Italian dressing with green beans, summer squash, and zucchini. Salt & pepper or cheese dip for broccoli and cauliflower. Cinnamon on smashed sweet potatoes. Ranch or honey mustard for cucumbers and carrots
- Any snack during the day must be fruits or veggies but you can choose any dip you like with no limit.
- Every dinner (even pizza night) comes with a veggie side that has to be done before dessert. My aunt has always just raised us that veggies are part of every meal.
- We are meal planners, and our rule of thumb is either a fresh salad or one fresh veggie with all dinners.
- Less is more. We season our vegetables with olive oil, butter, salt, pepper.
- For our family of 3, we prep for a weeks’ worth of lunches on Sunday. We make up 15 snack size zip locks of fresh fruit and 15 sandwich size zip locks of veggies with dip. Celery & peanut butter, carrots & ranch, red peppers & dill dip, etc. It saves us time during the week to have them all made up ahead of time and allows us each more fresh fruits & veggies.
- We also have a container garden each year. It helps get our daughter engaged, and she loves to eat what we harvest.
- We almost always have a fruit or vegetable as a side dish. I’ve had spaghetti sauce that had cooked shredded carrots before that was delicious as well.
- I’m a big fan of butter, salt, and pepper.
- I always have some sort of fresh food available for my kids. I try to make sure it is easy for them to get and ready to eat. My youngest loves apples and Nutella!
- I like to season vegetables with minced garlic, olive oil and/or butter, and salt & pepper.
- We always have berries and melon with every meal!
AMANDA, Registered Dietitian
- Food is meant to be enjoyed! Have treats in moderation and really take the time to savor and enjoy them. Experiment to find ways to try new fruits and veggies in ways that can be enjoyed by you and your family.
- Eat breakfast to kick start your day! Take a quick snack on the go, like a cheese stick and a piece of fruit, oatmeal microwaved with a spoonful of peanut butter, a cup of milk or yogurt with a banana, scrambled eggs with veggies, or a peanut butter and banana sandwich.
- Watch your salt. Many canned veggies and beans have added sodium, but they still provide a lot of nutritional value. You can rinse them off to reduce the salt content. If you are cooking with these, try to season with spices instead of adding additional salt in your recipes.
- Eat the rainbow! Different colors in fruits and veggies you enjoy represent different kinds of vitamins and minerals. Try to get a variety each week. Most Americans do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. Working veggies into your main dish can make sure everyone gets their share. Try adding a veggie to soups, casseroles, pasta, sandwiches, and even fruit smoothies!