by Julia Langer
Picture this — you’re on your weekly grocery trip, you throw some produce into your cart, and tell yourself you will definitely eat it and there’s no way it’s going to go bad this time. Two weeks pass, and you find old rotten vegetables in your fridge.
We all want to get our fruits and vegetables. Until we’re standing in the kitchen with the choice between an apple and potato chips. Chances are most of us would gravitate towards the chips, leaving our produce to rot in the back of the fridge. But there are ways to solve this.
Here are five fun tricks that make eating healthy produce fun:
Eat the rainbow in a week
There are seven colors in the rainbow (ROYGBIV) and seven days in the week. This is the perfect opportunity to quite literally taste the rainbow. On Monday, eat a red fruit or vegetable (bonus points for both), on Tuesday something orange, and so on. The color of fruits and vegetables all offer different health benefits, too! Not only is this an aesthetically pleasing challenge, but it also provides you with a wide variety of vitamins and minerals.
Eat the alphabet over the month
This long-term challenge helps you set some future goals. On the first day of a month, eat a fruit or vegetable that starts with the letter “a.” On the second day, eat produce that starts with the letter “b” and so on for 26 days. Besides encouraging you to eat at least one fruit or vegetable for almost an entire month, this challenge will bring you out of your comfort zone, and require you to try some new foods.
Try something new from each section
In the produce section of the store, there are always subsections (melons, greens, root vegetables, etc.). Next time you go to the store, challenge yourself to try a new item from one of these areas. When you go back the following week, try something new from another section. This is a great way to expand your palate without breaking the bank.
One of the most delicious ways to enjoy fruits and vegetables is by dipping them in something yummy. Mix and match dips and sauces with different fruits and vegetables to find tasty combos you may have never thought of before. A few suggestions to get you started include apples and grapes with vanilla yogurt or cucumbers with tzatziki. Don’t be afraid to switch things up and throw in some variations of classic dips. For example, try brownie batter hummus or pumpkin spice hummus to branch out of your comfort zone. Don’t knock it ‘till you try it!
Twice a week, swap out your usual side with a fruit or vegetable
If you want to increase your produce intake but all of the previous challenges sound a little too daunting or unrealistic, make small changes! Twice a week, switch out your go-to side (ex. chips, fries) with a fruit or vegetable. As you get comfortable incorporating produce sides into your week, increase your goal to three or four days. After that, try adding a vegetable to your dinner or fruit to your breakfast once or twice a week. Big changes come from small steps.
There are an endless amount of fruits and vegetables to try and enjoy. Whether you follow one of our challenges or just throw a whole piece of fruit into your lunch bag, as long as you’re taking care of your body, there’s no wrong way to do it!