Worried that your fruit and veg intake is barely hitting the 2-a-day mark? Fear not, Nutritionist Emma Brown from Nutracheck has got 7 easy hacks that will have you smashing at least 5 portions each day without fail.
Make fruit or veg in every meal non-negotiable
Every meal should include at least one portion of fruit or vegetables. Peanut butter on toast? Pop a chopped banana on top. Ham sandwich? Add a side salad or make it part of your sandwich filling.
Don’t dismiss frozen or tinned varieties
Stock up on frozen and tinned veg and fruit (in juice not syrup). This way you’ll always have a convenient back up on hand for adding portions to smoothies, soups or pasta sauces for example.
Cook from scratch
Preparing as many meals as possible from scratch is a great way to pack more veg into your diet. Make your own soups, stews and pasta sauces, ensuring you always include one extra veg option than the recipe suggests.
Keep your fruit bowl on display
Have a bowl of fresh and colourful fruit clearly visible in your home, and pop a post-it note on it saying “Eat me!”. Keeping fruit front of mind when you’re feeling peckish will hopefully mean it wins out over the bag of crisps in the cupboard.
Salad bowl starter or side? Genius!
Get into the habit of having a starter salad or side salad with your dinner each day. Bonus number 1 – you’ll be less likely to overeat your main meal. Bonus number 2 – you’ll have chalked up 1 of your 5-a-day before even starting dinner.
Prepare chopped fruit and vegetable sticks at the start of the week and store them in the fridge. The convenience of having fresh healthy nibbles on hand will increase the likelihood of you opting for these over a less nutritious snack choice.
All hail courgetti, cauli rice and boodles
Make the basis of your meals a vegetable instead of a starchy carb. Courgette ribbons instead of spaghetti; blended cauliflower florets in place of rice; spiralised butternut squash for “boodles” (not “noodles”!).