Meal Plan: How to Eat more Fruits and Vegetables
Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is part of an overall healthy diet. Fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients such as vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.
Choose a wide variety of fruits and vegetables
Because every fruit and vegetable contains a different array of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, choosing a variety of produce will help you get a wider range of nutrients.1,2 To help do this, each time you go to the supermarket choose a few different vegetables and fruits than you selected the last time you shopped.
Also, don’t forget that eating many fruits and vegetables when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding can help your baby accept these foods as they grow and develop.3 The more varied your diet, the more flavor exposure for your baby. In the short-term, this may lead to your baby being a less picky eater and more willing to try new foods. In the long-term, you’ll help your baby get off to a good start for a lifetime of healthy eating preferences.4
Eat all different color fruits and vegetables
Eat the rainbow! Give your body the mix of nutrients it needs by eating a variety of produce in a wide range of colors. Try dark leafy greens, brightly colored red, yellow, and orange vegetables and fruits – even white produce contain antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals! Aim to eat both raw and cooked fruits and veggies, which will help provide your body with different nutrients.
Trying something new each week will help expand your repertoire and keep things exciting and fresh.5
Tips for eating more fruits and vegetables
Some simple tips that may make all the difference in getting you and your family to increase your fruit and veggie intake include:
Keeping bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that you can throw in the microwave on short notice
Keeping bags of frozen cut up fruit for a refreshing snack to eat “as is” or to throw in a blender to make a quick smoothie
Keeping cut up fresh fruit and veggies in the refrigerator where everyone can see them and easily get to (not hidden in the fruit drawer)
Roasting a batch of veggies on Sunday to last the week
Recipe ideas for your little one to enjoy more vegetables and fruit
It’s sometimes tough to figure out creative and delicious ways of getting more produce into your little one’s diet. Here are some recipe ideas to help integrate more nutrition into your baby and toddler’s diet:
Make sure you offer the above recipes in a texture, consistency, and size your little one can handle.
Our team of registered dietitians and lactation specialists are also available from Monday – Friday 8 am – 6 pm (ET) to help with more ideas, tips, and tricks for increasing your and your family’s veggie and fruit intake.
Meal and snack ideas to help eat more fruits and vegetables
Choosing meals and snacks from the below listed options will help you consume foods that will increase your dietary fruit and vegetable intake, while enhancing the quality of you and your baby’s diet.
Option 1: Cottage cheese and cantaloupe
Option 2: Whole grain toast with smashed avocado, sliced tomato, and a sprinkle of sesame seeds and seasoning
Option 3: Egg muffins: combine 6 scrambled eggs, chopped veggies like peppers and spinach, and cheddar cheese. Divide into a greased 12-muffin pan and bake at 350 degrees in a for 20-22 minutes. Add a slice of whole grain toast and piece of fruit.
Option 4: Baked apple (bake cored apple at 350 degrees for 15 minutes), top with toasted oats and yogurt
Option 5: Vegetable omelet (red pepper, spinach, onion, mushroom) topped with sliced avocado served with an orange on the side
Option 1: Tropical Salad: Spinach topped with grilled chicken, matchstick carrots, mango slices, cashews, avocado, and shaved, unsweetened coconut
Option 2: Whole grain pasta tossed with grilled summer squash and bell peppers, tossed with fresh pesto and served with apple slices on the side
Option 3: Whole grain pita with mashed avocado or hummus spread, filled with roasted red peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and slice of pepper jack cheese. Served with grapes on the side
Option 4: Vegetable bean soup (low sodium if packaged) served with baked kale chip “crackers”
Option 5: Cooked farro tossed with chopped carrots, tomatoes, red onions, yellow and green peppers, feta cheese, and Greek olives, with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper on a bed of mixed greens. Orange slices and raspberries on the side
Option 1: Tofu stir fried with snap peas, water chestnuts, peppers, and scallions served over brown rice
Option 2: Grilled steak, steamed green beans with slivered almonds, and baked sweet potato wedges
Option 3: Whole grain pasta tossed with grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant, with garlic and olive oil
Option 4: Sautéed shrimp over green and yellow zucchini noodles, sautéed with red and green peppers, onions, and tomato sauce
Option 5: Baked sweet potato topped with pulled BBQ chicken or pork with mixed vegetable salad
Option 1: Frozen banana treat: Slice banana in half lengthwise and spread with nut butter; wrap in parchment paper, and freeze
Option 2: Hummus with carrots, celery, and cucumbers
Option 3: Greek Yogurt and fruit parfait: Plain Greek yogurt layered with berries and topped with nuts
Option 4: Packaged mixed frozen fruit slices – strawberries, peaches, mango, or cherries. Pour in a bowl and eat partially frozen for a sorbet like consistency
Option 5: Cottage cheese with sliced peaches
We know parenting often means sleepless nights, stressful days, and countless questions and confusion, and we want to support you in your feeding journey and beyond.
Our Happy Baby Experts are a team of lactation consultants and registered dietitians certified in infant and maternal nutrition – and they’re all moms, too, which means they’ve been there and seen that. They’re here to help on our free, live chat platform Monday - Friday 8am - 6pm (ET).Chat Now!
Read more about the experts that help write our content!
For more on this topic, check out the following articles:
Our meal plans offer recipe and meal suggestions. They are not designed to replace your doctor’s recommendations, nor do they take into account special nutritional needs, including allergies and intolerances. The meal plans suggest serving sizes that may or may not be appropriate for you. Please consult your doctor to determine what is best for you and your child.