The Ultimate Guide to Adding Fruits and Vegetables into Family Meals

Last updated on October 19th, 2023 at 10:03 pm

If you’re looking to infuse your family’s daily meals with an abundance of fruits and vegetables, you’ve come to the right place. As a parent, I understand the importance of providing wholesome and balanced meals that fuel our loved ones with the energy they need to thrive. I also totally understand that it’s not always easy to do. Sometimes our kids don’t want their fruits and veggies or they are going through a picky eating phase. That’s totally ok! It’s normal and we all go through it. That’s why I’m sharing these practical tips to getting your feel to eat more fruits and vegetables. 

A person chopping fresh cabbage on a cutting board with a sharp knife.

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your daily meals is a fantastic way to nurture and expand your children’s flavor palette. Not only do they provide essential vitamins and minerals, but they also add vibrant colors, flavors, and textures to your dishes. Trust me when I say that making this change doesn’t mean sacrificing taste or enjoyment; it’s about enhancing the overall dining experience and nurturing our bodies at the same time.

Tips to Sneak More Fruits and Veggies Into Your Diet

1. Get Creative with Smoothies

Smoothies are a fantastic way to introduce fruits and vegetables into your family’s diet, especially for picky eaters. Blend a variety of fruits like berries, bananas, and mangoes with leafy greens such as spinach or kale. You can also experiment with other vegetables by combining carrots, beets, and cucumbers with a touch of citrus for a refreshing and nutritious beverage.

A person pouring a vibrant green smoothie into glasses

2. Sneak Veggies into Sauces and Soups

If your family is not fond of visible vegetables, pureeing them and incorporating them into sauces and soups is a smart approach. Finely chop or blend vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, or carrots and add them to tomato-based sauces for pasta or pizza. Similarly, you can blend vegetables into soups, such as butternut squash soup or tomato bisque, for added nutrition without compromising taste. Most kids love soups especially in the colder months. 

3. Create Colorful Salads

Salads are a great way to showcase an array of vibrant fruits and vegetables. Encourage your family to experiment with different combinations and toppings. Include a variety of colorful vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, and carrots on a bed or arugula, spinach or kale. Boost the nutritional value by adding fruits like sliced apples, berries, or citrus. Top it off with a homemade dressing for a delicious and healthy meal. They may not try it at first but keep trying. Trust me it takes repetition but eventually kids will try a bite. 

4. Make Fruits and Vegetables the Star of the Dish

Instead of relegating fruits and vegetables to the sidelines, make them the focal point of your family’s meals. For example, prepare vegetable stir-fries with a colorful mix of bell peppers, broccoli, snow peas, bok choy and mushrooms. Roast a medley of root vegetables like sweet potatoes, carrots, and parsnips for a hearty and nutritious side dish. Experiment with fruit-based salads by combining watermelon, strawberries, feta cheese, and mint leaves for a refreshing summer treat.

A colorful assortment of freshly chopped vegetables including bell peppers, carrots, cucumbers, and tomatoes.

5. Incorporate Fruits and Vegetables into Baked Treats

Baked goods can be a sneaky way to include more fruits and vegetables in your family’s diet. Add mashed bananas or applesauce to muffin or bread recipes for natural sweetness and moisture. Consider incorporating grated zucchini or carrots into cakes or brownies for added nutrition. Not only will your family enjoy these delicious treats, but they will also benefit from the added vitamins and fiber. This is a personal favorite in my home. I love adding veggies to baked goods and using banana as a sweetener. 

6. Engage Your Family in Meal Planning and Preparation

Getting your family involved in meal planning and preparation can foster a positive attitude towards fruits and vegetables. Encourage your children to pick out their favorite fruits and vegetables at the grocery store or farmers’ market. Let them participate in washing, chopping, and cooking, which can make them more excited about eating what they helped create. If they’re still young and can’t reach the counter to help, investing in a toddler tower is something you won’t regret. 

7. Make Snacking Fun and Nutritious

Snacks are an excellent opportunity to incorporate more fruits and vegetables into your family’s daily routine. Keep a bowl of fresh fruit on the kitchen counter for easy access and visibility. Slice up vegetables like carrots, cucumbers, and bell peppers and serve them with hummus or yogurt-based dips. You can also make homemade fruit popsicles using pureed fruits, providing a refreshing and healthy treat for your family.

Three different colorful smoothies in glass jars placed on a kitchen counter, featuring vibrant mixture of fruits and vegetables.

Incorporating more fruits and vegetables into your family’s daily meals doesn’t have to be a daunting task. By trying a few or all of these practical and delicious tips, you can make healthy eating an enjoyable experience for your loved ones. Remember to be creative, involve your family in the process, and have fun experimenting with different flavors and combinations. Your efforts towards a healthier and more nutritious diet will not only benefit your family’s well-being but also create lasting memories around the dinner table. Start small, embrace the journey, and watch as fruits and vegetables become a staple part of your family’s daily meals.

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Remember: this post is for informational purposes only and may not be the best fit for you and your personal situation. It shall not be construed as medical advice. The information and education provided here is not intended or implied to supplement or replace professional medical treatment, advice, and/or diagnosis. Always check with your own physician or medical professional before trying or implementing any information read here.

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Welcome! It is so great to have you here. As a Certified Health Coach and Nutrition Consultant, my mission is to support you in achieving a healthy pregnancy. Whether you are ready to prepare your body for pregnancy, aiming for a smooth and healthy nine months, or seeking support in your postpartum recovery. I also help parents and their young children embrace nutritious eating and a healthy lifestyle. I provide practical advice and support to help you meet your goals: from getting your body ready for pregnancy, to enjoying a healthy pregnancy journey, and nurturing your children’s well-being. As a mom myself, I’ve gone through it and I understand your aspirations and the hurdles you might face. Let’s partner together to create a healthy journey into parenthood.