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Start the Day Right: Eating Enough Fruit

Updated on April 25, 2015
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Are You Getting Your Five a Day?

Of course, we always knew that fruits and vegetables were important part of our nutrition, but then the government advised eating five servings a day. That's when it hit all of us that we were really shorting ourselves. We tried to squeeze more fruit and vegetables into breakfast, lunch and dinner.

(photo of mixed fruit by Virginia Allain)

It's hard if one of those meals was fast food. Does ketchup, pickles and onion on a burger count as a vegetable serving? If you are careless in the early part of the day, then it became difficult to make up with extra portions of fruit and vegetables with the evening meal. No, I don't want four servings of broccoli with my chicken.

Some days I'd be diligent about having a salad for lunch and an apple for my afternoon break at work.

Source

Graphic from Zazzle: Half Apple by nassosvakalis

Unfortunately our intake of fruits and vegetables varied widely from day-to-day. Then the government raised the bar again. Now it was five to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day. According to the Harvard School of Public Health, that's 2½ to 6½ cups per day. Since we were struggling trying to reach the five servings, this new guideline seemed even more unattainable.

Here's the solution that works for us. Now we find ourselves eating more fruits and vegetables daily and usually meeting our goals.

(photo by Virginia Allain)

Fruit Is an Important Part of Your Daily Foods

Look at the colorful fruits here: cantelope, strawberries, banana and blackberries.
Look at the colorful fruits here: cantelope, strawberries, banana and blackberries. | Source

That's when we decided to start eating fruit, lots of fruit, early in the day. If we got off to a good start with fruit for breakfast, then we were more likely to reach our goal.

First we made sure to have plenty of fresh fruit in the house and some canned fruit for back up. Every morning I fixed a large cereal bowl full of ready-to-eat fruit. The mix might look like this: sliced banana, green grapes, blueberries, sliced strawberries, and orange slices. It varied from day-to-day depending on what was in season and what we had on hand. The fruit bowl might include cantelope, sliced apples, canned pineapple chunks, watermelon, and even the pricey raspberries once in a while.

After eating our bowls of fruit, we had a serving each of yogurt with fruit in it. Now, no matter how the rest of the day went, we had a good start on our goal of eating more fruits and vegetables.

Eat Fruit in a Variety of Ways - Click on each photo to see it larger (photos by Virginia Allain)

Click thumbnail to view full-size
Apples make a great snack. Just grab one and start eating.A bowl of fruit starts the day off right.Go to a pick-your-own place for strawberries or blueberries.Turn an over-ripe banana into a healthy milkshake with skim milk.Apples and cranberries waiting for the crumble topping. Tonight's dessert.Pick wild fruit like blackberries.
Apples make a great snack. Just grab one and start eating.
Apples make a great snack. Just grab one and start eating.
A bowl of fruit starts the day off right.
A bowl of fruit starts the day off right.
Go to a pick-your-own place for strawberries or blueberries.
Go to a pick-your-own place for strawberries or blueberries.
Turn an over-ripe banana into a healthy milkshake with skim milk.
Turn an over-ripe banana into a healthy milkshake with skim milk.
Apples and cranberries waiting for the crumble topping. Tonight's dessert.
Apples and cranberries waiting for the crumble topping. Tonight's dessert.
Pick wild fruit like blackberries.
Pick wild fruit like blackberries.

Make a Pretty & Appetizing Fruit Salad - for breakfast

Make Sure Your Desserts Include Fruit Too

Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More
Rustic Fruit Desserts: Crumbles, Buckles, Cobblers, Pandowdies, and More

During the summer, with fruit readily available, I like to make blueberry crumble and sometimes strawberry-rhubarb crumble. It intrigued me to see some of these old-fashioned ways to turn fruit into a tasty dessert.

 

Keep Plenty of Fruit on Hand

Keep Plenty of Fruit on Hand
Keep Plenty of Fruit on Hand

Be Truthful, Do You Eat Fruit Every Day?

How Often Do You Eat Fruit

Dried Fruit Stores Well for Eating at the Office - available from Amazon

Dried Bananas, 5lb
Dried Bananas, 5lb

Dried fruit, like these banana chips, keep without refrigeration so you can stash them in your desk drawer.

The drying process causes the natural sugars to concentrate in the fruit making it taste sweeter.

 

What's Your Favorite Dried Fruit?

Vote in the Poll

See results

How Much Is a Serving?

Keep bananas at had for a convenient snack during the day.
Keep bananas at had for a convenient snack during the day. | Source

Since fruit comes in irregular sizes, at first it can be difficult to determine if you are eating enough servings in a day. The Harvard School of Public Health gives 1/2 cup as a normal size for a serving of fruit or of vegetables. For dried fruit, one only needs to eat half as much to get a serving (1/4 cup of raisins, for example, would be a serving). For leafy greens like cabbage or spinach, you have to eat twice as much (1 cup of lettuce would be a serving).

Source

Graphic from Zazzle: Watermelon by slinky789

Add Your Tips for Eating More Fruit - in the box below

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    • Elsie Hagley profile image

      Elsie Hagley 5 years ago from New Zealand

      Can't think of any tips, but I always make sure I include fruit in my weekly shopping. Thanks you a healthy breakfast lens. Blessed.

    • profile image

      aquarian_insight 5 years ago

      As I can't eat fruit, I tend to eat a lot of vegetables. Great lens.

    • Virginia Allain profile image
      Author

      Virginia Allain 5 years ago from Central Florida

      @gottaloveit2: I think having it convenient means you are much more likely to follow through. Good plan.

    • SheGetsCreative profile image

      Angela F 5 years ago from Seattle, WA

      Fruit I can do - it's the veggies that I have trouble remembering... *blessed

    • gottaloveit2 profile image

      gottaloveit2 5 years ago

      I'm really more of a vegetable girl but I do try to keep summer melons cut up and ready to nosh upon in the fridge.

    • WindyWintersHubs profile image

      WindyWintersHubs 5 years ago from Vancouver Island, BC

      We enjoy lots of fruit. I keep in the fridge and out on the counter in a fruit bowl. I'm off to eat some cherries! Have a great summer!

    • Scarlettohairy profile image

      Peggy Hazelwood 5 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I wash grapes and berries and put a serving or two in bowls in the fridge. They're easy to grab for a quick snack or to eat with a meal.

    • profile image

      AnimalHouse 5 years ago

      I include fruits in my cereal or oatmeal or I eat it after every meal. It's healthy and delicious.

    • profile image

      DebMartin 5 years ago

      Fruit on my oatmeal every day is my starter. d

    • BLouw profile image

      Barbara Walton 5 years ago from France

      Eat a piece of fruit after every meal instead of pudding or cake. Get your five a day and save thousands of calories!

    • Rangoon House profile image

      AJ 5 years ago from Australia

      I am so glad I read this today and not yesterday, since I had a fresh orange, raspberry and yoghurt smoothie for breakfast. Thank you for the wake up call though! Blessings.

    • profile image

      julieannbrady 5 years ago

      Well, I have lately been starting out my day with a jolt of Vitamin C with my Orange Juice with pulp.

    • KateHonebrink profile image

      KateHonebrink 5 years ago

      Such an interesting article - I'm inspired to try even more fruit!! Kudos!!

    • piedromolinero profile image

      piedromolinero 6 years ago

      I got some oranges fresh from the tree this morning, guess I will eat one right now before forgetting about it again.

    • Othercatt profile image

      Othercatt 6 years ago

      I'm one of those that thinks jelly is fruit, ketchup is vegetables, and cinnamon rolls are a healthy bread product.

    • profile image

      anonymous 6 years ago

      This is a beautiful lens. I suddenly have a craving for a big, juicy apple. Yum!

    • jptanabe profile image

      Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      Mmm, makes me want to go and get some fruit to eat right now!

    • KimGiancaterino profile image

      KimGiancaterino 7 years ago

      Gorgeous lens! We eat lots of fresh fruit, mostly in the morning. The blackberries and strawberries are ripening now, and we have a huge grapefruit tree in the backyard. The squirrels usually get the grapes, figs, and blueberries before we do!

    • aka-rms profile image

      Robin S 7 years ago from USA

      Delicious idea to get your 5 a day!

    • aidenw profile image

      aidenw 7 years ago from USA

      When I was on a cruise I had fruit for breakfast everyday and I loved it. Fruits are healthy and yummy.

    • Gamganny profile image

      Gamganny 7 years ago

      We should all have some fruit for breakfast, great way to start the day. Great lens!