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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

Some at least every day...

Some at least every day...

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    • Lenskeeper 4 years ago

      I'll go with every day, although there might be just a few days that I skip. I think that eating fruit is a great way to start a day

    • Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

      @AlleyCatLane: Just when you think you're getting your eating on track, they raise the bar. I'll keep working on it.

    • AlleyCatLane 4 years ago

      Yes, I have started eating fruit everyday, but no way near 5 servings, much less 13!

    • Elsie Hagley 4 years ago from New Zealand

      Yes I do. I am a fruit lover.

    • Angela F 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

      At least one or two pieces

    • Peggy Hazelwood 4 years ago from Desert Southwest, U.S.A.

      I've been eating more fruit this summer. It's light and delicious!

    • AnimalHouse 4 years ago

      I eat fruits almost everyday.

    • DebMartin 4 years ago

      Wish I were eating more. Love what I do get every day. Summer is grand! d

    • Ruthi 4 years ago

      An apple and/or banana every day, along with fruit sald kept in the fridge for snacking. I love fruit; have not eaten a fruit I did not like.

    • AngryBaker 4 years ago

      Every day, lots of it. And my kids are part fruit bat, so we go through flats of fruit every week.

    • KateHonebrink 4 years ago

      We make use of smoothies for breakfast to effortlessly pack in our fruit servings - delish!

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      I love fruit and veggies and I do eat them every day. Trying to get my son to eat his fruit and veggies every day is a challenge though.

    • Jennifer P Tanabe 6 years ago from Red Hook, NY

      I love fruit so as long as we have some available I eat it!

    • anonymous 6 years ago

      Do my best.

    Not every day, but ....

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      • Virginia Allain 4 years ago from Central Florida

        @aquarian_insight: My sympathy to you, I would find it so hard to do without fruit.

      • aquarian_insight 4 years ago

        I only eat citrus fruit sometimes (oranges mostly) as I have a fruit allergy. I can sometimes manage cooked fruits. I do cheat at times but as much as I crave fruit, a swollen throat, mouth and lips is not really worth it.

      • elizabethknows lm 5 years ago

        No I do not, I should.

      • piedromolinero 6 years ago

        I try to have enough each day, but I don't make it every day.

      • Othercatt 6 years ago

        I used to. But lately I've gotten lax in my diet.

      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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 years ago from Seattle, WA

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

        • gottaloveit2 profile image

          gottaloveit2 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 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 4 years ago

          Fruit on my oatmeal every day is my starter. d

        • BLouw profile image

          Barbara Walton 4 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 4 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.

        • clouda9 lm profile image

          clouda9 lm 4 years ago

          Loved finding this fruit-inspired breakfast page on the Summer Festival of Food monsterboard.

        • profile image

          julieannbrady 4 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 4 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 6 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!

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