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Over 25 ways to increase your fruit and veg intake

1)   Make a large batch of veg soup which is handy to have with a meal.  You can cram a lot of different veg into a soup and it’s a great way to use up veg in the fridge – onions, leeks, carrots, parsnips, peppers, celery, potatoes, kale etc. 

2)   If you’re making a Bolognese or a chilli add diced carrots, celery and peppers to your usual onions to increase the amount and variety.  They add more favour and you (and children) will never notice they are there.

3)   Have a side salad with meals. Including bitter leaves like spinach, rocket and watercress also helps with digestion.

4)   Add mixed berries to your porridge for breakfast.

5)   Cooking scrambled eggs or an omelette?... veg goes perfectly with them – add a handful of spinach, leeks, tomatoes, mushrooms, kale.

6)   Make a smoothie – always include both vegetables and some fruit e.g. try apple, spinach, fresh mint, lime juice and a stick of celery blended with water.

7)   Try and include at least 5 different vegetables in your salad - chose ones that are on offer at supermarkets to be budget friendly.

8)   Swop your butter for mashed avocado when having toast or even sandwiches.

9)   Roast a large tray of veg to have with meals to add a bit of variety.  Try sweet potatoes, peppers, aubergines, courgettes, tomatoes, red onion, carrots, butternut squash.  Drizzle with olive oil, season and roast until cooked through.

10)When making a tomato sauce for pasta, throw in some extra veggies like leeks, peppers, celery, carrots etc.

11)Have some convenient jars of sun-dried tomatoes, artichokes and roasted peppers handy to add to sauces, stews or salads.

12)Have a stir fry – a great way to add a variety of veg like pak choi, beansprouts, chard, carrots, peppers, leeks, onions

13)Make a fruit compote to add to Greek yoghurt for breakfast. 

14)Add berries or chopped fruit to homemade flapjack.

15)Have crudities with dips like hummus - celery, carrot, cucumber and pepper sticks.

16)Buy pre chopped veg if you’re busy and haven’t got time to prepare.  Having these things at hand can make it easier than spending time that you don’t have chopping. 

17)Add herbs to meals e.g.  stews, chilli, Bolognese, scrambled eggs, salads – they not only add more flavour but bring lots of health benefits.  Try basil, dill, parsley, coriander, sage, tarragon.  You could grow these on your kitchen window sill, in a herb garden or pot outside in summer.

18)Simply sauté a selection of green veg in olive oil to have with steak, chicken or fish.  Add garlic or chill for some extra flavours.  This quick side dish makes a quick, healthy veg accompaniment.

19)Make a ‘rainbow coleslaw’ – so rather just your usual three ingredients of carrot, onion and cabbage add sliced fennel, peppers, red cabbage as well to add more variety.

20)Mix up your lettuce in a salad – don’t just have one type but mix up different ones.  There are so many different types to choose from rather than your typical ice berg – rocket, spinach, frisee, endive, radicchio, beet greens, romaine, lambs’ lettuce, pea shoots.   

21)Add some fruit to salad – try peaches, pomegranate seeds, apple, or pear.  It adds more flavour and add a touch of sweetness.

22) Use a variety of root vegetables when making homemade chips – try parsnips, sweet potato, turnip, carrots and butternut squash as well as your usual white potato.

23)Try kale crisps instead of crisps - simply coat with some coconut or olive oil, season and bake in oven until crisp.

24)Make a ratatouille with a selection of vegetables.  It makes a great accompaniment with chicken or cod.  Try onions, courgette, aubergine, carrots sautéed in olive oil with tomatoes and lots of fresh herbs.

25)Have vegetable noodles either instead of spaghetti or as well as - courgetti, butter nut squash and carrot noodles are al available ready made in supermarkets if you don’t have a spiraliser.

26)Swop your basmati rice for cauliflower or broccoli rice which can be bought pre prepared or simply make your own using a food processor.

27)Having a sandwich? – always add some salad like lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber with your protein filling. Adding avocado, herbs sun dried tomatoes adds even more flavour and variety.