Getting your 5-a-day can be challenging sometimes. Here are some ways to help you get your 5-a-day easier.
Many people forget that beans and lentils also count towards their 5-a-day. They contain protein, as well as essential vitamins and minerals. With lentils and beans, no matter how big a portion size you have it will still only count as 1/5. If you have chickpeas and lentils together, it still only counts as one.
Adding vegetables to rice is a great way to incorporate more vegetables into your diet. Mix your cooked vegetables with the rice when you are done cooking.
Breakfast is an essential way for you to start your day, it’s also a great time to incorporate more fruit into your diet. Fruit can be added into cereal, porridge or simply be eaten on its own. Fruit adds natural sweetness, so there is no need to rely on sugary cereals or add sugar.
Fruits that are good to add to cereal include;
- Dried apricots
- Sliced banana
Fruits that are good to add to porridge include;
- Stewed apples
You can also add cinnamon for an extra kick of flavour and nutrients.
Ensuring that you have plenty of fruit in can increase the amount that you eat. Leaving your fruit out on display may also encourage you to pick up an apple instead of a packet of crisps.
Instead of biscuits, eat dried fruit, they are easy to eat on the go and during work.
Making your own vegetable crisps is a great alternative if you aren’t quite ready to let crisps go altogether. They are incredibly simple to make
- Thinly slice vegetables – such as beetroot, sweet potato and parsnip
- Bake in the oven at 175°C/gas mark 4 for 20 minutes or until dry (fruit will take longer to dry out)
- Add a light sprinkling of salt, spices or herbs for a bit of extra flavour.
Taking your own lunch to work helps ensure that you are more aware of what you’re eating. Taking your own sandwiches means you can choose exactly what goes in them. So add more vegetables to your sandwich or make yourself a side salad.
To be even healthier try sticking to wholemeal pitta bread, wraps or bagels.
Regular potatoes don’t count as one of your 5-a-day, instead of topping your pie with normal potatoes, try switching it up for some mashed sweet potato, swede, butternut squash or carrot. All these will mash very smoothly and may not even require butter to be added.