Template:Opinion Top by Elocina

Choose smart
New Year's is fast upon us. After consuming appetizers and cocktails at New Year's parties, many people wake up determined to lose weight. Fruits and vegetables play a key part in any diet, however, most people do not eat enough fruits and vegetables. I think that the cost of fruits and vegetables are a big reason why most people don't get their 5-a-day. If people have enough money to buy fruits and vegetables, then they often feel they don't have enough time to prepare them. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have some tips on how to fit fruits and vegetables into your budget and busy lifestyle.

Save Time

  • Pick fruits and vegetables that require little peeling or chopping, such as baby carrots, cherry tomatoes or grapes.
  • Prepare extra vegetables and freeze leftovers for quick sides. Simply heat to 165 degrees fahrenheit and serve.
  • Choose ready-picked salad greens from the produce shelf for a quick salad anytime.
  • Visit the salad bar for pre-cut vegetables to top salads, sandwiches or pasta.
  • Add fruit to your cereal, low-fat or fat-free yogurt, or oatmeal.
  • Snack on fruit during the day. Grab an apple, banana, or some grapes on your way out the door.
  • Snack on raw veggies with a healthy low-fat or fat-free dip.
  • Enjoy your favorite beans and peas. Add them to salads and low-fat dips.

Save Money

  • Take advantage of in-store promotions and purchase fruits and vegetables in season, when they are generally less expensive.
  • Prevent food waste by properly storing produce and selecting the type and amount you will consume.
  • Buy in bulk. Freeze excess, or purchase frozen, canned or dried varieties that keep longer.
  • Shop the local farmer's market or visit nearby farms and pick your own produce while in season. If you live in the US, you can find a farmer's market near you by using the USDA's Farmer's Market Locator.

Save Time and Money

  • Plan meals ahead of time and create a shopping list to help minimize impulse purchases.
  • Buy in bulk and prepare extra or larger amounts. Freeze invidual or family sized portions for later use.
  • Make vegetable-based one-pot meals using soy or other beans instead of higher cost protein source such as meat, fish or poultry. One pot meals will reduce the number of pans and other utensils that must be washed, saving you time.
  • Keep it simple. Choose quick and easy recipes with few ingredients that use in-season, canned or dried fruits and vegetables.

Other ways to Add Fruits and Vegetables to Your Diet

  • Eat a colorful salad at lunch. Try mixed greens with tomatoes, carrots, broccoli, and bell peppers.
  • Make fruits and vegetables about half your plate.
  • Eat at least two vegetables with dinner.
  • Have fruit for dessert.


  • Eat More Fruits and Veggies   by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention—public domain government resource—original source of tips
  • Choose Smart Choose Healthy by the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, public domain government resource—source of additional tips


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