Easy Ways to Add Fruit and Vegetable to Your Meals

This week’s edition of National Nutrition Month is from Jennifer Bannigan, a Dietetic Intern at Whitney Young Health. Laura is putting the spotlight on how easy it is to incorporate fruits and vegetables into you and your family’s daily diet. 

As a mother of three kids, I’m always looking for ways to save time and money when it comes to grocery shopping.  I wanted to share some of my “secrets” to making sure my kids (and myself) eat the recommend amount of fruits and vegetables each day. 



Children ages 2-3 years old should eat 1 cup of fruit each day.  One large banana is equal to 1 cup of fruit. Bananas are easy to cut up and perfect for little fingers to pick up.  Try adding one to a cup of cereal or hot oatmeal.  Don’t forget about frozen fruit!  It can be a great time saver and saves money when the fruit is not in season.  I add frozen fruit to my kids plain yogurt, on top of cereal and to hot oatmeal.



Children ages 2-3 years old should eat 1 cup of vegetables each day. For lunch a great time saver is baby carrots.  Only 6 baby carrots is a half a cup serving.  To add a variety of vitamins and minerals, cut up a small red pepper and cucumber.  Let your kids have fun dipping vegetables in hummus. Frozen mixed vegetables are great time savers for dinner too.  Pop a bag in the microwave and in less than 5 minutes you can have a side of hot vegetables on the table.  Left overs can be added to a soup or casserole the next day.  Did you know a cup of beans count as a serving of vegetables as well?  Next time you have pasta for dinner, add a can of chickpeas.  Having tacos, add a can of black beans to 1 pound of ground beef.  Not only are you adding a vegetable, but you are stretching your dollar because you need to buy less meat! 


Remember, these secretes can be used for us parents as well.  We also need to eat fruits and vegetables to stay healthy for our kids!  For more information visit www.choosemyplate.gov



  1. “All About The Fruit Group”. Choose MyPlate. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  2. Fruit, Stock. “Bowl Of Cereal With Fruit”. Dreamstime.com. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  3. “All About The Vegetable Group”. Choose MyPlate. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.
  4. “Family Recipe: Veggies And Hummus”. WebMD. N.p., 2017. Web. 12 Mar. 2017.