The Easy Trick to Eat more Fruit and Vegetables

The latest dietary guidelines call for seven to thirteen servings of fruits and vegetables a day (3½ to 6½ cups per day), based on an individual’s caloric needs; however, the vast majority of individuals don’t get close to that mark with their daily diet habits.

For some, fruits and vegetables aren’t the most appetizing food items, but thankfully there is one simple trick you can use to incorporate more of these healthy foods into your routine.

What’s the secret? It’s simple, and if you already have a sharp knife at home it won’t cost you a dime. According to recent research, all you need to do to eat more fruits and vegetables is–slice them. That’s right, just change the appearance of your produce slightly and your brain will be more inclined to see it as appetizing.

The power of marketing

You may not realize just how powerful an effect marketing and product packaging can have on you when you stalk the isles of the grocery store, but research suggests clever packaging is what draws people away from plain fruits and vegetables and convinces them to buy unhealthy alternatives.

According to a study by Cornell University, the packaging phenomenon is most evident among children, who tend to shy away from fruits and vegetables as it is. To investigate what affect changing the appearance of fruit might have on kids, researchers presented children with options of traditional, unaltered fruit versus sliced fruit, arranged in an aesthetically pleasing way on a plate.

At the end of the study held in school cafeterias as control settings, results indicated apple sales in schools with fruit slicers increased by 71 percent compared to control schools. What’s more, experts noted the percentage of students who ate more than half of their apple increased by 73 percent, an effect that lasted long after the study was over.

Though the research focused on apple consumption, experts were confident the slicing trick could be applied successfully to any fruits and vegetables, for any age group.

Really? Slicing is the trick to eating more fruits and vegetables?

Slicing will often do the trick to encourage you and your family members to eat more fruits and vegetables, but it certainly isn’t the only trick in the book. If you’re looking for ways to really boost your produce intake, try these other tricks from the Department of Agriculture:

  • Keep whole fruit (like apples, oranges, or grapes) in a bowl on the counter or in another area where it is seen often.
  • Buy frozen fruit in addition to fresh so you always have a supply on hand.
  • Add sliced fruits to breakfast meals, like on top of cereal.
  • Pack your lunch for the day with baggies of sliced veggies to avoid the hunger splurge at the vending machine.
  • Try eating fruits and vegetables with a health dip as a snack, as opposed to chips and dip.
  • Add vegetables to smoothies; the flavors often disappear but the health benefits remain.
  • Use vegetables as a base for main meals; instead of serving a meat over rice, serve it over mixed vegetables instead.
  • Be creative with fruit for dessert; a bowl of slice bananas and strawberries lightly drizzled with chocolate sauce can be just as delicious as a bowl of ice cream.

No matter what tricks you try to eat more fruits and vegetables, never forget the cardinal rules of produce: eat organic whenever possible to avoid dangerous pesticides and always wash fruits and vegetables thoroughly.

Read the original article here.

At your upcoming SuperBowl party serve ‘super bowls’ of fruit, with plates of sliced fruit, veggies and a healthy dip. Try it, you’ll like it … and you’ll feel good!

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