Meal Plan for Increasing Fruits and Veggies

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Eating a diet rich in fruits and vegetables is part of an overall healthy diet.  Fruits and vegetables contain important nutrients: vitamins, minerals, fiber, and healthy antioxidants. Choosing a variety of fruits and vegetables will help you get a wider range of nutrients. No single fruit or vegetable provides all the nutrients you need to be healthy. Eat plenty of them and plenty of variety every day.

Also, don’t forget that eating many fruits and vegetables when you’re pregnant or breastfeeding can help prime your baby for acceptance of these foods down the line. The more varied your diet, the more flavor exposure for your baby. In the short-term, this may lead to your baby being a less picky eater and more willing to try new foods. In the long-term, you’ll help your baby get off to a good start for a lifetime of healthy eating preferences.

Pro tip:

Eat a variety of types and colors of produce in order to give your body the mix of nutrients it needs. Try dark leafy greens, brightly colored red, yellow, and orange vegetables and fruits, and aim to eat both raw and cooked fruits and veggies. Eating a variety of fruits and vegetables is a wonderful way to help optimize your nutrient intake while at the same time packing a powerful punch of flavors and textures to your diet.

Some simple tips that may make all the difference in getting you and your family to increase your fruit and veggie intake include:

  • Keeping bags of frozen veggies in the freezer that you can throw in the microwave on short notice
  • Keeping bags of frozen cut up fruit for a refreshing snack to eat “as is” or to throw in a blender to make a quick smoothie
  • Keeping cut up fresh fruit and veggies in the refrigerator where everyone can see them and easily get to them (not hidden in the fruit drawer)
  • Roasting a batch of veggies on Sunday to last for the week

Choosing meals and snacks from the below listed options will help you consume foods that will increase your dietary fruit and vegetable intake, while enhancing the quality of you and your baby’s diet.

Breakfast

  • Option 1: Cottage cheese and cantaloupe
  • Option 2: Whole grain toast with smashed avocado
  • Option 3: Egg muffins: combine 6 scrambled eggs, chopped veggies like peppers and spinach, and cheddar cheese. Bake at 350 degrees in a greased 12-muffin pan for 20-22 minutes
  • Option 4: Baked apple (bake cored apple at 350 degrees for 15 minutes), top with toasted oats and yogurt
  • Option 5: Vegetable omelet (red pepper, spinach, onion, mushroom) topped with sliced avocado served with an orange on the side

Lunch

  • Option 1: Tropical Salad: Spinach topped with grilled chicken, matchstick carrots, mango slices, cashews, avocado, and shaved, unsweetened coconut
  • Option 2: Whole grain pasta tossed with grilled summer squash and fresh pesto served with apple slices on the side
  • Option 3: Whole grain pita with mashed avocado or hummus spread, filled with roasted red peppers, cucumbers, lettuce, tomatoes, and slice of pepper jack cheese. Served with grapes on the side
  • Option 4: Vegetable bean soup (low sodium if packaged) served with baked kale chip “crackers”
  • Option 5: Cooked farro tossed with chopped carrots, tomatoes, onions, yellow and green peppers, feta cheese, and Greek olives, with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt and pepper on a bed of lettuce. Orange slices and raspberries on the side

Dinner

  • Option 1: Tofu stir fried with snap peas, water chestnuts, peppers, and scallions served over brown rice
  • Option 2: Grilled steak, steamed green beans with slivered almonds, and baked sweet potato wedges
  • Option 3: Whole grain pasta tossed with grilled chicken breast, tomatoes, onions, and eggplant, with garlic and olive oil
  • Option 4: Sautéed shrimp over green and yellow zucchini noodles, sautéed with red and green peppers, onions, and tomato sauce
  • Option 5: Baked sweet potato topped with pulled BBQ chicken or pork with mixed vegetable salad

Snack

  • Option 1: Frozen banana treat: Slice banana in half lengthwise and spread with nut butter; wrap, and freeze
  • Option 2: Hummus with carrots, celery, and cucumbers
  • Option 3: Greek Yogurt and fruit parfait: Plain Greek yogurt layered with berries and topped with nuts
  • Option 4: Packaged mixed frozen fruit slices – strawberries, peaches, mango, or cherries. Pour in a bowl and eat partially frozen for a sorbet like consistency – great guilt free dessert!
  • Option 5: Cottage cheese with sliced peaches 

For more on this topic, check out the following articles:

Serve Up Those Superfoods

Serve Up Those Superfoods

Serve Up Those Superfoods

Our Happy Family Organic Superfoods Cookbook for Baby & Toddler is chock-full of yummy, easy-to-prepare meals your whole family will love.

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