Did you know that September is National Fruits & Veggies Month?

Everyone knows how healthy fruits and veggies are for us. That’s indisputable. But, what we are starting to understand and appreciate is just how good they can make us feel! In fact, there’s a growing body of evidence globally that eating fruits and veggies is predictive of increased happiness, life satisfaction, and well-being. And, the Produce for Better Health Foundation’s (PBH) research indicates that those Americans who eat fruits and veggies most days per week say that they experience physical, emotional, and social benefits now and into the future.

Talk about a simple way to get your happy on! Yet, close to 9 in 10 Americans still do not get enough! That’s why NEXDINE Hospitality has partnered with PBH to celebrate National Fruits & Veggies Month every day with our Culinary Commitments to fresh, local, and seasonal produce. Celebrating the importance of produce in our lives is a no-brainer. But, many of us need help actually making it happen. So we’ll throw out some tips and tricks to get you started! Think of how many times you eat per day. What if you worked fruits and/or veggies in just 1-2 of those times? Note how awesome you feel! And, repeat. Find what works for you and create your fruits and veggie habits. Everyone is different and what works for you may not work for your parents, best friend, coworker, or neighbor. So, the first step is trial and error to figure out what ways are good for you. Then, keep up the good work!
There’s no right or wrong way to Have A Plant®! Fresh is great, for sure, but, it’s not the only way to score some fruit and veggie credit! Here are some ideas you can try throughout the day:

  • Adding dried fruit to oatmeal for breakfast is a great way to add flavor and nutrition, as well as feel full for a while after.
  • Did you know cereal is one of the most frequent ways people enjoy fruit? Consider pairing fresh fruit with cereal for a quick and easy, plant-packed breakfast, snack – or heck, even dinner!
  • Throw frozen berries in with your yogurt for a snack.
  • Think salads are just all about the veggies? Canned fruit makes for a sweet complement to your favorite greens and pickled veggies can add a twist you won’t forget!
  • Need some quick energy? Grab a glass of 100% fruit juice to quench your thirst and hold you over until dinner.
  • Throw a handful of frozen veggies into your AM omelet.
  • Sun-dried tomatoes add texture and bold flavor to your favorite pasta recipe.
  • Using 100% vegetable juice as the liquid in your smoothies add nutrients and save calories.
  • Low on time for dinner prep? Throw some canned tomatoes, beans, ground meat, and your go-to spices into a crock pot or Instapot and come home to a house that smells great and dinner that’s ready for the table.

At the end of the day, we just want more people to eat more fruits and vegetables – the plants that people aren’t getting enough of. And what better time than during National Fruits & Veggies Month to start incorporating more into your daily routine? So here’s a plan: Have A Plant®! For more information visit www.fruitsandveggies.org.