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College of Food, Agricultural, and Environmental Sciences


Chow Line: MyPlate offers tips for adding fruits, veggies (for 6/26/11)

June 17, 2011

Actually, you can find lots of ideas right on the MyPlate website, Several of the "10 Tips" series of tipsheets offer ideas for adding more fruits and vegetables to your daily routine.

In particular, see "Add More Vegetables to Your Day," "Focus on Fruits," "Smart Shopping for Veggies and Fruits," and "Liven Up Your Meals with Vegetables and Fruits."

Here are just a few of the ideas shared in those tipsheets:

  • Load up on vegetables with soup. Try tomato, butternut squash or garden-vegetable varieties. If you don't have time to make it yourself, look for reduced- or low-sodium options at the grocery store.
  • Try adding fruit to your dinner dishes. Add crushed pineapple to coleslaw, or add orange sections, dried cranberries or grapes in a tossed salad.
  • Add more vegetables to your favorite casserole or pasta recipes. Consider adding onions, peas, pinto beans, tomatoes, spinach, peppers or other vegetables. If you already use some vegetables in these dishes, throw in a few handfuls more for good measure.
  • Check newspaper ads or online sites for store sales. This might be especially helpful when trying something new: Even if you decide you don't like the new item on your plate, at least you will know you didn't pay full price for it.
  • Keep dried fruit around as a snack. Remember -- their nutrients (including calories) are concentrated, so a quarter-cup of dried fruit equals a half-cup serving under the Dietary Guidelines.
  • Add vegetables to your sandwiches: Sliced tomatoes and romaine lettuce are standard sandwich fare. For something different, try a bit of avocado or sliced bell pepper.
  • Keep a bowl of fruit on the table or counter, or just inside the refrigerator door. Keeping apples, bananas, oranges and other whole fruit in your line of sight provides a visible reminder to enjoy them as a snack.
  • Try grilling both vegetables and fruits to add great flavor to a cookout. Brush vegetables, such as mushrooms, carrots, peppers or potatoes, with oil to keep them from drying out. Try grilling peaches, pineapple slices or mangos for a tasty, healthful dessert.
  • If you're baking muffins, add apples, bananas, blueberries or pears to the recipe. The muffins will be moister -- and more nutritious.

Chow Line is a service of Ohio State University Extension and the Ohio Agricultural Research and Development Center. Send questions to Chow Line, c/o Martha Filipic, 2021 Coffey Road, Columbus, OH, 43210-1044, or

Editor: This column was reviewed by Amber Riggin, a dietetic intern with Ohio State University Extension's Community Nutrition Programs.

Martha Filipic
Amber Riggin