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The nutrition requirements for adults and children alike seem to change so quickly that it can be difficult to know how much fruits and vegetables is necessary in a diet. Visiting a dietitian is perhaps the easiest way to determine what you need in your regular diet, as dietary needs can vary significantly from person to person, but not everyone can afford such a service. Fortunately, a bit of research online or a visit to a doctor can give you the basic guidelines for eating fruits and vegetables, and ensuring you actually eat them is not especially hard.
One of the best ways to encourage yourself to eat fruits and vegetables is to make sure they are in plain view. Many people snack on candy because it is often sitting in a dish on a desk or table, so replacing that candy with dried fruits will perhaps encourage you to snack on fruits instead of sugary candy snacks. Leaving an apple on your desk at work will remind you to eat the fruit, and having it within reach will make snacking on the fruit quick and easy.
Starting small and working up from there is important. Having a salad at dinner time, for example, is a great way to get into the habit of eating more fruits and vegetables. Be sure to make a salad with plenty of vegetables like cucumbers, peppers, olives, carrots, and so on, and include as many leafy greens as possible. Iceberg lettuce has little in the way of nutrients, but raw spinach has many vitamins and minerals your body needs. If lettuce is not appealing to you, try eating a cucumber salad with cucumbers, capers, onions, and light dressing instead. Avoid putting too much dressing on the salad; if you enjoy the dressing, use it sparingly. Avoid too much cheese or bacon bits on the salad as well.
If you simply don't have the time to prepare fruits and vegetables for meals or snacks, consider buying pre-cut vegetables, dried fruits, and bags of frozen vegetables. These are quick and easy to prepare and they will ensure you get the nutrients you need throughout the course of the day. Contrary to popular belief, fruits and vegetables are not necessarily more expensive than other foods either, especially when you examine what you will eat instead of the fruits and vegetables. Candies, chips, sodas, and meat all tend to be fairly expensive, so choosing fruits and vegetables instead will often cost just as much or even less.
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