Unless you’re vegetarian or a non-carb eater maintaining a 5-a-day ritual is tough. There are too many foodie distractions, not enough time to cook after work and lets face it vegetables aren’t very exciting.
Some not so fun facts
Latest government figures show only 30% of adults eat the recommended 5 portions a day. Teenagers are worse with the figure dropping to 10% in boys and 7% in girls. The most common factors being the struggle to find exciting ways to cook vegetables and having no time. So we’ve picked out the best expert advice to help stay on track with those 5-a-days and your new year healthier living plans.
#1 When you only have 5 minutes
Whilst a jacket potato doesn’t count (sorry) here are some great snacks that do.
Baked beans on toast. Best served on wholemeal toast
A gin and tonic. Well good sized lemon slices in your drink and sucking on them after.
Air popped popcorn. yes researchers discovered one serving of popcorn has 300mg of antioxidants. Nearly double the 160mg in a fruit serving.
Sweet potato chips. Cut these into chunks and bake with olive oil for 20 minutes. Packed with betacarotene – the disease fighting antioxidant.
Mini pack of raisins – just 1 tablespoon of currants, raisins or dried prunes are your one a day.
Dips - houmous (you can even make your own by blending a can of chickpeas, olive oil and garlic) or Guacamole (avocado, fresh lemon juice and tomato)
#2 When you need a helping hand
You don’t need to be a gourmet chef to create your own healthy snacks. You can serve up dried banana chips to sundried tomatoes, strawberry flakes and yummy kale chips at the flick of a button. They’re even masked to look like crisps so you can fool yourself .
For fun creations try out the magic salad chopper with 6 different sized chopping blades and The Food dehydrator – yes it doesn’t sound very appealing but even Wired rate it – for creating your own dried food and snacks. For inspiration check out the Food Dehydrating Bible !
#3 When you need ideas
If you need meal ideas check out 5-a-day plans from the experts to guide you through your meal planning . The NHS 5-a-day- guide offers step by step suggestions for breakfast, lunch and dinner, and the Snack swapper guide from Change4Life offers a great alternative for sweet tooths.
#4 When you need Superhero powers
When all else fails or if you’re trying this with kids then a dash of old Popeye magic always helps.
- Carrots: they help you see in the dark. Also been known to give you curly hair
- Spinach: eat spinach followed by bicep clenching quality time with the family
- Eating the skin on food: Aside from fabulous clear skin this can give you a range of talents ranging from super human powers, speed, and being extremely good at maths.=