10 ways to sneak more fruit & vegetables into your diet

We all know that we're supposed to be eating at least 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day. But how many of us can honestly say we manage it every day without fail? Sometimes it's just not that easy!

We're constantly tempted by convenience or junk food, and a lot of us would rather dive into a bag of crisps or a bowl of pasta than munch on an apple or a plate of broccoli. It might be a constant battle to get your kids to choose more healthy options, too.

So sometimes we have to get creative! Here are a few ideas.

1) Start your day with a breakfast smoothie! Chuck some fruit, low-fat yoghurt and ice into a blender. You could even add a scoop of protein powder in there for good measure.

A few seconds to make the perfect breakfast, ready to grab and go.

2) Dried fruit makes a great snack, especially if you're carting your day's meals around with you or for your kids' lunchboxes. You can also add dried fruit to your morning cereal or oats.

Just be wary of the higher sugar content of some dried fruits and eat in moderation.

3) Add vegetables into your lunchtime sandwich! Top a turkey sandwich with lettuce, tomato and cucumber, for example. Or even make a Subway style sandwich by combining different veggies and cheese.

4) Have a side salad buffet with your dinner. Set out a variety of chopped vegetables, cheese and croutons, with some low fat salad dressing and let the whole family create their own perfect salad.

5) Drink your fruit and veg! Keep a variety of fruit and vegetable juices in the fridge at encourage the family to drink them as a snack. Get creative with this one - you could even make mocktails for the kids by pouring their favourite juice with ice, and add straws and little umbrellas!

6) A dessert idea: Put a small scoop of ice cream or frozen yoghurt in a bowl and top it with loads of fresh or frozen fruit.

7) Snackspiration: Cut apples into slices and top them with peanut butter or cheese. Cube cheese and serve with grapes. Or cut up some fresh cucumber, carrot and peppers and have them with a low fat dip.

8) Try something new! Why not choose something new every time you do your big food shop; for inspiration why not try artichokes, plantains, papaya or mango?

9) Make up a vat of vegetable soup or stew - this will make great comfort food when it starts to get colder too.

10) Start a family 'My Veggie Day' where each family member gets to pick a vegetable one day of the week. If they tried each vegetable the week before, they get their day, otherwise they lose a turn and you get to pick instead!

Give a few of these ideas a go and before you know it you and your family will be eating more fruit and vegetables without even trying.

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