Kitchen Tips

Getting your family to eat more fruits and vegetables is not easy. But you can make big changes by taking one step at a time. Keep your end goal in mind: a healthy, happy family.

Here are some tips to help you start making healthy changes, one step at a time. These are simple ways to get fruits and vegetables into every meal and snack — at home, work, school, and even when eating out.

You can also check out our Produce Quick Tips. You will find even more helpful information about selecting, storing, and serving fruits and vegetables.

Tip 1 - Buy more fruits and vegetables:

  • Buy fresh fruits and vegetables in season. They cost less and are at their best flavor.
  • Stock up on frozen vegetables on sale for fast and easy cooking.
  • Try canned fruits packed in 100% fruit juice and canned vegetables. (Hint: Look for low sodium vegetables.)
  • Get a variety of dried fruits and make your own trail mix. (Hint: Let your child help you mix them up.)
  • Take advantage of Food Stamp Program benefits. Not sure if you are eligible? Find out if you qualify here. (PDF 61KB)

Tip 2 - Eat more fruits and vegetables at home:

  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit out to snack on all day.
  • Store fruits and vegetables in easy-to-reach places in the refrigerator. (Hint: Put them at kids' eye-level.)
  • Add fruit to cold and hot cereal. Serve with a small glass of 100% fruit juice for breakfast.
  • Eat crunchy baby carrots and celery sticks instead of chips.
  • Enjoy a salad or vegetable soup for lunch.
  • Include at least two vegetables with dinner.
  • Enjoy a sweet piece of fruit for dessert.
  • Plant a fruit and vegetable garden and eat what you grow.
  • Find out what one cup looks like. Check out the Energize Your Body with Fruits and Vegetables! poster in the Download Materials box (on the upper right side).

Tip 3 - Eat more fruits and vegetables at work and/or school:

  • Snack on raisins and other dried fruits (figs, plums, apricots), instead of candy or chips.
  • Put extra lettuce, tomato, and other vegetables on sandwiches.
  • Add a piece of fruit to lunches instead of sugary desserts. Try berries, peaches, melons, and oranges.
  • Bring fruit and vegetable dishes to office parties and potlucks.
  • Enroll your child in the school meal program. Kids who eat school meals tend to eat and like more fruits and vegetables.
  • Plant a fruit and vegetable garden at work or in your child's school. For information on school gardens, visit

Tip 4 - Order more fruits and vegetables when eating out:

  • Choose pizza with three or more vegetable toppings like bell peppers, onions, and mushrooms.
  • Order taco salads with lots of tomatoes, beans, avocado, and cabbage.
  • Go for a crisp garden salad with a little lowfat salad dressing or fresh fruit instead of French fries.
  • Choose a fruit dessert.

Did You Know?

  • When kids help choose and cook food, they are more likely to eat it. Younger kids can tear lettuce for salads or rinse fruits and vegetables. Older kids can learn to chop and help cook.
  • Kids who eat breakfast do better in school and have fewer absences. Sign your child up for the School Breakfast Program.
  • Fruits and vegetables can be good sources of calcium too! These fruits and vegetables can help you meet your calcium needs — and help you to build and keep strong bones and teeth:
    • Leafy greens
    • Broccoli
    • Okra
    • Figs
    • Oranges
    • Raisins
    • Strawberries