1. Make it a rule: Every breakfast or Lunch includes a piece of fruit
It's the perfect morning food, filled with natural, complex sugars for slow-release energy, fiber, and nutrients galore. Cantaloupe, an orange, berries--all are perfect with whole wheat toast, cereal, or an egg.
2. Make another rule: Fruit for dessert at least three nights per week
A slice of watermelon, a peach, a bowl of blueberries--they're the perfect ending to a meal, and are so much healthier than cookies or cake. Like your desserts fancier? How does chocolate-covered strawberries, poached pears in red wine, peach and blueberry crisp, or frozen fresh raspberry yogurt sound? They count too.
3. Every Monday, start your week with a fruit Smoothie Add one cup fresh fruit, 1/2 cup fruit juice, and one cup ice to a blender and liquefy. That's two servings of fruit before 8 a.m.! If you'd prefer a creamier smoothie, toss in 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt.
4. Substitute fruit sorbet for ice creamOne scoop (1/4 cup) contains up to one serving of fruit, says Carolyn Lammersfeld, R.D., who leads the nutrition team at Cancer Treatment Centers of America at Midwestern Regional Medical Center in Chicago. To whip up your own, try freezing peaches packed in their own juice for 24 hours, then submerge the can in hot water for one minute. Cut the fruit into chunks and puree until smooth.
5. Or substitute frozen fruit bars for ice cream
Buy pure-fruit versions that don't add extra corn syrup or sugar. Feel free to have one every single day. Or better yet, make your own. Do blended fruit by itself, or add yogurt and/or sugar. You can freeze bananas and then spread peanut butter on them and refreeze, and then dip in melted chocolate and nuts before going in for one last freeze for scrumptious snacks.
6. Keep a fruit bowl filled wherever you spend the most time. This could be at work, near your home computer, or even in the television room. And keep five to eight pieces of fresh fruit in it at all times, such as bananas, oranges, apples, grapes, or plums. Most fruit is fine left at room temperature for three or four days. But if it's out and staring at you, it's not likely to last that long. A piece of fruit makes a perfect snack--as often as four times per day.
7. Get your fruits dried
Dried fruits are very portable and have a long shelf life. Take them to work, on shopping trips, or even on vacation. Raisins and prunes are classic choices. Also try dried cranberries and blueberries, which are extremely high in phytonutrients, or dried apricots, which are chock-full of beta-carotene, says Mary Gregg, R.D., director of Human Care Services for NutriSystem, Inc. Other options include dates, figs, dried peaches, dried pears, and dried bananas.
8. Bring fruit with you anytime you go out and about for more than an hour
Once you are on the highway cruising along or walking step after step along a path, an apple or a nectarine tastes great and helps break the tedium.
9. Substitute fruit puree for oil in baking
Prunes work particularly well for brownies, or applesauce for lighter cakes and muffins, etc. You can even make your own by blending it up and freezing in ice cube trays and then just use the cubes as needed, so you always have some on hand.