ADHD-Friendly Ways to Eat More Vegetables

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The World Health Organization recommends we eat 5 portions of fruit and vegetables a day in order to prevent diseases such as stroke, heart disease, cancer and Type 2 diabetes. Some countries such as Japan, Canada, and France have increased that recommendation to 7 or more portions.

If you are living with ADHD, it is easy to forget about long-term health and focus on getting through today. The good news is that when you eat a healthy diet (including vegetables), your ADHD symptoms improve.

Even though 5 to 7 portions per day can sound daunting and ADHD characteristics make the logistics of meal planning and grocery shopping challenging, the benefits to your health are huge.

Here are 10 ADHD-friendly tips to eating 5-7 portions of fruit and vegetables every day.

Where You Are Now

Do you know how much fruit and vegetables you eat now? For the next 3 days, count and see how many portions you eat. This is your baseline!

Increase Gradually

Many people with ADHD have great enthusiasm for a new goal and want to embrace it full on. However, for your new habit to become permanent (and not stressful), increase your intake by 2 portions a day for a week until you reach your goal. Eating more vegetables requires a change in behaviours such as more frequent trips to the store, meal planning and creative ways to include the fresh produce into your life.

Meal Plan

Fruit and vegetables have a relatively short life.

A good rule of thumb is to eat them within a week of purchasing. To avoid a fridge of rotten produce, plan out your meals and snacks before you go grocery shopping. This way, you won’t buy more than what you can eat.

Scheduling

Scheduling time in your daytime planner is one of the keys to success. Schedule when you will do your meal planning, your grocery shopping and meal preparation.

Storage

Do you have an ‘out of sight, out of mind’ problem? Don’t worry; you aren’t alone! Many people with ADHD forget what food they bought. This doesn’t matter so much with packaged products, but with fresh items that can go bad, it can result in waste. Put your fruit and vegetables in places you can see. For example, in clear bowls and at the front of the shelves in the fridge.

Frozen Produce

Having some frozen items is a great back up. Frozen fruit can be used in smoothies and frozen vegetablescan be put in a casserole. Frozen fruit and vegetables don’t have additives like salt and sugar that go into canned products (which are not recommended).

Go Green

Making a green smoothie is a quick way to get a large portion of your daily vegetable quota. Preparation is simple: just some basic chopping. Because it is a drink, it can feel easier to consume than eating a large plate of vegetables.

Fruit for Dessert

Having fruit for dessert is a good way to include a portion of fruit into your day. For example, a bowl of berries or slice of melon makes a tasty dessert.

Stir-fry

Learn how to make stir-fries. They are fast to make, tasty and have lots of vegetables in them. Print out a few of your favourite stir fry recipes and they can be your go-to recipes when you are in a hurry.

Raw Veg

On the weekends, chop your favourite vegetables such as peppers and cucumber into match sticks. Then you can grab them as snacks throughout the week when you are too busy to chop. Baby carrots are convenient too. They are generally pre-washed, and you don’t need to chop them!

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