How to creatively up your produce consumption

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Dietician Trish Brimhall shared a few ways to creatively up your produce consumption. For more tips from Trish, or to contact her, go here.

When it comes to meeting the daily recommendation of 7-9 servings of fruits and veggies, many of us fall short. Sometimes that not only feels daunting but mundane if we have to eat another plain apple of banana. Switching it up a bit makes getting those fruit and veggies servings in not only exciting, but tasty as well. Here are a few ideas to creatively use that produce:

Watermelon pizza - It`s not just a refreshing dessert, try using it in a sweet/savory cross-over in a simple, yet chic dish. Top a slice of watermelon (plain or grilled) with your favorite crumbly cheese (feta or blue) and toppings of your choice (toasted pecans, crisped prosciutto, marinated onions, arugula, basil, etc.)

Zucchini shot glasses - we`ve all seen or used shot glasses to serve crudités, but with a simple slice and roll, you can use up the ubiquitous zucchini and eat your 'shot glass' too. Thinly slice the zucchini, spread with a thin layer of cream cheese, line up your veggie sticks and roll it up.

Then for traditional produce, here are a few ideas that will work year-round and may help switch things up again as you ramp up for the school year:

Breakfast banana splits - Here`s a fun, festive and nutrition-packed way to start the morning with a healthful twist on a dessert favorite. Slice open your banana, layer in some slice strawberries, add your dairy (cottage cheese or plain greek yogurt), top with granola and drizzle with a little strawberry jam.

Apple cookies - looking for a way to incorporate some produce into your kid`s afternoon snack? This simple snack makes it a bit more fun to eat the academically-favored apple. Slice an apple crosswise (latitudinally) spread with nut or seed butter, and top with mini chocolate chips. Not only do you get a little produce into your kiddo, but the nut butter will help tide them over until dinner.

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