Fruits and veggies are a great, but often commonly missed, part of the average college students' diet. It can be hard to devote some of your already busy life to chopping up fresh fruits and veggies and making room in your fridge for a plethora of produce. Not to mention, fresh produce can get expensive! Here are some of my handy tricks to integrate more fruits and veggies into your diet. 

1. If you're not a breakfast person, try starting with some smoothies. 

Not everyone is a breakfast person, so chowing down on a full meal at seven in the morning is not practical. Smoothies are a great way to integrate a healthy boost of vitamins before the day is over. I like adding frozen berries, spinach/kale, banana, and seeds to my smoothies- but you can do whatever you like! You can buy a small Nutri-Bullet for your college dorm room and a bag of frozen, pre-mixed smoothie ingredients at the grocery store. 

2. Reach for the veggies first in the dining hall. 

It may be tempting to dash for the french fries when you walk into the dining hall, but not so fast! Try getting a plate of just veggies first; salad, roasted veggies, or sliced snack veggies are a great option. Even if it's just a plate of cherry tomatoes, sliced cucumber, and baby carrots, it's a start. After you eat these veggies, you can go back for starchy veggies (e.g. potatoes, rice, and quinoa) and protein. You'll likely be already filled with fiber and are less likely to overeat.

3. Pair fruits and veggies with healthy fat/protein for a satiating snack. 

The reason why a lot of first-time vegans or those invested in increasing their fruit/veggie intake don't end up "lasting" very long is because they don't pair the produce with satiating protein and fats. If you walk away from a meal hungry, you're likely to overeat later in the day and feel guilty about it. Instead, pair your sliced fruits and veggies with dips like peanut butter (celery, , banana, apples, or carrots), guacamole (carrots, celery, or peppers), savory hummus (all veggies), or sweet hummus (apples, banana, strawberries, or cherries). If you're not a dip person (how?), you can add some cheese blocks, jerky, nuts, dark chocolate, and alike to your snack pack. 

4. Opt for fruit for dessert. 

Need something sweet but out of Ben & Jerry's? Try frozen grapes or banana chunks. Most dorms will allow you to take fruit out of the dining hall, so this is a great way to stock up on your fruit supply. If you're not feeling the fruit, that's okay! You can enjoy some of your favorite fall apple crisp or a cookie instead. 

5. Set small goals for yourself. 

Every morning, I try to eat at least two different kinds of fruit with my breakfast. Bananas, mango chunks, apples, nectarines (summer), grapes, plums, peaches, and clementines are some of my favorites. If you struggle to eat veggies during a meal, you might set a goal to designate half of your plates to non-starchy veggies. 

Some people turn to fitness tracking apps like MyFitnessPal to record their daily intake. I, along with many in the nutrition community, find these apps to be reductionist and limiting when it comes to food. Instead, record a food diary on your phone or in a notebook. Don't worry about calories but rather more about the servings of fruits and veggie sin your day. 

6. Consult a Registered Dietitian (RD) if you are worried about meeting your nutritional needs. 

No online guide is going to tell you everything about your nutritional needs. Most campuses offer an RD that can evaluate your nutritional needs and health objectives to recommend plans/strategies. They are certified and trained to make recommendations regarding nutrition!