You probably know that veggies are good for you and that produce of some kind should fill half your plate. However, the “knowing” and the “doing” are two different things. In counseling people of all ages about healthier eating, I’ve found that fruits are pretty easy for most people. Just grab an apple between meals, toss banana slices or blueberries on your cereal or drink a small glass of OJ or pomegranate juice. Easy-Peasy–right?!
Adding veggies to your plate–all day, not just at dinner–is where the challenge lies. So I’ve come up with some ideas to help you eat more veggies. You might find it especially challenging to get your kids to eat their veggies. I hear you! First, set an example by gobbling down your veggies and second, make it fun! The tips below have been tried on kids of all ages and they work!
Boost Your Veggies: Thirteen Ways
So, 3 cups of vegetables a day sounds like a lot? (That’s the amount we should be eating according to MyPlate.) These shopping and cooking tips will help you eat the green and orange stuff you and your family need.Trying to eat more #veggies? Check out easy ways to eat more. bit.ly/2g0ItoL #fruitandveggiesmorematters #NationalNutritionMonth Click To Tweet
Veg-Up your sandwich! Add grated carrots, sliced cucumbers, mushrooms, avocado, corn, spinach leaves—anything to give your sandwich more crunch and vitamins.
Have a green smoothie—throw some spinach, Swiss chard or kale leaves, parsley or celery into your favorite fruit smoothie.
Add a cup of vegetable soup—either blended or broth-based.
Start your meals with a raw veggie or veggie salad of some kind like this: grated carrots with Dijon vinaigrette. This will slow down your eating and add an extra veggie.
Roast some vegetables as a snack–cauliflower and beets become sweeter when roasted. Just toss with a little oil and seasoning and roast at 450, stirring regularly until brown.
Put spinach or lightly cooked sliced vegetables instead of meat into your lasagna or stuffed pasta shells.
Don’t forget foods with processed tomatoes—salsa and pasta sauce. They are an easy way to stack on the veggies.
Beans (black, pinto, chickpeas or white) make a great dip–make your own, or buy some hummus.
No time to prep your veggies? No problem, buy them ready-to-eat!
Buy veggies that are fun and easy to eat: baby carrots, julienne carrots, broccoli slaw, cherry tomatoes.
Have a veggie for dessert—pumpkin, sweet potato or acorn squash. Keep frozen peas on hand—they’re easy to defrost and you can throw them in a salad, in pasta or stir-fry. Or shuck your own and freeze–no need to blanch!
Make your pizza veggielicious! I get mine with zucchini, eggplant, artichoke, tomato, bell pepper, olives and tomato. Yum!
Next, have fun with your vegetables! Kids love it when you use them to make funny faces or even sculptures. Make up games about choosing veggies when visiting the store or farmer’s market.
Finally, one way to eat more veggies is to think ahead, cook extra and freeze. Wondering what veggies freeze best and how best to do it? Check out this thorough and easy-to-read post on the topic: 19 Awesome Tips and Tricks to Freeze Veggies!