As we all know, vegetables are an important and nutrient-packed part of any diet. In addition to being naturally low in fat and calories, vegetables are heavy in potassium, dietary fiber, folate, Vitamin A, and Vitamin C. As great as they are, it can be difficult to include them (or enough of them) in your diet. According to the Dairy Council of California, it is recommended that children consume 1 to 1.5 cups of vegetables while adults should generally have 2.5 to 3 cups a day. If you are looking to increase the amount of greens you consume, we have come up with a couple of simple ways that will help you include them into your diet!
1. Buy vegetables that are easy to prepare
If you are busy and on the-go, it can be difficult to carve out time to cook. Luckily, frozen vegetables are here to save the day! With these vegetables, there is no need to spend time cutting and peeling them. A few other perks of frozen vegetables include convenience, affordability, and year-long availability.
2. Plan a few meals around a vegetable main dish
What better way to increase your vegetable intake than to make vegetables the main dish! Recipes such as Summer-Vegetable Casserole, Broccoli-Rabe and Ricotta Frittata, and Cauliflower Tacos are not only high in nutrients, but also tasty! Bonus tip- Don’t forget to vary your vegetable choices in your recipes. You are less likely to get bored of broccoli, for example, if you don’t have it in a meal 5 times in one week.
3. Make vegetables more appealing
Moms with picky eaters, listen up! Encourage your little ones to indulge in veggies by providing their favorite dip to pair them with. Examples of delicious pairings include low fat dressings with carrots or broccoli and the classic baby carrots with ranch.
4. Learn to make small substitutions
Although this suggestion may be difficult, it is not impossible. When eating out, substitute your fries or mac and cheese for a delicious and nutritious side of seasonal veggies! If you’re cooking your favorite meals, consider substituting carb-dense foods such as breads and baked goods with vegetables! For example, have you ever heard of a pizza crust made of cauliflower? Or what about spaghetti squash paired with meatballs and marinara?