No matter what time of year, you'll find a variety of vegetables that are tasty and easy to prepare.
Vegetables never go out of style! They color our plates with essential vitamins, minerals and antioxidants, and many are high in fiber, and therefore may help lower cholesterol levels and stave off hunger to better control your weight.
The nutrition addition
Eating plenty of vegetables is essential for lifelong health. Here are some easy ways you can incorporate more veggies into your eating plan!
- Always keep your freezer stocked with frozen vegetables so you can prep them at a moment's notice in just a few minutes.
- Serve pasta primavera, and let the vegetables outnumber the pasta.
- Add fresh or frozen broccoli or peas to a casserole or rice dish.
- Whip up a black bean, corn, tomato and bell pepper salad. Season with chili powder, lime juice and fresh cilantro.
- Make soup. Clean out your freezer by adding frozen green beans, potatoes, corn, carrots and more to canned stewed tomatoes. Season with fresh or dried thyme for a savory touch.
- Use raw spinach (thoroughly washed) instead of lettuce on your sandwich.
- Order salads, vegetable soup, stir-fried or steamed vegetables when you eat out.
Trying to get your children to eat more fruits and vegetables but feeling at a loss? Try these ideas and you may be surprised.
- Ask your kids what their favorite fruits and vegetables are and how they like them prepared.
- Take your kids grocery shopping with you and have them pick out new fresh, canned or frozen fruit and veg to try.
- Make mealtime fun -- let your children help you prepare fruits and veggies at home. They can tear up broccoli, wash vegetables and toss salads.
- Kids like to have control. Put out small bowls of raisins, baby carrots, cherry tomatoes, crunchy noodles and chopped fruit, and let them make their own salads.
- Let them grow their own food to eat in a planter box or the back yard.
- Pick a dressing children will like. Kids tend to lean more toward sweeter dressings like honey mustard rather than vinaigrette.
- Children can also make their own wraps or tacos -- loaded with beans, tomatoes, corn, cucumber, avocado, lettuce and tomatoes.
- Let the kids stuff baked potatoes with salsa, guacamole, or broccoli and cheese.
- Serve chopped vegetables like baby carrots, celery stalks, jicama sticks, asparagus spears, broccoli and cauliflower florets with kid-friendly dips: salsa, low-fat ranch dressing, flavored hummus, peanut butter or guacamole.
- For a fun snack, dish up boiled edamame (soybeans in the pod).
- Sneak it in: Add pureed or finely chopped veggies to soups, sauces and casseroles.
For more advice about getting kids to eat their vegetables, see our article Encourage your children to eat more veggies here!
Tips from ADA National Spokesperson Marisa Moore, RD, LD