Sometimes vegetables get unfairly pushed to a supporting role in your meals or off the plate altogether. But there are many reasons to put them front and center where they belong, the most important of which is, they’re good for you! Chock full of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and fiber, no wonder the USDA recommends that half your plate be filled with fruits and vegetables. Make it easy and tasty, with these tricks and recipes.
- Eat with the seasons. Eating vegetables in season makes sense for a lot of reasons. One is that it raises the likelihood that you’re eating food that’s been grown nearby — maybe even in your own back yard. And another is that the seasonality of your favorite vegetables can make you anticipate — and appreciate — them even more; for instance, you look forward to devouring as much asparagus as possible before spring is over, and as many tomatoes as you can before the first frost.
Don't forget frozen vegetables. Another great way to eat more vegetables is to stock your freezer with them. Green Giant ensures that their vegetables are picked at their optimal maturity, or “peak of perfection.” Studies show that the nutrients in frozen vegetables are “locked-in” following the freezing process. Plus, you're more likely to include veggies with dinner on a busy weeknight if they’re at the ready in your freezer. Green Giant® Frozen Vegetables are available in packs as single veggies or in different blends.
If at first you don't succeed…try, try again.
Getting your kids to eat their veggies can be a tricky proposition, but don't be discouraged if they refuse the first few times. It can take a child up to fifteen tries or even a few months before they develop a taste for a new vegetable, so keep offering them. And remember to set a good example by eating them yourself.
Dress them up.
If serving veggies with a little olive oil and salt, melted cheese, or ranch dressing will increase your family's consumption, then by all means, go for it! Adding a bit of fat to vegetables helps unlock their fat-soluble nutrients and a few extra calories is worth the nutritional boost you'll be getting.
Give them a disguise.
Whether or not you have someone you need to trick into eating vegetables, it is still a great idea to fortify foods by incorporating vegetables into them whenever possible. Muffins, pasta sauces and smoothies will still taste amazing, even if you sneak a little mashed pumpkin or puréed spinach into them. Give it a whirl! You'll be surprised how much you can get away with!
Take your veggies on the road.
We all find ourselves eating on the run, whether it's at work or on the way to soccer practice. Take along containers of crunchy carrots, celery, radishes and cucumbers so you can get a nutritious veggie fix while curbing your hunger.
Many ethnic cuisines emphasize vegetables over animal protein. For meals that are light on your waistline and your wallet, try out new recipes for Indian, Mexican, Asian or Italian dishes that are loaded with veggies. Your family might be more inclined to eat veggies when they are prepared in a novel way.
Veggies and eggs are a match made in heaven because you get the protein and hunger curbing power from the eggs in addition to all that veggie nutrition. Frittatas and omelets are a great way to combine eggs and vegetables, but you can always keep it simple and put a poached or olive-oil fried egg on top of your veggies for a quick and satisfying meal.
Do you have any tips for incorporating more veggies into your family's diet? Share them with us here.