Vegetables can be consumed at breakfast, lunch, dinner or a snack. For breakfast you can add vegetables to an omelet or a veggie filled breakfast burrito. At lunch, add a couple tomato slices to your sandwich; sip on some vegetable soup; eat colorful and sweet baby bell peppers; or dip carrot and celery sticks in hummus. On the weekend you can make a batch of vegetable soup and freeze one portion in a freezer container and defrost as needed for lunch or dinner. At dinner, serve a salad with a variety of raw vegetables or for another quick and fun to eat option, cut bell peppers, onion, and tomato into bite size chunks and place on skewers on top of the grill.
A Answers (6)
Lisa Lillien, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
You could swallow more salad or munch more mini carrots, but this trick for sneaking vegetables into your diet is guaranteed to be tastier. Find out how Hungry Girl author Lisa Lillien does it by watching this video.
Laura Motosko, MSEd, RD, Nutrition & Dietetics, answered
Be sure to have vegetables readily available for you to use, both fresh and frozen. Try slices of peppers on sandwiches or as chips for dips. Puree cauliflower, broccoli, sweet potatoes and carrots to add to soups, sauces, casseroles and baked goods. Garnish foods with small, diced vegetables, such as beets and tomatoes on entrees and salads.
Be adventurous and creative in your meal planning and you will be amazed at how easy it is to eat more vegetables.
- Start with breakfast-if you have eggs and whole wheat toast, add a side of steamed vegetables or cook your eggs with vegetables such as spinach, mushrooms, onion, garlic. If you enjoy a fruit smoothie, add veggies to it. If you eat a breakfast burrito--add veggies such as onion, tomatoes, cilantro to flavor and bulk up on vegetables.
- Load your sandwiches with vegetables such as spinach, lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers. For a change, skip the bread and use a leafy green to make your sandwich.
- Enjoy a snack of carrots, bell pepper strips, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower florets anytime with or without a dip
- Add vegetables to your soups, stews, casseroles, meat loaf, sauces
- Add vegetables to your smoothies
- Enjoy salads--make them colorful and the centerpiece of your meal
- Try a new vegetable each week
- Find new and healthy recipes to make your veggies
- Consider joining a co-op that delivers a surprise box of vegetables to your home each week
- Use the MyPlate icon as a visual tool to remember that half your plate needs to be filled with fruits and vegetables
Try these ideas to fit more vegetables into your diet:
- Keep plenty of fresh and frozen vegetables on hand. If you have them readily available you are more likely to eat them.
- Instead of cooking only what you need for a recipe, prepare extra veggies to eat the next day with lunch or to toss into an omelet or frittata in the morning.
- Add fresh, frozen or leftover broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or squash to your favorite pasta dish. Remember tomato sauce counts as a veggie too!
- Add shredded zucchini, carrots or mushrooms to non-veggie dishes like lasagna, meatloaf or meat sauce for pasta.
- Add beans to your chicken, turkey or beef taco mixture. This adds extra protein, fiber and flavor.
- Start every meal at home or away from home with a vegetable salad or soup.
- Make it a rule to have vegetables at breakfast. Add sliced tomato, spinach or mushrooms to your egg sandwich or breakfast burrito. You can also enjoy a veggie quesadilla of mushrooms, spinach and cheese.
Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics answeredHere are a few ideas to get you started on eating more vegetables in healthy ways:
- Try crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite dip or low-fat salad dressing.
- Top a baked potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.
- Make your main dish a salad of dark, leafy greens and other colorful vegetables. Add chickpeas or edamame (fresh soybeans). Top with a low-fat dressing.
- Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Try any combination of chopped tomatoes, onions, green pepper, spinach or mushrooms plus some low-fat cheese.