“No dessert until you’ve finished your broccoli.”
“You’re not allowed to leave the table until that spinach is gone.”
“No, the dog cannot have your brussel sprouts!”
Sound familiar? Getting kids to eat their vegetables can be a struggle, but they aren’t the only ones who have a hard time consuming the recommended daily serving. According to American dietary guidelines, 3-5 servings of vegetables per day are recommended for a healthy diet. Typically, a serving equals 1 cup of a vegetable – for instance, 1 medium size potato or even a ¾ cup of vegetable juice. Unfortunately, most people (even adults!) have a hard time following those guidelines.
Luckily, we’ve thought of some easy and sneaky ways to add more vegetables to each of your daily meals!
More Vegetables for Breakfast
One of the easiest ways to add vegetables to your breakfast is to make a frittata. Scramble up some eggs and throw in any vegetable you like. Red onions, peas, artichokes, broccoli, tomatoes – the sky’s the limit for the vegetables you can use to make a frittata more filling and flavorful!
Another great way to add in veggies to your breakfast is to puree vegetables to mix in with your pancakes. Puree a butternut squash and combine it with your favorite pancake or waffle mix for a delicious and nutritious start to your day.
Pre-Prep Veggies for Snacking
When it comes to snack foods, preparation is key. When you have the option either to munch on a bag of chips or to cut up carrots or peppers to dip in hummus, the more convenient choice will most often win. Setting aside time each week to prep healthy veggies for snacking can make it easier to choose the healthier option during those times.
Purchase a big bag of baby carrots or peapods, and portion them into snack-size bags. Cut peppers and cucumbers for dipping, or have mixed greens on hand for an easy salad. These simple and quick ways can help you and your family ensure that you’re getting your daily servings of veggies in — and reducing the amount of junk food that you consume!
Bulk Up Lunch and Dinner Vegetable Servings
Pureeing vegetables might sound like adding baby food to your dishes, but it is a great way to get your servings of vegetables while also adding flavor to your foods. This is also an excellent way to get your kids or your picky spouse to eat a wider variety of vegetables.
Spinach can be pureed and mixed in with a red sauce, and cauliflower can be pureed and added to meatballs. Spaghetti and meatballs never looked so healthy!
Speaking of spaghetti, why not try your hand at veggie noodles? Zucchini, squash, and even sweet potatoes all make a great vegetable noodle. You can skip the carbs and add plentiful servings of veggies to your meals, and even the kids will enjoy it.
Sneaky Vegetable Adding – Ninja Level
We’ve talked about adding vegetables into all three daily meals – but what about adding vegetables into desserts? Chocolate is such a strong and delicious flavor that it can hide almost any pureed vegetable, making it a great way to sneak some healthy additions into desserts like brownies, chocolate cake, or cookies.
Avocados are a healthy fruit that can be added in by stealth to a sweet treat. Avocado chocolate pudding is a great example, and if you don’t spill the beans, no one will ever guess they are getting a part of their daily fruit requirement in their pudding!
Getting your five servings of veggies each day is just the start of ensuring that you’re living a healthy lifestyle. For more nutritional advice, consult with the doctors at South Orange Chiropractic Center.