Vegetables are an important part of a healthy eating plan. Bright, colorful vegetables are full of nutrients that can help you look and feel your best. By following a healthy diet, you give your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and work well.
Here are some tips to help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet:
- Start with small goals you can easily accomplish. Then set larger goals as you reach your initial goals. For example, you may set a goal to replace your order of fries with a side salad. Once you accomplish that goal, you can set a larger goal to add a serving of vegetables to every meal.
- Buy packaged, ready-to-eat fresh vegetables. These cut down on preparation time. You can also buy microwavable, pre-packaged vegetables for a quick, easy and healthy side.
- Cut up raw veggies and keep them in your fridge. If you have these ready to eat, you’re more likely to grab them for a quick snack instead of something else.
- Add colorful veggies like red cabbage and peppers to salads.
- Add vegetables like zucchini and carrots to pasta sauces and soups.
Pump up the flavor
- Dip raw vegetables in low-fat salad dressing, hummus or peanut butter.
- Marinate vegetables in low-fat Italian dressing prior to baking for a flavorful side dish.
- Roast vegetables to bring out their flavor. Simply brush a small amount of olive oil on them and bake until tender.
- Season cooked vegetables with lemon juice and fresh herbs to bring out their flavor.
Tips for eating out
- Order a veggie pizza. Or ask the restaurant to add vegetables to your favorite pie.
- Order vegetable soup instead of a cream-based soup.
- Ask for salsa with your baked potato instead of sour cream, butter, cheese and bacon.
- Substitute a side salad in place of french fries.
- Try vegetarian menu options.
Make a plan
It’s helpful to plan your meals in advance. This helps you avoid impulsively eating less-healthy items. Be sure to include a vegetarian meal or a vegetable side dish on your menu plan. If your shopping list says to buy vegetables, you’re more likely to buy (and eat) them throughout the week.