This week’s goal from our 52-week challenge is to get three cups of veggies every day. To see what counts as a cup, click here. The MyPlate recommendations vary a bit based on age and gender. Aim for three a day and you’ve got yourself covered! If you are struggling with getting enough veggies in your day, check out these tips from choosemyplate.org. Here are some of my favorite tips:
- Buy fresh vegetables in season. They’ll be at their peak of flavor and cost less. If you are not sure which veggies are in season, click here.
- Stock up on frozen veggies. The easier they are to prepare, the more likely you are to quickly add them to a meal.
- Vary your veggies. Different colors of vegetables have different nutrients. To maximize on nutrient intake, and to keep things interesting, choose lots of different colors.
- Plan around vegetables. Instead of planning your meal around meat, plan it around veggies. Stir fry, soups, and salads are great recipes to pack full of veggies.
- Green salad at every dinner. Make it a habit to serve green salad as a staple each night. Eat a larger serving if you skimped on veggies earlier in the day.
- Prep your veggies. Keep cut up veggies in the refrigerator. A see through container or a plastic storage bag right at the front of the fridge works great! If you see veggies first, you are more likely to grab them as a snack or to add to a meal.
- Fire up the grill. There is just something fantastic about food cooked on the grill. When it’s warm outside, make veggie kabobs to serve with your meal.
- Eat what you like. If you don’t like certain veggies, don’t eat them. Instead focus on the ones you do like, and include plenty in your diet.
One of my favorite vegetables is cucumbers. I can eat them plain, with dip, sprinkled with vinegar, or on a salad. A new favorite way to eat them is Cucumbers Caesar. It is great served as a side dish with lunch or dinner, or kept prepared in the refrigerator when you need a quick snack. Enjoy!
Certified Nutrition Education Assistant