I get asked ALL the time, “How do I increase my vegetable intake?” I want to share some simple tips I have come up with throughout the years that are foolproof when it come to increasing your vegetable intake.
What you will need:
- Variety of Frozen Vegetables- Get creative with this! Some of my favorite frozen vegetables are Trader Joe’s Stir Fry Vegetables, Frozen Bell Peppers, Frozen Spinach, and Frozen Broccoli. *make sure frozen vegetables do not have added sauce or seasoning to avoid a lot of extra sodium
- Variety Canned Vegetables- Life gets busy, but if you have no salt added canned vegetables on hand you will set yourself up for success!
- Variety of Fresh Vegetables: Make sure they are something that you enjoy. These go bad quickly, so you do not want to grab something you will never eat. Trust me we have all been there and done that. The worst thing you could do is have a very expensive trash can from all your rotten vegetables!
Now, you are probably like, “Yes I have heard this 1,000 times before. What makes your method so special?” Well let’s break this down for each meal.
Start the day off with a bang! We want to start in the positive, not the negative. Why? If your day gets busy, you at least had a serving of vegetables!
- Add vegetables to your eggs: handful of frozen bell peppers, handful frozen spinach- let these cook before you add your eggs! You can either scramble, make an omelet, or serve them with your fried egg!
- Smoothies: You can use fresh or frozen vegetables here! The possibilities are endless here, but my favorites are spinach and kale!
- Quiche/Frittata- Are you short on time in the mornings? These make perfect meal prep for the week. Here is my favorite recipe- I use breakfast potatoes (frozen) place them on a bottom of a pie pan, place frozen spinach, frozen peppers, 6 eggs, and cheese overtop and bake at 350 degrees for about 35-40 minutes or until eggs are set (not jiggly). There is a perfect balance of carbohydrates, fats, and proteins! Plus you get 6 portions here! Just heat and go in the morning.
This one can be more challenging depending on where and how you eat lunch. We have all had those days where we have to eat lunch driving down the road to our next destination. Do not worry I got you!
- Sandwiches: Make a simple sandwich on a whole grain bread. You can add things like slice cucumbers, tomatoes, and lettuce to your sandwich. This makes getting vegetables in on the go easy!
- Salads: In order not to get bored with salads you need to have a variety of choices to add as toppings. My favorite toppings are beans, peppers, pickled items( especially jalapeños), cucumbers, carrots, cabbage, lentils, fruit, and nuts and seeds. Just make sure you always include a protein source! This will keep you fuller longer!
- Pack Leftovers: Cook a little extra the night before and package them up for your lunch the next days. *this requires you to have a microwave or way to heat up your food
- Side Salad: At the start of every week I take and make a huge salad for the week. I place in a metal round bowl with lid. I only add ingredients that do not provide moisture (carrots, cabbage, lettuce, radishes, bell peppers). I wait until time to serve to add vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, and etc.
- Hide vegetables into dishes: This is great for that picky kid that will not eat vegetables. You can easily hide vegetables in pasta sauce, meatloaf, and other casseroles.
- Roast Vegetables: This makes life easy at the start of the week. You can take and roast a ton of vegetables on a sheet pan and store for the rest of the week.
Overall, getting your vegetables in during the day does not have to be hard. Start with preparing your house for even the craziest days (canned and frozen vegetables). If you have a stocked pantry then everything is possible.
Do you have any tips that you are currently using? Share in the comments below