Monday, July 13, 2009

Brussel sprouts and spinach and broccoli... oh my

Here are some clever ways to add veggies to your diet...especially if you have picky kids at home.

Tips to Meal Planning Vegetables

    In general

    • Select vegetables with more potassium, such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, puree, and low-sodium juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, and split peas.
    • Select dark-green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash.
    • Prepare meals with more fresh ingredients. Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged or processed foods.
    • Use low-sodium or no salt added canned vegetables or frozen plain vegetables. If participants want to add a little salt, it will likely be less than the amount in the regular canned product.

    At meals


    • Serve oven-roasted, not fried potatoes, hash browns or potato/egg frittatas.
    • Add chopped zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, or onions to scrambled egg substitute or egg whites.
    • Serve low-sodium, 100% vegetable or tomato juice.
    • Incorporate shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini into quick breads and muffins.


    • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it.
    • Try a main dish salad for lunch.
    • Add a multi-vegetable, green salad to dinner.
    • Incorporate shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, casseroles, quick breads, and muffins.
    • Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
    • Add protein-rich white bean puree to tomato sauce.
    • Choose pureed, cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, mashed parsnips or carrots, to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture.
    • Use vegetables in soup (kale, spinach, vegetable medley) during winter.
    • Serve a low-fat or fat-free salad dressing with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, carrot or celery sticks or cauliflower.
    • Use dark leafy greens in salads, rather than iceberg lettuce. Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves.
    • Include in-season vegetables for variety through the year.
    • Serve cooked dry beans or peas in flavorful mixed dishes, such as chili or minestrone soup.
    • Offer fruits as desserts.

Action Guide for Healthy Eating


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