Tips to Meal Planning – Vegetables
- 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.
- 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
Action List for Fruits and Vegetables. Available at:
Fabulous fruits, versatile vegetables. 2003. Available at:
What foods are in the vegetable group? 2005. Available at:
What counts as a cup of vegetables? 2005. Available at:
Tips to help you eat vegetables. 2005. Available at:
What foods are in the fruit group? 2005. Available at:
What counts as a cup of fruit? 2005. Available at:
Tips to help you eat fruit. 2005. Available at: