How to Start Eating More Vegetables
The average American eats less than 3 vegetables a day. It‘s a missed opportunity for a high quality of life. Instead, we complain about how awful we feel…
while eating Oreos on the couch…
7 episodes deep in a binge on Netflix.
WHOOPS! Who‘s NOT guilty of this?
The barrier to eating more vegetables is… well, how do I even make them so they’re edible and not go to waste? Or you could think, “My kid eats only 2 vegetables, they’re too picky to try anything else.”
Well, I have a few tips that will jump past these barriers right into eating 4+ vegetables a day along with those little minions who have invaded your home.
Before we dive into my little secret, it’s important to first understand why we should even try to eat these dirt-grown foods (yes, OK hydroponics included).
Vegetables contain a powerful combination of nutrients that
- wipe clean your arteries
- make your skin glow
- grow your hair and nails
- scrub and strengthen your intestines
- flush out cholesterol
- sweep away the fat covering your cells, lowering insulin resistance and blood sugars
- and MORE!
Fiber, vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and phytochemicals are MAGIC!
Adding to these benefits, as you focus on eating more vegetables you automatically begin crowding out less desirable, processed foods.
You also crave processed foods LESS because you are feeding your cells the nutrients they need. You‘ll be doing less mindless eating, trying to find your way to something that satisfies your hunger pains.
So with that brief educational side note, let’s dig into our question of the day: “How can we eat more vegetables?”
Instead of listing a long list of tips, tricks, and hacks that will eventually overwhelm you and lead to paralysis of even starting, I will list just. one. tip.
Start with the most tasteless veggies of them all!
- Cabbage (red and green)
- Summer Squash
I learned this trick from blenderlady.com. Start with 1/3 to 1/2 cup of these in soups, smoothies, casseroles, blended coffees, and sauces. You can use one of these five vegetables or add in a variety that equal this amount.
Take note, though, if color matters such as making a white sauce or tomato soup then you’ll want to stick with the same colored ones.
If your little one eats only certain colors or avoids colors, you’ll want to be mindful of these veggies making or breaking their inner rule of eating. (You could also try putting the smoothie, for instance, in a patterned cup with a colored straw so they can’t see the color of their smoothie.)
So instead of only reading what to do, take action and start with this SIMPLE veggie-loving recipe:
Here’s my secret sauce to getting kids to eat more veggies. Get them in the kitchen and let them
1) see you slice and chop them
2) help wash them
3) touch them
4) ask how they smell
This sight, smell, and touch helps them become familiar with the food in an unpressured environment, such as only seeing them at the dinner table. Your child will be more opt to trying the vegetables as the touch and hold it.
Pineapple Squash Smoothie
1/3 C Zucchini
1/3 C Spinach
½ C Pineapple, frozen
8 oz Unsweetened Coconut Milk
1/4 Cashews or avocado, (or opt for 1/2 of a banana if watching fat intake)
Blend cashews (if using) in coconut milk first. Add in remaining ingredients and blend until smooth.
Get your kids in the kitchen to experience the vegetables before they hit the table. Have them see, touch, and smell the five tasteless vegetables: spinach, cabbage, cauliflower, zucchini, and summer squash. Use these vegetables in soups, smoothies, sauces and more to make it to 4+ servings of vegetables a day. Your blood sugar (and kids) will thank you!
So tell me… how do you get vegetables into your diet each day? What struggles do you have in eating more vegetables? Post your answer below in the comments!