10 Ways to Increase Your Vegetable Intake

The Dietary Guidelines for Americans 2010 recommends increasing your intake of fruits and vegetables with a variety of colors. When following a healthy diet through MyPlate, you make half your plate fruit and vegetables. While many people can easily fit fruit into their diet through breakfast and snacking, increasing intake of vegetables tends to be harder. Here are 10 simple tips to fit more vegetables into your diet – and anyone else you are cooking for!

1. When making a frozen pizza, add your own fresh vegetables just prior to cooking. I love adding green peppers, spinach, onions, and tomatoes to my frozen pepperoni pizza!

2. Add vegetables to a homemade smoothie! See my favorite recipe – Mixed Berry Surprise Smoothie

3. Snack on crunchy vegetables and dip instead of chips. Or, try my recipe for Kale Chips – a deliciously good-for-you crunchy snack!

4. When grilling kebobs, make the skewers at least 1/2 vegetables. Or, make a completely veggie packed skewer. Mix up the veggies for fun – add squash, tomatoes, peppers, onions, mushrooms, zucchini, eggplant, etc!

5. Pack your salad full of vegetables of varying colors to get maximum nutrition! Each color group of vegetables specializes in its own nutritional benefits.

6. Have cut vegetables on hand in the fridge for easy snacking. When in a hurry, you may be more likely to grab veggies when they are already cut and ready to eat! Other ideas: smart snacking

7. Stuff your omelet with veggies – experiment with it! Have a fun build-your-own omelet bar on the weekend with friends and/or family! See who makes the best combination!

8. Stock your freezer with frozen vegetables for a quick steamable side dish. Frozen veggies are also great to hide in meaty casseroles for an extra nutrition punch! An easy way to get picky eaters to get in their veggies!

9. Pack in the veggies on your sandwiches. Add cucumbers, peppers, onions, lettuce, tomato, etc! Another great way to experiment with veggies.

10. Add grated, shredded, or chopped vegetables to casseroles, meatloaf, lasagna, and pasta sauce. Zucchini, carrots, and spinach are great add-ins! See my recipe for Vegetable Packed Pasta Sauce!

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