Daily Vegetables

Vegetables are an important part of a healthy eating plan.

Bright, colorful vegetables are full of nutrients that can help you look and feel your best. By following a healthy diet, you give your body the nutrients it needs to stay strong and work well.

Getting started

Here are some tips to help you incorporate more vegetables into your diet:

  • Start with small goals you can easily accomplish. Then set larger goals as you reach your initial goals. For example, you may set a goal to replace your order of fries with a side salad. Once you accomplish that goal, you can set a larger goal to add a serving of vegetables to every meal.
  • Buy packaged, ready-to-eat fresh vegetables. These cut down on preparation time. You can also buy microwavable, pre-packaged vegetables for a quick, easy and healthy side.
  • Cut up raw veggies and keep them in your fridge. If you have these ready to eat, you’re more likely to grab them for a quick snack instead of something else.
  • Add colorful veggies like red cabbage and peppers to salads.
  • Add vegetables like zucchini and carrots to pasta sauces and soups.

Pump up the flavor

  • Dip raw vegetables in low-fat salad dressing, hummus or peanut butter.
  • Marinate vegetables in low-fat Italian dressing prior to baking for a flavorful side dish.
  • Roast vegetables to bring out their flavor. Simply brush a small amount of olive oil on them and bake until tender.
  • Season cooked vegetables with lemon juice and fresh herbs to bring out their flavor.

Tips for eating out

  • Order a veggie pizza. Or ask the restaurant to add vegetables to your favorite pie.
  • Order vegetable soup instead of a cream-based soup.
  • Ask for salsa with your baked potato instead of sour cream, butter, cheese and bacon.
  • Substitute a side salad in place of french fries.
  • Try vegetarian menu options.

Make a plan

It’s helpful to plan your meals in advance. This helps you avoid impulsively eating less-healthy items. Be sure to include a vegetarian meal or a vegetable side dish on your menu plan. If your shopping list says to buy vegetables, you’re more likely to buy (and eat) them throughout the week.