• Hannah Stewart, Undergraduate Dietetic Intern

3 Ways to Get More Veggies In This Fall

These days, getting anything on the table for dinner can be a challenge, let alone something nutritious! If you're needing some fast ways to add more veggies to your life, this is the post for you! Here are our favorite ways to get some extra veggies in:

Don't Forget About Breakfast

Some people think of vegetables as only a "lunch and dinner thing," but there are lots of ways to incorporate veggies into the earlier part of your day, too! Consider tossing spinach, peppers, and/or tomatoes (we'll leave the debate on whether tomatoes are a fruit or veggie for another day) into your eggs. Or, pan-fry some sweet potatoes for a fun twist on hash browns. If you're adventurous, serve sauteed veggies as a side with an egg sandwich. Throw some greens (or plain steamed veggies) into your morning smoothie. Add sauteed veggies leftover from dinner to your breakfast burrito. The possibilities are endless!

Keep It Convenient

If you're late to work and have to take your kids to school, chopping up lettuce or sauteing zucchini probably isn't high on the priority list (nor should it be!) The problem for many of us is that we set unmanageable goals that won't work with our overbooked schedules. Rather than slicing/preparing vegetables every day, some people find it easier to prepare a week's worth of vegetables on a weekend. If that's inconvenient, consider purchasing baby carrots or frozen veggies that you can throw in your work bag. Or, store chopped veggies in a visible location in your fridge so you don't forget about them. Having a meal plan will also help you know which veggies to purchase when you head to the store.

Make Them a Mix-In

For those who aren't picky, one of the easiest ways to get more veggies is to add them to a meal you already enjoy. Are you a curry fan? Add a bag of frozen, steamable veggies like cauliflower or broccoli to the dish. It will take just minutes to cook and will add texture to the dish. Or, puree some peas and mushrooms and add them to your spaghetti sauce. Stir in spinach to your fried rice, and sprinkle some shredded zucchini with cheese on your quesadilla. Add chopped vegetables to your pizza, or throw some extra veggies like peppers or broccoli into your soup or chili. Mix them in with your stir-fry, or layer them on your sandwich. The possibilities are endless!

No matter how you add them, there are numerous ways to add some extra veggies into your life. As always, show yourself some kindness if there are days that have little to no veggies. That happens sometimes and it doesn't mean you're not healthy. And, if you just don't love many veggies, know that you can get loads of similar nutrients and fiber from fruits or things like beans and whole grains. If you don't eat many veggies now but would like to incorporate more, try starting small by adding one new veggie per day or per week and gradually increase from there. That will be much more sustainable than buying 10 new veggies that you then watch slowly wilt in your fridge, or trying to add a load of veggies to every meal of the day. However you feel about veggies, we hope we gave you some new ideas to get you started!

#lifestyle #nutrition

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