Broccoli, squash, and bok choy… OH MY! Adding vegetables to your diet can be tricky BUT there are fun, creative ways to make them tasty and enjoyable for the whole family!
Let’s back up and start with why it is important to eat vegetables. Vegetables provide many health benefits for people of all ages. They provide nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, dietary fiber, and potassium that are vital for the health and maintenance of your body. Increasing your vegetable intake can also reduce the risk of heart disease as well as type 2 diabetes, and it may protect against certain cancers. (https://food.unl.edu/NEP/NEP%20Documents/Vegetable%20group.pdf)
Some of our first solid foods as humans are fruits and vegetables. And then we become toddlers and refuse to eat at all! Ha! Growing up my family did not eat a lot of vegetables. My mom always purchased can vegetables like carrots, green beans, and peas. Canned carrots were the worst. (I still gag at the thought) Beyond that, we generally had corn and potatoes. Eventually, I became an unhealthy adult who need to make a change. So, I changed my eating habits and began eating a large amount of vegetables. And you know what? They tasted GOOD! And my body felt GOOD!
When I changed my eating habits, I began to become more creative in how I would eat my vegetables. First, I always bought fresh vegetables. Especially salad mixes like super greens or baby spinach or a spring mix. I would cook my meat however I preferred and then throw it on a pile of greens. Essentially making it a salad. I also started with steaming or sautéing fresh vegetables and then added a little olive oil and seasoned salt on them amped up their taste. When I did this, my body began to change. I didn’t feel as lethargic, run down, or blah as I would when eating my previous diet which did not contain as many vegetables. The vitamins in vegetables kept my system in check and gave me more energy for daily activities including playing with my small children.
As I continued to incorporate more vegetables, I began to become more creative. I made a delicious alfredo sauce from cauliflower as well as a taco shell. Dinners were made up completely of vegetables like spaghetti squash and zucchini. Even my husband, who is not a veggie eater, loved these recipes and couldn’t believe they were predominantly vegetables.
You don’t need to dive in headfirst to a predominate vegetable diet. But, don’t give up on a certain vegetable if you didn’t like it on the first try. There is so much more out there on the internet these days when it comes to tips, tricks, and recipes for veggies. With a simple search, you can find anything. Here are the links for the items I mentioned above.
Give them a try, you won’t regret it!