Veggies

Do Your Kids Hate 'em?

Veggies ~ Super Vegetables

Well, here’s a few ways to sneak more into your meals.

About 75 percent of us don't get enough, so here's how to fool yourself into getting more.

Get healthy into your diet by adding them to sandwiches, pairing them with other foods and even eating pumpkin pie or soup.

We all make excuses, whether it's for failing to return a phone call, showing up late to a meeting or skipping the gym.

Even into adulthood, some of us are particularly creative when it comes to explaining why we don't eat our healthy produce.

We've actually had someone tell us they can't eat vegetables because they make them gag.

And I wondered to myself, just how big were those veggie pieces?

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, about 75 percent of Americans don't eat the recommended five to nine servings of fruits and vegetables per day.

That's alarming, considering how important they are to maintaining a healthy and productive lifestyle, but not surprising, given that many people would love to have barbecue sauce classified as a vegetable and be done with the whole affair.

For that reason, dietitians have had to get subtler with their advice.

The secret to getting their clients to eat more veggies is not to explain their health benefits; it’s sneaking them into their diets.

It's all about baby steps.

Many people know they need to eat more vegetables.

They just need more ideas.

So, here are a few tips for downing the super foods.

Pretty much all veggies are super foods.

My goodness, they add fiber, vitamins, antioxidants, iron and calcium to a person's diet, but not a lot of calories.

Chances are, you're never going to eat too many veggies, but as any doctor will tell you, the same can't be said about potato chips or cookies.

Vegetables serve a number of purposes.

They help lower cholesterol, prevent diseases like cancer and heart disease, aid in digestion and help maintain satiety, so you feel full for a longer period of time.

For those who’d rather eat dirt than their daily serving,

We suggest getting creative by combining veggies with your favorite foods.

Instead of having a meat only sandwich, or one garnished with a limp piece of lettuce, throw on some tomatoes, sprouts or spinach to fulfill one serving of vegetables.

Loading your pizza down with sausage, pepperoni and extra cheese may not be the road to health, but throw on half a cup of broccoli, spinach or mushrooms and at least you're getting another serving in.

You can also get really creative and incorporate vegetables into baked goods, such as zucchini bread or orange butternut pumpkin muffins.

That way, it doesn't seem like you're being forced to eat a side or plate of veggies.

Pumpkin pie actually counts.

Vegetables can even be dessert.

Half a cup of pumpkin pie counts as a serving of vegetables, and if you make it without the crust, you can cut calories, too.

Standard portion sizes don't have to be tricky.

One serving equals a half-cup of raw, cooked or pureed vegetables (including tomato sauce and soup), one cup of raw leafy greens or four to six ounces of juice.

There's also good news for french fry lovers as one medium-sized potato counts also, but it isn't highly endorsed.

Potatoes do qualify as a vegetable, but we'd like people to branch out further.

Tasty pairings.

Another way to make vegetables more palatable is to pair them with other foods, which usually brings out their best flavors and so does adding certain oils and seasonings.

What's more, tasty combination's can help the body better absorb precious nutrients from vegetables.

Greens, especially bitter greens, such as broccoli or dandelion, taste their best when in combination with three ingredients.

A healthy source of fat, such as olive or macadamia oil, nuts or peanut oil; a bit of acid, such as lemon juice or flavored vinegar and a dash of heat from crushed red pepper.

Experts also suggest adding a little color to your diet.

So, don't stick to only green vegetables, such as spinach and broccoli.

Veggies come in a wide variety of shades, such as red, yellow, orange and purple, and each color brings a whole new set of vitamins and minerals to the table.

Vitamins don't compare to real food.

For those who just can't, or won't, make vegetables a part of their daily diet, there are always supplements that can be taken, but be warned that many vitamin supplements are not well absorbed by the body, nor do they take the place of real food.

Scientific evidence shows that the protective nutrients found in vegetables work in harmony to improve health, rather than alone, as in supplements.

So, you're not getting the same benefits.

And, if you don't know what to have for dinner tonight ...

Sesame Vegetable Grill

Simply grill two of the most vitamin and nutrient-rich vegetables, sweet potatoes and Brussels sprouts, with fresh garlic and sesame oil for a quick dish.

The brilliant flavor of grilled vegetables is so satisfying!

Ingredients:

* 2 sweet potatoes, peeled, cut into walnut-sized chunks

* 8 oz. brussels sprouts, halved

* 4 garlic cloves, thinly sliced

* 2 tsp. canola oil

* 1/4 tsp. sea salt

* 1/2 tsp. regular or hot toasted sesame oil

* freshly ground black pepper

Preparation;

1. Preheat a covered grill.

2. In a large bowl, combine the sweet potatoes, Brussels sprouts, garlic, canola oil and sea salt.

Toss to coat.

Place the vegetables in a grill basket or portable grill rack.

Set on the grill and cover.

Grill, turning occasionally, for 20 to 25 minutes, or until tender.

3. Transfer the vegetables to a platter.

Drizzle the sesame oil on top.

Season to taste with black pepper.

Toss.

Nutrition:

per serving

Calories 134

Fat 5.2 g.

Saturated Fat 0.3 g.

Cholesterol 0 mg.

Sodium 195 mg.

Carbohydrates 18.6 g.

Total Sugars 4.8 g.

Dietary Fiber 4.2 g.

Protein 3.8 g.

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