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Brussel sprouts and spinach and broccoli... oh my

Posted Jul 13 2009 12:00am
Here are some clever ways to add veggies to your diet...especially if you have picky kids at home.

Tips to Meal Planning Vegetables

    In general

    • Select vegetables with more potassium, such as sweet potatoes, white potatoes, white beans, tomato products (paste, puree, and low-sodium juice), beet greens, soybeans, lima beans, winter squash, spinach, lentils, kidney beans, and split peas.
    • Select dark-green vegetables, such as broccoli, spinach, kale, romaine lettuce, and orange vegetables such as carrots, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and winter squash.
    • Prepare meals with more fresh ingredients. Most sodium in the food supply comes from packaged or processed foods.
    • Use low-sodium or no salt added canned vegetables or frozen plain vegetables. If participants want to add a little salt, it will likely be less than the amount in the regular canned product.

    At meals


    • Serve oven-roasted, not fried potatoes, hash browns or potato/egg frittatas.
    • Add chopped zucchini, spinach, tomatoes, or onions to scrambled egg substitute or egg whites.
    • Serve low-sodium, 100% vegetable or tomato juice.
    • Incorporate shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini into quick breads and muffins.


    • Plan some meals around a vegetable main dish, such as a vegetable stir-fry or soup. Then add other foods to complement it.
    • Try a main dish salad for lunch.
    • Add a multi-vegetable, green salad to dinner.
    • Incorporate shredded vegetables like carrots or zucchini into meatloaf, casseroles, quick breads, and muffins.
    • Include chopped vegetables in pasta sauce or lasagna.
    • Add protein-rich white bean puree to tomato sauce.
    • Choose pureed, cooked vegetables, such as potatoes, mashed parsnips or carrots, to thicken stews, soups and gravies. These add flavor, nutrients, and texture.
    • Use vegetables in soup (kale, spinach, vegetable medley) during winter.
    • Serve a low-fat or fat-free salad dressing with raw broccoli, red and green peppers, carrot or celery sticks or cauliflower.
    • Use dark leafy greens in salads, rather than iceberg lettuce. Add color to salads by adding baby carrots, shredded red cabbage, or spinach leaves.
    • Include in-season vegetables for variety through the year.
    • Serve cooked dry beans or peas in flavorful mixed dishes, such as chili or minestrone soup.
    • Offer fruits as desserts.

Action Guide for Healthy Eating


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