Despite the fact that mothers everywhere have been telling their children to eat their vegetables for at least half a century, most of us are still falling short when it comes to eating the vegetables we need to promote good health. Since it would be difficult for someone in modern day America not to know why eating vegetables is important, there must be something else behind our reluctance to fill our plates with delicious, nutritious vegetables. In honor of National Eat Your Vegetables Day, we thought it would be fun to turn the tables and talk about why you aren’t eating what your body needs to be healthy. After each of the most common reasons, we have offered up some helpful tips to help make sure you are filling half your plate with healthy veggies.
Lack of an Adventurous Culinary Spirit
When it comes to food, some of us like what we like and that’s what we eat and the desire to try something new rarely happens when it comes to what we eat. If this sounds like you, you can increase your veggie intake simply by adding veggies to the foods you love to eat. For example, toss some extra veggies on your favorite pizza. You can increase your veggie intake without having to try a bunch of new dishes.
Dislike of Texture
Some people just don’t like how the crunch of a raw carrot or the mush of a boiled pea feels in their mouth. If this sounds like you, you can increase your daily veggie intake by removing the texture issue all together. For example, puree a green pepper and an onion and use that to replace water in your chili recipe. You won’t even know the veggies are there and you might be surprised at how much tastier this makes your chili.
Dislike of Taste
For people who just don’t find the taste of most vegetables appealing, there are a couple different options. You can always smother it with hot sauce or gravy or even butter as long as you aren’t also watching your weight. If that doesn’t suit, you can make use of the fruit/vegetable combination juices that are now available which let you drink your vegetables while only tasting the fruit.
Bored of Boiled
One of the most common reasons that people fail to eat all the veggies they need is because they are simply bored with boiled corn, boiled peas, boiled or baked potatoes, and boiled carrots but they don’t know what else to do with those veggies to make them appetizing. This is an easy one to fix because all you need to do is pick a vegetable and then Google recipes for how to use it. Or, look for posts on Fill Your Plate, like this one about cauliflower, that feature a vegetable and offer 20, 30 or even 50 different ways to use it.
Use National Eat Your Vegetables Day as your inspiration and challenge yourself to increasing the number of veggies that make it on your plate every day!
- 7 Tips for Eating Your Way to More Energy (fillyourplate.org)
- Looking for Great Food? It May Be Closer Than You Think (fillyourplate.org)
- What to Do With All That Fruit (fillyourplate.org)