Tricks to help you eat more vegetables
Consuming vegetables and salads is essential for a healthy, balanced diet. But sometimes vegetables can be difficult to include. A lack of time, the time needed to cook them and the fact that our children don’t really like vegetables, make us eat fewer vegetables than we should.
on today's menu
Vegetables, salads and fruits should be present in our daily diet. The nutrients provided by these foods, rich in vitamins, minerals and fibre, are essential to maintain a healthy diet. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends eating five pieces of fruit or vegetables a day, although some studies raise the figure to seven. In spite of what the experts advise, few people meet this goal. To achieve it, or at least approach the amount recommended by nutritionists, we can try a few tricks that will help us to eat more vegetables, almost without realising it.
Adding vegetables to the dishes that we already like and eat will increase our intake of these foods. We can put more carrots into lasagne, add fresh tomatoes, onions or courgette to a pizza or enrich rice with garlic or artichokes. Another simple, effortless way to eat more vegetables is to make them into an omelette. An omelette with beans, spinach or aubergine is just as nutritious as if we ate them fresh from the grill or the oven, and the egg also increases our consumption of proteins. Chopping vegetables into small pieces to disguise them and making scrambled eggs with some other, more strongly flavoured ingredient like salmon or shrimp, may be another good choice.
Another simple, effortless way to eat more vegetables is to make them into an omelette
If we usually drink fruit juices, we can also add some vegetables. Celery or some spinach leaves combine perfectly with any juice. In the case of spinach, the taste of the juice is barely affected and you can gradually add more leaves, until you end up eating a whole plate of these green leafy vegetables.
Sometimes it is not the taste of vegetables that we do not like, but their texture. We could try other forms of cooking them, such as on the barbecue. In addition to keeping them in one piece, the smoke and embers lend different nuances that we may find more to our liking. If we decide to steam them, remember not to overcook them, and leave them al dente.
Another way to eat more vegetables is to use them as the main ingredient to make a sauce to accompany another dish. A sauce made with carrots or peppers is healthy and can go well with meat. It is also easier to eat vegetables in creams and pâtés. For a snack, we can prepare guacamole or creamed aubergine and accompany them with carrots, courgettes and cucumbers cut into sticks. If we like to experiment in the kitchen, we can bake our own bread and mix the flour with some vegetables like pumpkin or onion.
CHILDREN AND VEGETABLES
Vegetables are probably the most difficult food to persuade children to eat. Neither the taste nor the texture are to their liking, but they are essential for their growth. That's why we must insist and devise original ways for our little ones to get all their vitamins, minerals and fibre they contain. With a little imagination, we can make some fun dishes.
• Decorate your dishes. You can use broccoli as a tree or compose a face with different vegetables, to distract them while they eat.
• Make home-made burgers and add small pieces of pepper, carrot, leek or asparagus.
• Sprinkle cheese or tomatoes over vegetables. Try to make the cheese low-fat and make the tomato as healthy as possible.
• Be patient. New flavours are always hard to introduce,but we must insist, without pressurising them, and little by little they willget used to them.