Vegetables and Veggie Snacks You値l Love


By: , SparkPeople Blogger
  :  15 comments   :  12,094 Views

By Regina Ragone, R.D., Family Circle Magazine Food Director

Are you and the kids not getting your daily servings of veggies? We found super-healthy produce snacks and unusual new vegetables that'll have the whole family asking for seconds.

I probably don't need to tell you how important it is to eat your vegetables: low in calories, loaded with vitamins and fiber, they're the diet equivalent of a slam dunk. People who consume lots of fruits and veggies reduce their risk for chronic diseases, such as stroke, type 2 diabetes, heart disease, hypertension, and even some types of cancer. They also tend to be slimmer. So why, then, do only 8 percent of kids meet their RDA for vegetables and only 26 percent of the nation's adults dine on veggies three or more times a day? Taste, availability, and just lack of making it a habit. Start with the following strategies.

Eat Colorful Veggies
The 2010 Dietary Guidelines for Americans recommend you consume a variety of beans, peas, and dark green, red, and orange vegetables. Ideas:

  • Stash a few bags of 365 Everyday Value Organic Leafy Greens Blend in your freezer to saute with garlic and onions for a side to serve with chicken, fish, or beef.
  • Stock your fridge with some of Melissa's Peeled Baby Red Beets. These are not your mom's tasteless canned beets -- they're steamed and vacuum-sealed right after picking to preserve their fresh, naturally sweet flavor. Slice them onto greens with crumbled cheese and toasted walnuts for a delicious salad.
  • Toss a pack of Melissa's Six Bean Medley with vinaigrette.

    Introduce Kids to Veggie Snacks
    I'm a big believer in getting kids to enjoy vegetables in their natural state, but I'm also a realist. There are many snack options that will make munching vegetables between meals much more fun. Two staff favorites that'll stave off cravings for pretzels and chips are Crunchies Roasted Veggies and Rhythm Kale Chips (both available at Whole Foods). A fruit and veggie juice such as Apple & Eve's Apple Harvest (with butternut squash, beets, and carrots) is another way to win over the vegetable-averse.

    Get the rest of Regina's great tips at!

    Are your children good veggie eaters? What are your best tips and tricks?

    Provided photos

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  • MIRANDA2112
    I'd prefer to concentrate on fresh vegetables and use frozen when they're not available. - 4/15/2012   5:38:38 AM
  • 14
    My children are veggie eaters, but lol. they are 45 and 41 years old. - 5/12/2011   5:57:15 PM
  • 13
    In answer to your question: everyone in my household (except our cat) loves fresh, unprocessed, local or regional grown fruit and vegetables.
    If we have surplus in our urban garden, we freeze or preserve a portion and trade the rest.
    Takes less time & more pleasure than supermarket shopping- truly! - 5/11/2011   9:00:58 PM
    Thank you for this information! I grow, cook, and eat fresh as much as possible, but depend on a backup stash of tasty items for variety and convenience in my freezer and pantry as well. I hadn't heard of these products and will look for them, especially the baby beets! Always learning something new from Spark People!! - 5/11/2011   12:13:03 PM
  • 11
    Seemed a little more like a disguised ad... real fruit and veggies are the way I prefer to go - 5/11/2011   6:11:13 AM
  • 10
    I realize everyone is at a different stage on their food life journey, but I, too, was disappointed about the promotion of prepackaged vegetables.... Would love to see more fresh/local/seasonal info on SP. - 5/11/2011   5:48:13 AM
  • 9
    I love veggies. I have rediscovered beets and spinach I try to eat both of these about 3 times a week I love all veggies but these 2 have been so good.. local and great nutrition. - 5/10/2011   2:05:01 PM
  • 8
    I will have to check out the just veggies or just fruit. Can you get at any grocery store? For my kids I do make zucchini bread, carrot muffins, pumpkin muffins, blueberries muffins, avocado bananas bread, my own peach popsicles, and add in puree sweet potatos to their pancake batter. Sometimes they also like purple pancakes and we puree blueberries. If anyone wants recipes send me a spark mail and I will be happy to send it. - 5/10/2011   1:41:15 PM
  • 7
    I was disappointed in this article as well.. was thinking this was going to be about fresh produce and ideas or recipes to make them more tasteful. I am all for convenience of canned and frozen, but fresh is the way to go and to me tastes better!! - 5/10/2011   1:33:48 PM
  • 6
    Why do you have to buy frozen, prepackaged items? How about growing your own garden, joining a CSA, or shopping at your local farmer's market? I was hoping this article would have recipes my kids would enjoy, not advertisements for a company :( - 5/10/2011   1:00:55 PM
  • 5
    Growing our own vegetable garden was our way of having the kids to eat veggies. The kids helped prepare the soil; plant seeds; water; and ultimately harvest the vegetables. It was a family project and they were proud to eat the veggies that each of us had a hand in bringing to fruition. Our garden was even a source of many science projects and show-and-tell in school. :-) - 5/10/2011   11:05:15 AM
  • 4
    None of that sounds good. Sorry. - 5/10/2011   11:02:29 AM
  • 3
    GREAT ideas, thanks - 5/10/2011   8:05:16 AM
  • 2
    You can also eat a product called Just Veggies or Just Fruit. It is a freeze dried product that is so yummy! My kids munch on it like pop corn and the veggies taste sweet. There is no added salt or sugar or anything! Hence the name Just.....

    Try it and enjoy - 5/10/2011   7:44:40 AM
  • 1
    Well I guess your mom "bought" her canned beets. My family (5 of us) consider MY canned beets one of their favorite!!! They are sweet as sugar but then they are picked and canned within an hour. They don't sit around for days or weeks allowing the sugar to turn to starch. We are fortunate to have space to grow a garden. Many people do but can't or won't do the work it involves. - 5/10/2011   7:20:47 AM

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