We all know that we should eat more vegetables. It’s irrefutable that they are good for us and that diets high in vegetables are protective against a huge range of diseases such as heart disease, diabetes and cancer. However, to be honest, sometimes they’re hard to eat… especially when they’re served boiled and mushy…

Here are 8 ways that can help you include more vegetables into your day. Not only will you be giving your body lots of good nutrition, but focussing on this ‘add in’ nutrition mentality will also mean you’re eating less of the less nutritious foods and that’s always a good thing.

1. Vegetable sticks

Cut up carrots, celery, red capsicum and dip them in hummus, low fat cream cheese or low fat natural yoghurt with herbs and a squeeze of lemon juice for a tasty afternoon snack. The great thing about it is it takes ages to eat, so it’s a good choice if you’re bored and like to munch!

2. You can eat them for breakfast

I know that we freak out when we think of anything other than toast or cereal for breakfast, but try grilled tomato, avocado and fried mushrooms on wholemeal toast. Or wilted spinach with your eggs.

3. Have a salad side dish

When ever I go out to eat I always ask for a side garden salad. It helps fill me up which keeps me eating a good amount of food for me and I’m increasing the nutritional value of my meal!

4. Make dinner colourful

Vegetables come in so many different colours and textures! I love to have fun with making my salad or stir fry as colourful as possible. Green: rocket, cucumber, broccoli; Yellow: capsicum, squash; Red: tomatoes, capsicum; Purple: Spanish onion, beetroot or coral lettuce, Orange: sweet potato or carrot. This is just scratching the surface of vegetable art possibilities!

5. Grate them into meals

When I make certain pasta sauces, to make them go a little further and give it a nutritional boost, I like to grate in vegetables such as carrot, zucchini and eggplant. The kids will never know!

6. Try soups, stews and slow cooker recipes

These are a great way of getting more vegetables into you. Soups, stews and the like are usually chocked full of goodness and taste great. Not to mention they make you feel all warm and satisfied on a chilly winter’s night.

7. Make your own pasta sauce

Instead of buying a jar, spend some time on the weekend making your own sauces that you can freeze and use whenever you need. Pack it full of tasty onions, garlic, tomatoes, basil and parsley. Whatever you like. The best thing about this is that it contains no preservatives or flavourings, is low in salt and it’ll cost half as much!

8. Buff out your sandwich

You are making a sandwich anyway so why not spend a couple of extra minutes, grating in some carrot, slicing up some tomato and cucumber and throwing on some lettuce. If I have left over salad from a BBQ or other function, I like to make a sandwich out of it the next day. Waste not, want not!

What’s your favourite way to eat vegetables?

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