Sarah Ryan, MS, RDN, LD

If you’re like most, you’re probably falling short of your veggie intake. According to the CDC, only 1 in 10 Americans are getting the recommended serving of vegetables and fruit. Seven of 10 leading causes of death in the United States are from chronic diseases, and vegetable intake has been shown to reduce risk of conditions including diabetes, heart disease, some cancers, and stroke.

How Much is Enough?

According to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov:

Daily Recommendation
Children 2-3 yrs 1 cup
4-8 yrs 1½ cups
Girls 9-13 yrs 2 cups
14-18 yrs 2½ cups
Boys 9-13 yrs 2½ cups
14-18 yrs 3 cups
Women 19-30 yrs 2½ cups
31-50 yrs 2½ cups
51+ yrs 2 cups
Men 19-30 yrs 3 cups
31-50 yrs 3 cups
51+ yrs 2½ cups

 

Save Time, Make It Simple

  • Cut and store veggies as soon as you get home from the store
  • Blanch and freeze vegetables you won’t use right away (bonus: these are easy additions to soups, stews, pastas, stir fries and smoothies)
  • Stock your pantry with low sodium canned vegetables

Getting Your Family to Eat More

  • Offer a vegetable at each meal
  • Vary your veggies by offering a mix of new and familiar choices
  • Involve your children in the kitchen by having them wash, dry, peel and/or cut up vegetables
  • Ask your children what veggies they’d like to see in their meals and have them select items in the grocery store to try
  • Serve fresh cut veggies with a dip, such as hummus or low fat dressing
  • Add pureed vegetables to soups, stews and pasta sauces
  • Top pizzas with diced vegetables
  • Roast, grill and sauté vegetables with herbs and spices for more flavor
  • Grate vegetables and add to muffins and breads

 

For more information, visit our blogs and recipes written by Texas nutrition experts at www.eatrighttexas.org.