Get Your Veggies

Want the perfect snack? Veggies! It can be as easy as pick it up, wash it, and eat it.

Vegetables come in a rainbow of colors. The colors aren’t just show! They give us a variety of vitamins, minerals, and more. Most are low in calories too.

To get more veggies in your day, follow these simple tips. It can be quite fun and easy!

1.  Learn fast ways to cook

Cook fresh or frozen veggies in the microwave for a quick-and-easy dish to add to any meal. Steam green beans, carrots, or broccoli in a bowl with a small amount of water in the microwave for a quick side dish.

2.  Be ready

Cut up a batch of bell peppers, carrots, or broccoli. Put them in a container so this great snack or side dish is ready when you don't have much time. You can enjoy them on a salad, with hummus, or in a veggie wrap.

3.  Choose veggies with color

Brighten your plate with veggies that are red, orange, or dark green. They are full of vitamins and minerals. Try acorn squash, cherry tomatoes, sweet potatoes, or collard greens. They not only taste great but also are good for you, too.

4.  Visit the freezer aisle

Frozen veggies are quick and easy to use. They can be just as healthy as fresh veggies. Try adding frozen corn, peas, green beans, spinach, or sugar snap peas to some of your favorite dishes or eat as a side dish.

5.  Remember the canned veggies

Canned veggies are great to add to any meal. Keep on hand canned tomatoes, kidney beans, garbanzo beans, mushrooms, and beets. Choose those labeled as “reduced sodium,” “low sodium,” or “no salt added.”

6.  Make your salad full of color

Liven up your salad by using colorful vegetables such as black beans, sliced red bell peppers, shredded radishes, chopped red cabbage, or watercress. Your salad not only will look good but taste good, too.

7.  Enjoy some vegetable soup

Heat it and eat it. Try tomato, butternut squash, or garden vegetable soup. Look for reduced- or low-sodium soups.

8.  While out and about

If dinner is away from home, no need to worry. When ordering, ask for an extra side of veggies or side salad instead of a fried side dish.

9.  Savor the flavor of veggies in season

Buy veggies that are in season for the greatest flavor at a lower cost. Check your supermarket specials for the best-in-season buys. Be sure to visit your farmers' market.

10.  Try something new

You never know what you may like. Choose a new veggie. Add it to the recipe you’re using that day or look up online how to fix it.

For more great ideas, go to www.ChooseMyPlate.gov .

Source: United States Department of Agriculture, DG TipSheet No. 2 June 2011.

Call Four Corners Health Department for more ideas to help you live a healthier life. Ask for a free program for your workplace, church, club, or school. Call 402-362-2621 or toll free at 877-337-3573. Send email to info@fourcorners.ne.gov. Every meal is a great meal with veggies!