(StatePoint) Nutritious, delicious and low-calorie, vegetables should be the star player of all your meals. But sometimes providing veggies for your family can be time consuming and costly. Luckily, there are a number of simple ways to boost your veggie intake, and it all starts in your grocery store’s freezer aisle.
• Go frozen. Frozen vegetables are often one of the most affordable options and the quickest to prepare, reducing time spent slicing and dicing on busy weeknights. What’s more, by opting for frozen veggies, your family will likely reduce its food waste. Frozen vegetables are easy to store for long periods of time, and recent studies have found that freezing actually helps lock nutrients in.
• Swap it out: Little ones and even some adults can be resistant to certain vegetables at first. But there are ways to incorporate them into family meals with no one the wiser. Consider cooking with vegetables that offer the look, feel and taste of traditional starches such as rice, pasta and potatoes. For example, Green Giant’s frozen Veggie Swap-Ins line, which includes Green Giant Riced Veggies, Green Giant Veggie Spirals and Green Giant Mashed Cauliflower are easy go-to items in any kitchen for quick family meals. Indeed, 52 percent of American consumers who noted they had purchased Green Giant Swap-Ins products within three months of taking the survey, said they have introduced the product into their kids’ meals without their kids knowing they weren’t traditional potatoes, rice and/or pasta, and 49 percent admit to swapping these items for potatoes, rice and pasta 1-2 times per week.
• Be mindful: Dining out can be especially tricky territory for those looking to eat more vegetables. Be mindful of what you order. Read the menu carefully and ask questions. Many restaurants are happy to make substitutions to accommodate your preferences. For example, see if you can replace a side of fries with a garden salad or sautéed seasonal vegetables like green beans.
• Get creative: Whether you’re hosting a barbecue, attending a potluck or simply making your family dinner, consider reducing calories in salads and sides by upping your vegetable intake in these dishes. Make an Italian pasta salad out of zucchini or carrot spirals. Swap out traditional rice with riced cauliflower to make a simple pilaf. Create a tasty alternative to traditional potato tots with such products as Green Giant Veggie Tots. The possibilities are endless.
Are you looking to simplify your family’s clean-eating routine and increase your vegetable intake? With a few tips and tricks, you can incorporate broccoli, beets, squash and more into your family’s diet while saving time and money in the process.