If you aren’t a veggie lover, you may not be quite as excited to know there is a national day dedicated to eating them…but there is! June 17th is Eat Your Veggies Day, and it’s a great reminder to include those healthy greens in your daily meal plan.
Let’s talk about veggies for a minute. We ALL know they are good for you, and we all remember the old food pyramid with veggies on the bottom and junk food on the top. But it isn’t always that simple, especially with picky eaters, busy schedules or pizza nights. Despite the challenges of weeknight meals, eating healthy has come a LONG way and it’s never been easier to find new recipes to try or delicious, fresh vegetables to add to your meal.
In honor of this year’s Eat your Veggies Day, here are 5 simple ways to pack more veggies into your life!
- Farmer’s Markets and/or CSAs. Here in Madison we are spoiled by our Farmer’s Markets. We have the famous Dane County Market on the Square and dozens of smaller spin off markets (Westside Community, Hilldale Farmers Market, Greenway Station Farmers Market, Edgewood Farmers Market and SO MANY MORE). If you are looking to add more veggies into your diet, buying fresh, local, crispy greens is a sure-fire way to make it easy AND delicious. Beyond farmers markets, we also have a ton of options for CSAs – freshly curated boxes from local farmers that are delivered weekly or biweekly. These boxes often include recipe cards to help you know what to cook with less common veggies like Kale, and give you the added push to try something new. For a list of local CSAs, visit: https://www.csacoalition.org/
- Prep ahead. This seems obvious, but it’s something our family struggles with a lot. When we have veggies ready ahead of time, we are MUCH more likely to reach for them at snack time. Wash and cut up carrots, celery, broccoli, radishes or peppers, and it’s a quick and easy after school snack for the kids, or a simple stir fry for dinner. YUM!
- Try someplace new. We all get into ruts when it comes to cooking or dining out. We head to the same places over and over – especially when they are quick. Make a list of restaurants that serve healthy food (pro tip: vegetarian restaurants are great options for making sure the menu will have tons of healthy veggies!) and make a point to try one the next time you eat out. Madison has an amazing restaurant scene and many source their ingredients locally!
- Cook together. My kids are more likely to eat something new if they’ve had a hand in preparing it. Look through recipes online together or find a kid’s cookbook and let your kids help choose a healthy recipe. Locally, we love Yummy Sprout for easy, healthy kid-friendly recipes.
- Make a new tradition. We’ve all heard of pizza night, but what about creating a new weekly tradition centered around healthy eating? Maybe it’s salad night and kids can choose their own toppings, or maybe it’s vegetarian night and you try a new recipe each week. Whatever sounds good (and easy!) to you is worth a try – and sites like allrecipes.com make it really simple to find recipes with lots of reviews.