Freshen Up

If you don’t eat enough vegetables, you are not alone. The portability and sweetness of fruits make them relatively easy to incorporate into a healthy diet. But many of us still find it difficult to eat our vegetables; try these ideas to gain their necessary nutrients:

Add fresh produce to canned or frozen soups. While processed soups are not as good as homemade, sometimes you need the convenience. Be sure to choose low- sodium, broth-based varieties, then add chopped tomatoes, green onions, snap peas, broccoli and cauliflower tips, zucchini slices, and other bite-sized veggies while simmering.

Use baby spinach on sandwiches and in salads. Iceberg lettuce is better than nothing, but it’s not a nutritional powerhouse. Switch to spinach or other dark greens to add flavor, texture, and nutrients.

Go for a dip. Whip up some hummus or add seasonings to plain yogurt to make a delicious dip. But don’t reach for the chips — scoop up the flavorful mixture with carrots, bell pepper wedges, zucchini spears, mushrooms, and celery.

Get a head start. Begin meals with a sizable salad and you’re likely to eat less once you get to the main course. Just remember, if you’re watching your calories, go easy on the dressing and hold the croutons. Add avocado with a squeeze of lime for extra zest.

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