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According to Canada’s new Food Guide, half of our diet should consist of vegetables and fruits. Are you thinking that’s not so easy? Maybe you find these items too expensive or you want to eat fruits and vegetables more often but your family isn’t as keen.
How can you make vegetables a family favourite? We’ve got some ideas that are bound to help!
1- Take your time!
The idea is not to change everything overnight. At first, get into the habit of adding a vegetable to your meal that you and your family enjoy. Then as time goes by, move on to two different vegetables: one you like and one you want to try.
There’s no need to eat a plateful! One bite is enough to start developing your taste for a new food.
2- Vary your recipes
A carrot can be eaten raw (in a salad or as finger food), baked, boiled, pureed, diced or sliced in sticks or rounds. You’re bound to find a way that will please your family. Not a fan of boiled rutabagas? Try baking them in the oven!
3- Soup, soup and more soup
Soups are inexpensive, tasty and full of vegetables. You can use up your not-so-fresh vegetables or those that aren’t so tasty when eaten on their own. Plus your family will get a healthy dose of plant protein!
4- Cook!
Try our recipes that feature vegetables. You’ll have no problem finding new ways to eat more vegetables.
And remember, you can always add more! Knock yourself out with pizzas loaded with vegetable toppings, sweet potato-packed shepherd’s pie, lasagna with a tonne of spinach, macaroni and cheese with a mountain of broccoli.
5- Eat little and often
Snacks are a great way of enjoying vegetables even more.  Fresh cherry tomatoes, beet muffins or an eggplant dip are just a few examples.
6- Keep bags of frozen veggies in the freezer
They are a sure-fire way of speeding up your spaghetti sauce! Frozen corn and peas are our favourite additions for a quick and easy meal. They also keep their colour and texture even after being in the freezer.
Frozen veggie tip: use them with a sauce dish or stir-fry rather than as a side. They’ll be tastier and you won’t even notice they were frozen.
7- Work your meals around in-store specials
If you see carrots on special, grab some and put them on the menu this week!
And be sure to check the clearance section of your grocery store. Even if the vegetables there aren’t as fresh, no one will notice once they’ve been whipped up into a smoothie, puree or some muffins.
8- Give your meals a veggie-up
Are your meals usually meat-heavy? Try reducing your meat intake by substituting it for legumes. They are much cheaper and you can use all the money you save to buy more vegetables.
9- Buy seasonal vegetables
In winter, tomatoes, cauliflower, beans and broccoli are a lot more expensive than in summer. But for carrots, cabbage, beets, squash, potatoes, rutabagas and the like, it’s open season and the perfect time to try them out!
10- Go canned or frozen
No interesting deals this week? Put canned and frozen vegetables on the menu. They’re convenient and just as nutritious.
With these tips, there’s no reason why vegetables shouldn’t be a part of your diet!
Original article posted on the Fondation Olo website (in French only)