Get Healthy: How to Eat More Vegetables
7 to to 10 servings of fruits and vegetables a day. That’s how much Canada’s Food Guide recommends we all eat, and yet most Canadians aren’t getting enough veggies and fruit—less than half of Canadians meet the quota. Sometimes, people can’t get more veggies and fruit, and sometimes, they just don’t know how to eat more vegetables.
Here are some tips to get some more veggies into your diet. I’m specifically giving tips on how to eat more veggies, because most of us tend to eat more fruit than the former. If you’re trying to lose weight, it makes sense to eat more veggies than fruit, because veggies are usually lower in calories, yet still provide many of the same nutrients.
Eating more vegetables when you can’t afford them
Some people don’t eat the amount of veggies they should because they haven’t had time to plan out their meals. Others, however, don’t eat enough vegetables because they simply can’t afford them.
This hits poor Canadians even harder in the winter time, when the price of vegetables skyrockets, because most of them are coming from halfway around the world. To be able to afford more fresh vegetables, try some of the following suggestions.
Try purchasing vegetables that are in season. In Canada, there aren’t many during the winter time, but vegetables that store well such as carrots, potatoes, and onions usually stay lower cost in the winter months. Here’s a handy guide for what’s in season at other times of the year.
If purchasing veggies in season is still not financially feasible for you, consider programs like The Good Food Box (search for the website that covers your area). If The Good Food Box is still beyond your ability to pay, reach out to your local food bank. Many food banks now offer fresh vegetables as part of their weekly donations. If you’re not yet ready to ask for help from a food bank, consider joining a Buy Nothing Group and asking a moderator to post a gift request of fresh vegetables on your behalf.
How to Eat more vegetables when you don’t have time
Many people can definitely afford fresh vegetables and even buy them, but the veggies end up rotting in the fridge instead of getting eaten. We live in a rushed world, where we run from activity to activity, and often times, nutrition falls to the bottom of the priority list. Here are some tips on how to eat more vegetables and save money to boot.
Try meal planning and setting aside 1-2 hours per week to meal prep. Cut up veggies like cucumbers, carrots, and bell peppers ahead of time, and make a couple of salads. If you don’t add any dressing ahead of time, the salad will keep longer. Layering salads in mason jars can work well if you must put the dressing in to save time. After you prep your veggies, put them into containers and store them front and center in your fridge. Making it more difficult to reach for other foods will remind you to eat your vegetables.
If you work outside the home, be sure to pack veggies as snacks along with your lunch and/or dinner. Try eating some vegetables with every meal. If you start each meal with veggies, and add a veggie to every snack, you’ll likely hit the recommended servings as well.
How to eat more vegetables when you can’t get them fresh
Truly fresh vegetables are always best, but getting them isn’t always feasible. Some areas simply don’t have the right conditions for growing vegetables, and some people simply can’t afford to buy fresh frequently.
In these cases, use healthy convenience food to your advantage. Healthy convenience foods include frozen vegetables. Although frozen is usually fresher and less processed, canned vegetables with no salt added are the next best thing if you can’t buy fresh or frozen. Use coupons and buy in bulk when on sale to save money if expense is a concern for you.
These are just some of the tips to help you on your journey to add more vegetables to your day. Do you have any other tips? Let me know in the comments!