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By Monisha Iswaran
Let’s be honest … fruits and vegetables aren’t most people’s favourite go-to food when there are all kinds of sinful goodies like chocolate and chips in the pantry. The temptation to skip those recommended 2 servings of each per day is strong, whether you’re a child or an adult! However, eating healthy foods doesn’t have to be the boring experience for your taste buds that it is made out to be. Here are a few ways you can get creative about sneaking fruits and vegetables into meals that are easy to make and delicious to eat!
Perfectly Healthy Pasta Sauce!
Who doesn’t love a good pasta? Especially when you have a sumptuous sauce to go along with it. Did you know that heaps of pestos and pasta bases actually have vegetables in them, even though they taste absolutely awesome. Add in vegetables to your pasta sauce and you won’t even know you’re eating them. This is also perfect for a family meal, as it is easy to make after a long day at work, and your kids are bound to enjoy this tasty favourite!
Make Smoothies A Habit
Smoothies are a fantastic way to ensure you’re staying healthy - you can make vegetables ones, fruit ones or even a delectable blended combination of both! Making your own organic smoothies is so much better than drinking pre-ordered ones that have heaps of added sugar in them (natural sugars from fruit are the way to go). If you make a daily or twice-a-week rule that smoothies are for breakfast in your household, this will easily become a habit. Sit your child in their high chair, and give them a big cup of a delicious smoothie to fill them up for breakfast, and it’s unlikely they’ll be complaining!
Hide Veggies In Lasagna
The Italian dishes are certainly perfect for sneaking in vegetables, while still having an awesome tasting meal that takes minimal effort to make. The layers of cheese sauce and pastry are easily able to disguise chunks of vegetables like cauliflower and broccoli! So you may be getting the tasty naughtiness of cheese and carbs, but at least you’re getting your daily veggies in!
Even Desserts Can Be Nutritious
You’d be surprised that desserts can be made way healthier than they appear! It’s no surprise that fruits can feature easily in many sweet treats - fruit tarts, parfaits and the list goes on…. However, did you know that vegetables can as well? For example, make a batch of your favourite cookies and sneak veggies into the cookie dough - you’ll hardly taste them! Carrots and sweet potatoes are great ideas, and actually add a great mild flavour to an already fabulous treat! You can even try spinach. This works for cupcakes and brownies too!
Confine Snack Time To Fruit & Veg
Everyone loves (and needs) snacks! In fact, statistics show that for those trying to lose weight or keep in shape, it’s better for your metabolism to eat small meals frequently. For many, a morning and afternoon snack are definitely in order! If you decide that you and your family’s snack times will always be fruits and vegetables, you are getting in your daily servings, and also avoiding the temptation of reaching for the crisps when you’re peckish in the afternoon. Frozen grapes, bananas and mango make for a fun twist on a healthy snack in the summertime. Plus, a serve of carrots or celery sticks with hummus or peanut butter (not too much!) always goes down well!
Fun Fact: It’s incredibly important particularly for mothers-to-be or new mothers who are breastfeeding to snack regularly on fruits and vegetables, to keep their energy up and maintain your levels of Vitamin C, Beta Carotene and Potassium for them and their baby! These vitamins are extremely important for babies to receive through breast milk! So purchase a good quality nursing chair, settle down comfortably and feed your baby breast milk high in nutrients from your healthy diet.
So there you have it - a few creative, sneaky ways to get those healthy, nutrient-dense ingredients into your favourite recipes! Now there’s absolutely no excuse not to be getting that recommended daily amount into your system!