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Feature Articles: Food, Fitness and Eating Well


basket of vegetablesAdd the veggies

Janet Hackert, Regional Nutrition and Health Education Specialist, Harrison County, University of Missouri Extension


Back to school means back to the basics of good nutrition. What could be more basic than making sure you and your family eat plenty of vegetables? For people who are not used to eating vegetables or who just aren’t fond of them, there are lots of ways to fit them in.


Fresh veggies make great grab-and-go food — have carrots, celery sticks, broccoli florets, jicama sticks or other prewashed, ready-to-eat vegetables in small bags for a snack. You can buy many of these prepackaged for little prep at home.


There is a variety of vegetables sold at reasonable prices at farmers markets and roadside produce stands:


  • Purple and orange carrots
  • Tomatoes in the shape of tiny pears
  • Green, yellow, orange, pink and red tomatoes
  • Sweet red, orange, purple and green peppers, as well as some hot ones that give a little zing
  • Squash that includes green and yellow starbursts, paddy pan, acorn squash and zucchini.


Vegetables can be eaten fresh or added to other foods. Try pureeing carrots, spinach or other veggies and adding them to meatloaf, hamburgers, sloppy joes or casseroles. Tomato puree adds a tangy boost to macaroni and cheese, and acorn squash puree is tasty in pancakes, bread or rolls. Other creative recipes include brownies made with spinach and smoothies made with fresh or frozen fruit, low-fat yogurt and a cup of baby spinach leaves (a recipe found in a recent Chicago Tribune article).



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Last update: Wednesday, September 16, 2009