sneak veggies into everyday food

How to Sneak Veggies into Everyday Foods

If we said it’s pretty easy to sneak veggies into everyday foods, would you want to learn more? The truth is, Less than 10% of Americans consume the recommended 2-3 cups of vegetables per day. Maybe you are among the veggie-adverse, and should be eating more.

We get it. With the variety of food choices available, produce may not be the most exciting thing to eat. However your goal should be to incorporate veggies every time you eat a meal. But what if you (or someone you love) isn’t a fan of a big salad or a generous serving of broccoli? Sneaking veggies into everyday foods is a great strategy, especially for someone who is not typically a veggie lover.

Why vegetables are important

Why is it important to eat vegetables in the first place? Veggies have a ton of health benefits including vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants that your body needs to thrive. They also keep you full for longer and support good gut health, thanks to all the fiber packed in. They can even reduce the risk of heart disease and cancer. Also, if you add lots of vegetables to your diet, you are most likely eating less highly-processed foods, which we all know aren’t good for us!

Veggies and picky eaters

If you have a picky eater in your household, for example a child or a person with autism, sneaking veggies into foods can help improve overall nutrition. But of course the ultimate goal is to get your picky eater to (eventually) become more open to a wide variety of food including vegetables. That being said, we have a great article on our blog, How to Manage a Picky Eater, with helpful strategies that truly work.

We also have a specialized nutrition program for our clients with autism, which can help improve nutrition and health outcomes. Our pediatric nutrition program can also be helpful in dealing with picky infants, children and teens. These programs are led by our expert Registered Dietitians and are often covered by insurance!

Easy ways to sneak veggies into recipes

In the meantime, you can improve overall nutrition immediately by sneaking more veggies into your meals and snacks with some of these easy ideas:

Blend into sauces – You can add zucchini and butternut squash, kale, beets, and cauliflower (really any puréed veggies will do!) to add more depth and nutrients to your tomato sauce. You won’t even know they are in there!

Try veggie pastas – Use a spiralizer or buy veggies already noodled at the store like zoodles, carrot noodles, butternut squash noodles, spaghetti squash. You can also layer veggies in lasagna or make veggie lasagna itself! You can pair with the sauce listed above.  

Puree and blend into soups – When we think of blended soups, our minds go directly to tomato (or at least mine does!). But you can take any soup, for example chicken noodle soup, and add a can of pureed tomatoes, squash, beans or potato. It will make for a thicker soup while sneaking in some extra veggies.  

Add to chili – Who said chili has to be just meat and beans? Add carrot, sweet potato, or butternut squash to your favorite recipe. You will amp up the nutrition factor, AND add depth and dimension. Feel free to cook these veggies and puree them before adding, if you want the veggies to be “invisible.”

Add to side dishes – Add some cauliflower to your mashed potatoes for some extra fiber. You can also mix in some yams. You’ll add some sweetness, plus a serving of beta-carotene. 

Blend into smoothies – We love sneaking veggies into smoothies by adding a fistful of greens. Spinach or kale blends well with any fruit smoothie. Try this classic recipe: Blend 1 cup milk (such as unsweetened almond milk), 1 frozen banana, 2 handfuls spinach, and 1 tablespoon almond butter. Cauliflower is another great addition to a smoothie. We swear you won’t taste it! 

Make them into snacks – Try veggie chips or veggie fries. Slice up some zucchini, avocado, carrots, or green beans. Lightly bread them and bake or air fry until crispy. These are unexpectedly delicious!

Add them to breakfast – We love adding veggies to high protein scrambled eggs to start your day. Eggs have gotten a bad rep for their high cholesterol content, but they’re also a good source of protein and choline. You get bonus points if you make enough to eat all week! 

Add to homemade pizza crust – Add riced cauliflower or broccoli to pizza crust. You can also put a layer of spinach puree on the pizza dough before topping with sauce to add a dose of green veggies. Bonus: top your pizza with veggies as well.

Mix avocados into pudding – Sneak extra nutrients into chocolate pudding by sneaking in some avocado. It’s texture blends nicely.

Get a free 3-day meal plan

Another way to add more vegetables to your daily diet is by downloading our FREE 3-day meal plan, which includes delicious recipes from our Meal Planning Program. It was written by our Registered Dietitians, who are experts at helping clients improve their health through balanced nutrition. Click the button below and get your copy!

Meet with a nutrition expert

We can help you sneak more veggies into your life!

Our Registered Dietitians can help you manage a medical condition, maintain a proper body weight, fuel properly for fitness and so much more. We also work with all types of picky eaters, whether it’s you or someone you love. We can help ensure that nutrition is optimized, so you and your family stay healthy while still enjoying all of your favorite foods. Click the button below to make an appointment using our online scheduling tool.