March Is Nutrition Month

One of our newest Take Action activities—Time Out For Health—encourages participants to eat 300 servings of vegetables. To meet this goal faster, try working these tips into your day:

  • Eat a serving at every meal. Add leftover veggies to your scrambled eggs, or start your day with avocado toast topped with tomato slices. For lunch, stuff your sandwich with a good half inch of extra greens like baby spinach, sprouts or sliced cucumbers, or toss chopped vegetables into your soup. Kick dinner off with a big salad (bonus: it will help you eat less later). Then serve the meal with a sweet potato and your favorite steamed veggie.
  • Munch on them. Sugar snap peas, bell pepper strips, cherry tomatoes and sliced jicama make great snacks on their own or dipped in low-fat dressing or hummus.
  • Hide them. Add finely chopped vegetables like zucchini or cauliflower to your sauces and soups, hide chopped spinach in your casseroles or add pureed vegetables to muffins you bake.
  • Drink them. Green smoothies and juices are easy to make and a great way to get in more vegetables. Search for starter recipes online. Then experiment with popular ingredients like kale, carrots, cucumber, celery and baby spinach. Add a little fruit and you won’t even know you’re drinking vegetables. No time to blend? Go for 100% vegetable juices instead.
  • Go meatless for one meal. Once a week, try a plant-based meal, such as a large entrée salad, pasta primavera, eggplant parmesan, a cashew and sweet pea stir-fry, or sweet potato and black bean tacos.
  • Take shortcuts. Save time by buying prewashed lettuce, bagged salads and pre-chopped vegetables. You’ll pay a bit more, but studies show you’re more likely to eat them, too.

How much is a serving of vegetables? In most cases, a serving size is ½ cup of cooked vegetables (such as green beans, cauliflower and squash) or 1 cup of raw, leafy vegetables (such as lettuce, spinach and cabbage). A large meal-sized salad has five or more servings of vegetables!

To sign up for the Time Out For Health challenge—or to get more tips like these—visit

Published: March 13, 2014