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Eat Your Vegetables: 15 Tips for Veggie Haters

Try these easy ways to get more vegetables into your diet.
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Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 11: Try them where you least expect them.

You might be surprised at how well vegetables can complement the featured ingredients in many of your favorite foods. Roasted red pepper, roasted or sun-dried tomato, and/or grilled eggplant all work well in hot or cold sandwiches. Raw tomato, spinach leaves, fresh basil, grated carrots, sprouts, sliced or grated zucchini, shredded cabbage (green or purple) go well in sandwiches, wraps, and pitas. Add grated or finely chopped vegetables to meat loaf, pasta fillings (such as manicotti), and fillings for Mexican entree fillings like tacos, enchiladas, and flautas.

Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 12: Be sensitive to textural turn-offs.

If your experience is mostly with canned or overcooked vegetables, give them a "fresh" start. You might be more willing to eat vegetables prepared in more texturally pleasing ways (lightly cooked stir-fry veggies, raw veggies, or veggies lightly cooked in a steamer or microwave, just to the point where they're slightly tender but still have a nice crunch. Minimal cooking also keeps the color is bright and appealing. Consider a bright green asparagus spear, cooked just until crisp-tender. Then think about overcooked or canned asparagus, which is beyond soft in texture and has an olive green color.

Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 13: Even fast-food vegetables count.

You can even get vegetables at your favorite fast-food chain -- as long as you like salads, that is. Look for side salads or salads made with grilled chicken and choose the light or reduced-calorie dressing. Use half of the packet of dressing (it's plenty), and you'll be adding just about 25-50 calories and 0-4 grams of fat to your salad.

Eat More Vegetables Tip No. 14: Don't reward your kids (or yourself) for eating vegetables.

"Studies suggest that when we are rewarded for eating something, then the reward becomes the treat and we will not see the food itself as enjoyable," notes Collins. When this is standard table practice for vegetables, we're taught indirectly that the vegetables are the punishment we have to get through to reach our reward.

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