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Getting enough veggies every day

Did you know that the recommended daily amount of vegetables is at least 250 grams? Research shows that many Dutch people don’t manage to consume that amount. That’s a great shame, because vegetables are both delicious and very good for you. We’ve got seven handy tips to help you get enough veggies each day.

But first of all, you should know that there are different types of vegetables, and that you need to eat a variety of vegetables to get enough nutrients.

 No single vegetable contains all of the nutrients you need. By combining a variety of different types, you can benefit from all the good things that vegetables have to offer.

  • Leafy vegetables: endive, lettuce, spinach, iceberg lettuce, lamb’s lettuce
  • Fruiting vegetables: zucchini, cucumber, bell pepper, pumpkin, tomato
  • Root and bulb vegetables: beetroot, carrot, radish, celeriac, parsnip
  • Cabbages: cauliflower, kale, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, conical cabbage
  • Onions: onion, garlic, spring onion, leek
  • Stem vegetables: celery, fennel, asparagus, rhubarb, bamboo
  • Sprouts: bean sprouts, cress
  • Other vegetables: chicory, mushrooms, peas, sugar peas, string beans

Seven handy tips for getting enough veggies each day

1. Spread your vegetable intake over different meals

It’s harder to get enough vegetables each day if you only eat them at dinner time. Therefore, try adding tomato or cucumber to your sandwich at lunch – both tasty and healthy!

2. Eat different types of vegetables and vary them

Many people enjoy being able to try a little bit of everything. The more flavorful your meal, the more you’re likely to eat. This also applies to the various vegetables you include in the dish. You’ll be able to get all the nutrients you need from food you enjoy – win-win!

3. Vary the way you prepare your vegetables

Feel free to experiment with the way you prepare your vegetables. There are all kinds of methods you can try: steaming, flash-frying and stir-frying, for example. Give it a go and treat yourself!

4. Supplement your meal with a salad

If you have a favorite meal with few vegetables in it or none at all, don’t worry! Simply make a tasty salad as a side dish. That way you can enjoy your favorite dish and get all the vitamins you need!

5. Put vegetables in a dish where you can see them

If you sometimes forget to eat your daily serving of vegetables, give them a prominent place in your kitchen. After walking past the dish a few times, you’ll soon find yourself wanting to sample all those tasty vegetables.

6. Veggies as a snack food

When most people hear the word ‘snack’, they think of something like a frikandel or a croquette. However, you can also nibble on vegetables. You can slice a bell pepper, cucumber or carrot into strips for a delicious and healthy treat. And just add a dip for the perfect snacks to go with drinks.

7. Sneak vegetables into your meals

If you don’t like the flavor or texture of vegetables, you can easily sneak them into your meals. For example, you can add pureed vegetables to your soup, blend a beetroot into your pancake batter, or add grated zucchini to your home-made pizza base or lasagne. The perfect strategy for kids and adults who don’t like eating veggies!

Author: Jasmijn Mencke, Nutritionist and Jumbo Food Coach, and Nina de Rooij, PSV Lifestyle Consultant
Editor: Guus Peters