Registered dietitian Tanya Zuckerbrot says many vegetables other than zuccchini can be spiralized and used in salads and recipes, such as carrots, cucumbers, onions, sweet potatoes and beets. Spiralized sweet potatoes are a good swap for french fries because they are lower in calories and carbohydrates and can be baked instead of fried, Zuckerbrot says.
A USDA report found tomatoes and potatoes are the vegetables Americans eat the most, but much of the consumption comes in processed foods such as french fries, chips, canned tomato sauce or ketchup. Registered dietitian Dana Angelo White commented that eating a limited variety of fruits and vegetables is better than nothing, but it can make it difficult for people to get enough essential nutrients.
Nutritionists pack lunches for their children that offer lean protein, low-fat dairy, plenty of fruit and vegetable options, and a treat. Registered dietitian Kit Broihier says she includes ingredients for a wrap, such as turkey, lettuce, tomato and a tortilla, so her daughter can make it herself, while RD Ilaria St. Florian says she tries to strike a balance between healthy foods and foods she knows her children will eat.
Expand your vegetable repertoire by picking up unique varieties at the farmers market and experimenting with them at home. Veggies such as kohlrabi are great for slaws and salads while mizuna can be cooked into stews and stir-fries.
A study of 325 children showed that those who consume dark-green and deep-yellow vegetables and avoid fried foods are more likely to show lower fat mass and higher bone mass over time than those who do not. The researchers say high levels of alkalizing minerals, including potassium, in colorful vegetables may help explain the relationship of vegetable intake to bone mass.