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.
Dessert is an additional opportunity to add a serving of fruits or vegetables to a daily diet, registered dietitians said. Applesauce, mashed bananas, honey or maple syrup can be substituted for sugar in dessert recipes, and sweet potatoes, shredded carrots and zucchini can be added to breads, muffins and cakes. RDs said a healthy dessert can be as simple as topping fruit salad with honey or grilling or broiling pineapple.
Making vegetables part of each meal and snack can encourage children to eat more of them, but hiding veggies in recipes is not a long-term solution, registered dietitian Natalia Stasenko writes. Since children may find some vegetables have a bitter taste, Stasenko writes that it's OK to serve a flavorful dip or add a little sugar, salt or cheese because the nutrition benefits outweigh the splurge.
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.