Eating Vegetables as a Child
It all remains vividly clear to me, sitting at the kitchen table as a child and instructed to finish all the food on my plate. My parents didn’t believe in wasting food. They found that to be healthy, we needed to eat all the food on our plates, and throwing food away was wasteful.
There were six children in our family, and we sat at a large kitchen table. Three children sat on one side and three children on the other with our parents sitting at the heads of the table. I usually managed to eat everything on the plate pretty quickly except when it came to vegetables.
Day after day, I always managed to be the last one sitting at the table, and I can still hear my parents saying, “Eat your vegetables.” Oh, how I hated vegetables! There were nights I sat for what seemed like hours because we couldn’t leave the table until we had eaten all our food.
I would do anything to get out of eating them, from seeing if one of my siblings would help me out after my parents left the kitchen to waiting until everyone else went on with their after-dinner activities and secretly throwing my food away.
I would quickly grab a fist full of napkins and slowly fork my food into my lap until it was all gone. Then, I would throw my napkins in the trash and put my plate in the sink, avoiding yet another night of what I considered “nasty vegetables.”
Eating Vegetables as an Adult
Unfortunately, I carried that lousy habit into adulthood and didn’t start enjoying vegetables until I had children of my own. I then started telling them, “Eat your vegetables.” My oldest son loved veggies and preferred them over have them over pasta, pizza, sweets, or any other type of food. My younger son was not that much of a veggie-lover, but I managed to get him to eat them.
According to choosemyplate.gov, women should receive between 2 – 2.5 cups of vegetables per day. Red, orange, yellow, and green vegetables should all be part of the diet. I have a few suggestions I use to get all of my daily suggested servings.
1. Try Veggie Burritos – I sauté my vegetables, add mushrooms, beans, or anything else. I choose to put them in a spinach burrito along with dressing and enjoy a meal. Other ingredients, such as brown rice or corn, can be added as sides and beans.
2. Veggie Pizza – When my children were young, we enjoyed veggie pizza, full of all types of fresh vegetables.
3. Vegetable Soup – Soups are especially lovely to eat in the winter months and can be prepared alone or in combination with other food items.
4. Vegetable Stew – Vegetable stew which, has more chunky vegetables and less fluid, can be filling and hearty. Stew is another excellent choice for a healthy meal and a unique way to eat those veggies.
5. Vegetable Juice – If you can’t buy or make vegetable juice or smoothies, then purchase Green Superfood. It offers the benefits of vegetables and easy mixing. You don’t need a juicer; it can be put in smoothies or other dishes and compared to other green drinks, it has a great taste. It is also beneficial to those trying to lose weight.
6. Vegetable and Fruit Smoothies – These smoothies are not only healthy but taste great. My family enjoys smoothies as a refreshing drink. Smoothies are a way to get a meal in the morning if you’re. I have a quick and easy recipe when I’m rushing to get to work in the morning. It includes bananas and oatmeal and eliminates the feeling of hunger before lunch.
7. Barilla Veggie Pasta – I also buy Barilla veggie pasta, pictured below. Their pasta’s ingredients include pureed in-season vegetables. One serving of vegetables is in 3.5 oz of this pasta. And if you add vegetables to the pasta dish, you are getting even more plants. They also carry whole grain pasta, another healthier choice. They won the best new product award for 2014 from Better Homes and Gardens.
You can only tell by the smell of it cooking that vegetables are in it. After boiling, I don’t know the difference between this and regular pasta. On the other hand, grain pasta does have a slightly different taste. It is sometimes hard to find vegetable pasta in some stores. Major food chains generally have healthier options.
I have finally reached a point in my life where I can say I enjoy eating my vegetables. I’ve learned how to cook different dishes and share them with others who also enjoy eating vegetables in new and different ways. So…go ahead, eat your veggies!