Have you tried all the vegetables out there? Fair, maybe there has been one or two vegetables that really didn’t tickle your fancy but you shouldn’t exclude the entire plethora of vegetables based on one negative experience. Have faith!
Allow us to explain why. Firstly, vegetables are nutritional powerhouses. They contain vitamins and minerals that are involved in important processes and reactions in the body. Secondly, they are packed with fibre which is important for gut health. The fibre in vegetables helps to feed the good bacteria in the gut which in turn positively impacts our immune system and even our mood! Since vegetables are low in calories and full of fibre, they can help to add bulk to a meal without compromising on that feeling of fullness after you have eaten. FABULOUS!

Eating a variety of vegetables is also important. There are different vitamins and minerals e.g. spinach is a source of plant-based iron while red peppers are a source of vitamin C. In terms of our gut bacteria, there are 100’s of different species and just like people they have different ‘taste palates’, so variety is encouraged to feed the different bacteria. Having 20 or more different plant foods in our diet each week has been recommended so try to include as much colour on your plate as possible!

So how can you improve your vegetable intake?

Disguise the vegetables. This can be particularly helpful if you don’t like the texture (or if you have kids with challenging palates!). Try adding a handful of kale to a smoothie or blending a Bolognese/curry sauce once cooked.  This will remove the texture of the vegetables and create a smooth consistency before adding your protein source.

Can you add an extra vegetable to your dinner? Try adding green beans, peppers, mangetout, onions or corn to your curry for example.

Use nutritious dips to add extra flavour if you are having raw vegetables e.g. have guacamole or hummus (both of which contain healthy fats) with some raw carrots.

Try different cooking methods. Roasting vegetables creates a sweeter taste (try peppers, courgettes, butternut squash, carrots, onions for example).

If you are a parent/guardian role model behaviour can be helpful when trying to introduce new foods to your children.

Frozen fruit & veg are a great alternative to fresh produce if you’re looking to reduce food waste and save a few bob in the process. It also allows us some more variety in our diet. Research has shown that frozen fruit & veg is sometimes even more nutrient-dense than fresh options after a few days in storage!