Vegetables can be roasted, sauteed, served with a dressing or added to favorite foods to make them taste better, dietitians said. People who find vegetables boring but want to increase consumption can cut them into different shapes, such as ribbons or spirals, to make them more appealing, said registered dietitian Sarah Mueller.
Popular foods this year are expected to include kale, kombucha tea, antioxidant-rich vegetables such as Brussels sprouts and cauliflower, and grains that boast rich amounts of protein, fiber and iron, says Alison Sacks, a registered dietitian. "People will continue to try to get more of their protein from grains," Sacks said.
Data from five studies that included more than 1 million people found that eating foods high in carotenoids, such as brightly colored vegetables, may help delay or prevent amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to researchers at the Harvard School of Public Health. The study on the website of the Annals of Neurology said high vitamin C intake or vitamin C supplements did not affect the risk of ALS.
Comfort foods such as meatballs, burgers and meatloaf don't have to ruin a healthy diet. Adding shredded vegetables to lean ground meat can pump up the flavor while trimming out unnecessary fat. "Vegetables add flavor and texture that can make a typically meat-centric dish much more interesting," says cookbook author Tara Mataraza Desmond. "The featured meat still lends all its best qualities -- richness, umami and chew -- but they are accentuated by those of veggies -- sweet or earthy notes, soft bite, color."
New Hampshire elementary-school Principal April Noble was a potato, art teacher Althea Woolf was a blueberry and administrative assistant Kathleen Chase was the top banana as staffers paraded in fruit and vegetable costumes to kick off nutrition week. Coordinator Sherry Boyd said parent feedback indicates that students get the message about healthy eating. The week also will include healthy foods brought in by restaurants.