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Easy Ways for Seniors to Eat More Vegetables

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Easy Ways for Seniors to Eat More Vegetables

The advantage of eating vegetables is widely known, and consuming multiple servings each day is an important part of many doctor-recommended diets aimed at improving nutrition levels and lowering blood pressure.

National Eat Your Vegetables Day on June 17th comes at a time when the farmers markets around Fort Collins are filling up with freshly picked onions, cucumbers, tomatoes and greens. This bounty of produce offers seniors the perfect opportunity to explore some of these easy ways to eat more vegetables whether by themselves in their apartments or with friends and family in the country kitchen.

For Breakfast

Often called the most important meal of the day, breakfast is a great way to get a head start on eating the right amount of vegetables. The high fiber content found in many vegetables can also help seniors feel full until lunch which helps reduce potential cravings for mid-morning snacks.

While many traditional items such as hash browns and spinach-packed omelets are good choices, seniors can also pack additional servings into their meals by preparing sweet potato casseroles or homemade salsa and veggie burritos.

While it's natural to think of savory dishes, vegetables can also satisfy a senior's sweet tooth, as this carrot-cake pancake recipe demonstrates.

With the Grandkids

The habit of healthy eating is just one of the ways seniors can be a positive influence on the youth in their families. By introducing their grandchildren to a wide variety of vegetables and recipes, seniors can help them find favorites and nurture a lifetime of good food choices.

Preparing a kid-pleasing dinner doesn't need to be difficult. This alphabet soup can be quickly assembled out of bags of frozen vegetables and cooked hands-free in a slow cooker.

For a sweet treat to top off the meal, have children help prepare this strawberry and pineapple smoothie or surprise adventurous kids with the green color of this avocado ice cream.

Hidden Vegetables

Not every recipe loaded with vegetables makes them the star flavor. Several irresistible offerings let seniors eat their veggies in unique ways and often without giving their addition much thought.

Zucchinis are often joked about due to their abundance during the summer harvest, but their prolific nature has led to creative ways to blend them into meals such as breads, muffins and noodles. With a little preparation, seniors can also transform zucchinis into their favorite flavored jams, perfect for topping toast or giving away as gifts.

Jell-O recipes offer another fun and unexpected way to tuck vegetables into dishes, such as the carrots in this classic sunshine salad or the cucumbers in this creamy summer salad.

Alternative Ingredients

For seniors with celiac disease or gluten intolerances, vegetable substitutions for wheat-based ingredients can help them continue to enjoy their favorite meals.

A common replacement includes switching out noodles or macaroni in lasagna and pasta dishes with slices of eggplant, zucchini and squash. This simple step lets seniors maintain their dietary guidelines and boost their vegetable intake at the same time.

Another versatile ingredient seniors can add to their list of trusted standbys is cauliflower. Its thick florets can be steamed and mashed like potatoes for a creamy substitute for dairy in many recipes. Seniors can also craft hamburger buns, pizza crusts and tortilla shells to use in classic weekday meals.

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