Get vegetables into your winter diet

greens tolbertWinter is the worst time to let good nutrition slip. After all, eating plenty of fruits and vegetables helps your body fight off colds, flu and even asthma attacks. If the market where you shop doesn’t offer fresh produce, frozen alternatives can offer you nearly the same nutritional value. The deeper the color of the vegetable, the more nutrition, so you may want to concentrate on vegetables like broccoli, greens such as spinach, carrots and green beans.


If your family won’t eat them as sides, add them—or hide them—in main dishes, whether made from scratch or out of a can. Carrots and chopped greens are great additions to chili and soups. You can also hide chopped greens in hamburger patties, meatballs and meat loaf.


Next time you make mac and cheese, substitute some cauliflower for a portion of the macaroni elbows. Making sloppy Joes with canned mix? Brown onion along with the ground beef and then add carrots or other chopped vegetables for rave reviews.


Another way you can boost winter nutrition is buy choosing 100% whole grain breads, buns and pastas. This is no easy task. A lot of bread labeled “Wheat” or “Whole Grain” is really unhealthy white bread with a little caramel coloring added. Look for a label that says “100%” to be sure you get what you paying for.


While these kinds of foods may come at a higher price, you will save in healthcare costs over the long run—and you’ll feel a lot better in the here and now. You may even find you are more satisfied with eating less.