Glenda Warren, Associate Professor, Nutrition/EFNEP
Ten Ways to Use Salads to Help You Get Enough Fruits and Veggies
- Eat and serve salads every day.
- Have plenty of dark greens in your salads on a regular basis. There are so many different salad greens to try.
- Be adventuresome. Have lots of different vegetables in your salads. Sometimes you can have some chilled cooked vegetables mixed in with the raw veggies.
- Remember: Salads can have a mixture of green leafy vegetables and other vegetables. Ex: Romaine lettuce, spinach, tomatoes, carrots, cauliflower, and broccoli.
- Be creative. Prepare salads that have vegetables and fruits. Ex: lettuce, tomatoes, pears and raisins.
- Sometimes serve salads without any salad greens. Ex: beets, onions, sweet peppers, celery and yellow squash.
- Sometimes serve salads made with fruits only. Ex: apples, strawberries, and oranges.
- You can also have theme salads, such as a variety of citrus in a citrus salad or have a tropical fruit salad with pineapple, bananas and mangoes. Another favorite theme is a traditional garden salad with lettuce, radishes, tomatoes, cucumber and onions.
- Think out of the box as the saying goes. Sometimes you can have a salad as a snack or as a side dish for breakfast, just as you do for lunch or dinner.
- Sometimes serve traditional favorites, and at other times be creative and prepare your salad with different fruits and veggies that are new to you and your family. These are good examples of traditional favorites: lettuce and tomatoes or carrots and raisins or Waldorf salad made of apples, celery, raisins and nuts. You should make it a habit to choose from a colorful variety of fruits and veggies.
Use only a small amount of salad dressing. Too much salad dressing can overload your salad with sodium, fat and calories.
And here is one extra tip:
You can also turn your salad into a quick and easy meal much like the restaurants do. For example, just add: 1-2 ounces of cooked chicken or salmon to each salad. And also provide some whole grain rolls or whole grain crackers. Hm...M...m. Delicious!
It is a good health habit to eat a variety of fruits and vegetables every day. These foods are important sources of fiber and a variety of vitamins and minerals including vitamins A and C, Folate, and potassium. People who eat adequate amounts of fruits and veggies are likely to have less risk of chronic diseases. So, let your salad habit help you get enough fruits and veggies every day as part of your healthful eating plan.