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What’s Your Excuse? 'Veggies Make Me Gag'

teen flinching from vegetables

When you were a kid, your meal options came down to whatever an adult put on your plate. Now, you probably get to choose a lot more foods on your own. So why shouldn’t you just eat what you like all the time and never put a single vegetable on your plate?

Keep in mind that veggies and fruits are part of the fuel that your body needs to work well and keep you feeling good. 

The kind of food you eat directly affects how much energy you have. While candy, cookies, and chips taste great, they aren’t the best fuel for your body. If your food has a lot of calories or too much fat, sugar, or salt, it can slow you down. That means you won’t have enough energy to move, think, or even stay in a good mood.

You don’t have to stick to the salad bar, but you do need to eat fruits and vegetables every day. If you’re not a big fan, try some of these techniques.

Explore the store. Check out the produce aisle, the canned veggies aisle and the freezer section for vegetables that look good to you. You can even check out online recipes or social media posts for fresh ideas.

Experiment in the kitchen. If you don’t like raw vegetables, try them roasted or grilled, which can bring out a sweeter taste, especially in carrots, sweet potatoes, onions, and turnips. Use spices and a little olive oil to add even more flavor.

Add a side of dip. See how you like broccoli, cauliflower, green or red bell peppers, and celery once you try them with a low-fat yogurt dip or creamy hummus.

Mix it up. Smoothies are a tasty way to add some nutrients to your diet. Next time you make one, use a frozen banana, some milk or yogurt, and add some spinach, squash, or carrots. You’ll get a creamy drink with a dose of veggies, minus all the extra sugar that comes from store-bought smoothies.

Stir in some squash, carrots, or sweet potatoes. When you add pureed vegetables to pasta dishes like macaroni and cheese or spaghetti (the veggies go into the sauce), you might not even notice them.

Go vegetarian sometimes. Instead of pepperoni pizza, get a slice topped with tomatoes, broccoli, or peppers. Have a veggie stir-fry or soup for dinner. Mixing in veggies with foods you already like can help you add more to your diet.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Kathleen Zelman on January 30, 2019

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