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Friday, December 8, 2023

6 Steps to get your family enjoying vegetables (it’s not impossible)

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Goodness, what a mission!


My husband loves himself a juicy piece of meat – especially after it hits the braai! Some meat lovers will even argue that they get in their daily veggie intake by eating chicken! The thinking behind it is that because it’s not a red meat, it can’t be anything else but a vegetable! 🙃



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I don’t know about you but over the past few years I’ve become increasingly aware of how important diet is when it comes to being healthy.


I am of the opinion that our modern – and highly processed diet – is one of the main downfalls of our generations. Especially when it comes to all the so-called chronic diseases we struggle with.


Do your own research and see how the food we eat affects our gut.



Now, let’s tackle the main issue at hand – how do I get my family to eat more colourful food/vegetables and fruits?


Pro tip: make your plate as colourful as possible.



How to get your family (or yourself) to eat the rainbow:

Disguise it in a salad with their favourite starch.

Even add in to the braai-broodjie if you’re desperate. My all-time favourite is making a couscous salad! Pasta is also an option, even rice (but this might be a foreign thought to many of us). Check out my favourite couscous salad:


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Blend it up. Chug it down.

Initially I thought this would be easy. But who was I kidding!? If my husband won’t eat a steamed broccoli why in the world would he drink a green smoothie? But this still remains an option.


If you are all in agreement that health is more important, this could be an easy way of just drinking it. However, the jury is still out if whether juicing is really beneficial as some of the nutrients gets lost during the juicing process. Specifically fibre, which is crucial for digestion and the absorption of nutrients.



Consider you cooking methods.

Try roasting your veggies. This has to be my favourite way of eating vegetables and extracting flavour!


It is however the most time consuming method but if you know – you know how delicious a roasted butternut, cauliflower or pepper is! Steamed vegetables is the healthiest cooking method for preserving the nutrient. But honestly – even for me – a boiled or steamed veggie does not look very appetising.



We eat with our eyes first.

Similar to the previous tip: make it look pretty! Opt for a low calorie sauce to accompany the veggies! For the little ones, consider using cookie cutters to allow your child to interact with the food.




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Make him part of the process via braai or grill.

In my opinion, this is great way to also create a form of pride. Once someone gets involved in the process there exists a sense of ownership over the food, and I’m pretty sure if he does the braaing he will want to do the tasting too! Fingers crossed – he’ll eat more, and offer some to the kids. Let him enjoy this little bragging moment…



Choose the most beneficial types.

Let’s face it for a non-veggie person, variety is just an intimidating thought. Opt for the good stuff and don’t waste your time with veggies that offer limited nutrients.


I understand that all veggies have a role to play, but as we are embarking on this journey, try and use your discretion to be conservative when introducing more vegetables.


There’s nothing worse than a traumatised meat lover trying to increase their vegetable intake.



Best of luck! (ha-ha 🙃) Don’t give up!


Mienke Jacobs
Mienke Jacobs
Originally from the Free State, Mienke has now been part of the Smile90.4fm family for two years, while hosting The No Repeat Workday on weekdays from 9am to 12pm. She now shares her personal life, strong opinions and beloved dogs across the internet. After completing her Honours degree and winning Miss Free State in 2016, she started exploring the world of beauty and fashion.

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