By Nicole Boisvert, CHN.
There are many ways that you can help sneak more nutrition into your daily diet. Really, it comes down to the types of food you're choosing and then the many options available to help you create healthy meals and snacks to incorporate into your day.
1. BLEND IT - Smoothies are a great way to blend fruit and yogurt into a cold, tasty snack or breakfast.
2. TOP IT - Tomatoes, dark leafy greens, and nuts add wonderful flavor to sandwiches and salads; yogurt gains pizzazz when topped with crunchy whole-grain cereal and fresh fruit; pizza-lovers won't notice spinach under the cheese on their favorite pie.
3. PUREE IT - Changing the texture is an easy way to sneak foods into your diet. A puree of roasted vegetables makes a wonderful sauce for fish or chicken. Pureed cauliflower or potato gives thickness and depth to soups, stews, and casseroles.
4. STIR IT IN - Soups, stews, meatloaf, omelets, quiches, spaghetti sauce and chili are great dishes in which to hide shredded, diced, or pureed vegetables.
5. SUBSTITUTE IT - Use yogurt instead of oil in baked goods; spaghetti squash instead of pasta; sweet potatoes in place of white potatoes.
6. BAKE IT - Pumpkin, zucchini, carrot, walnut, and berries make wonderful breads and muffins.
7. DIP IT - Fruits and vegetables come alive with a low-fat dip. Kids love to dip -- and so do adults.
8. SERVE IT RAW - Grape tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, jicama, and celery are fun to nibble on while waiting for dinner or as snacks. Salsas are the perfect medium for a mixture of fruits and vegetables and make great toppings for seafood and chicken.
9. SPICE IT UP - Make healthy food come alive with herbs, spices, vinegars, mustards and capers.
10. FIX IT YOUR FAVORITE WAY - If you love Asian cuisine, for example, cook your vegetables or seafood with a teriyaki glaze to give them a familiar taste.
11. BE ADVENTEROUS - Subscribe to a healthy cooking magazine or invest in a healthy cookbook and experiment with recipes that may help you change your mind about healthier foods.
12. LET YOUR FAVORITE CHEF PREPARE IT - Seeing how a professional handles a particular superfood can open your eyes to new ways to enjoy it.