Does anyone else feel super guilty tossing out old veggies that never got eaten? I always have incredible intentions to use veggies throughout the week but somehow always end up throwing a handful out because we didn’t get to them in time. Please tell me I’m not the only mom/dietitian with this problem!!

A few weeks ago I decided to do something about these wasted vegetables, and the solution couldn’t be just to stop buying them! I thought about what I was throwing away, why I wasn’t using specific vegetables, and how I could more realistically use them throughout the week. Since then I’ve changed the way I buy, store, and use veggies. I won’t say that I’m perfect at using every vegetable I buy, but I’m definitely making improvements. Most importantly, my family is actually eating more vegetables (which is always a top priority for me when it comes to food).

If you’re struggling to get your family to eat more veggies, here are a few tips that have worked for us:

1. Buy enough fresh veggies to last only a few days. When you only buy a few days’ worth of vegetables they are less likely to get buried in the fridge and forgotten. You’ll need to go to the store more often, but that gives you more opportunities to replenish your fridge with the freshest vegetables.

2. Wash and cut veggies right after buying them. This tip has saved us. As soon as I get home from the store I slice up all of our snacky veggies like cucumbers and bell peppers so that they are ready to eat when we need them. This makes snack and meal times so much easier (and healthier).

3. Keep vegetables visible in the fridge. I keep our ready-to-eat veggies where we can always see them instead of storing them in the designated produce drawers. That way when things get crazy before meals I don’t even have to think about vegetables because they are always right in front of me.

4. Consider frozen veggies. Frozen veggies are still a nutritious choice and are a great option because they don’t spoil quickly. I always keep a few bags of vegetables in our freezer for nights when we just need some quick veggies to accompany our main dish.

5. Cook enough veggies to last a few days. The more ready-to-eat veggies you have in your fridge the better! Sometimes I don’t feel like having raw vegetables with my lunch or snacks. Leftover baked zucchini, sweet potatoes, or asparagus usually seems much more appetizing. By making enough for a few days you’re significantly cutting down on your workload and increasing your chances of having a delicious vegetable with your meals.

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