Written By Callie Radday, Associate Director at Shane Weight Loss Camps & Resorts
As a weight loss camp we always strive to introduce our campers to new foods each summer. It’s so important to try new things, even new foods. We always make sure to get our daily servings of vegetables in too! Some vegetables can be a bit intimidating – especially those dark leafy greens like kale, collards, spinach, and dandelion. If you’ve never tried these types of veggies it can be a bit scary to bring them into your own kitchens to cook with.
Dark leafy greens are packed full of vitamins and nutrients. In general the darker the vegetable the more nutrients it contains. These greens are great for you because they add more fiber and antioxidants to your diet. Unfortunately getting the recommended dosage of these vegetables can be a bit challenging, without a little extra effort that is.
Here at Shane weight loss camp will have become well versed at sneaking extra vegetables into our meals. Looking to meet your daily veggie needs?
Check out these five helpful tips!
Incorporate Veggies at Breakfast
So I can imagine this initially sounds strange to some of you, but breakfast has a lot of ways you can sneak in some veggies. Plus it’s a great way to get your day started on a healthy note. If you’re a fan on breakfast smoothies – try blending in some kale. Outside of the green colored smoothie – your kids won’t even taste this intimidating dark green. The sweet flavors from the fruits you pair it with will mask the vegetable taste.
Eggs are also a great way to incorporate some extra veggies into your diet. Eggs are so versatile. Try mixing some spinach into your scrambled eggs or a wider variety into a omelet. Here at Shane weight loss camp we often sneak veggies into breakfast – whether it’s peppers and onions in our breakfast tacos or burrito, or a bit of spinach on a breakfast pizza. This small change will really help to start your day in a healthy way.
Find a Signature Salad Combination
Okay so we know most kids aren’t jumping up and down excited at the idea of eating salad; however when done well salads can quickly become a kid friendly favorite.One large salad a day keeps the doctor and the weight away! It’s important to get creative when it comes to salad – adding things like fruit, herbs, and nuts can really mix things up. Salads can be very versatile. Here at Shane weight loss camp NY we always offer a unlimited salad bar – it’s a great way to make sure the campers are getting there daily dose of green vegetables. We offer fabulous homemade dressings that are not only delicious, but tasty too!
If your kids aren’t salad people, you should really try adding some sweet fruit. At Shane weight loss camp, we’re always adding things like fresh berries and sliced apples to our salads. The campers love them! It definitely changes the entire taste of the salad, plus offers the added benefit of helping to meet their recommended values of fruit too. You should also try serving salad first at dinner time. Make it a new family rule to finish your salad before starting the main course. This offers added weight loss benefits because you fill up on the nutritious foods first.
Try Soups & Chili
As a weight loss camp, soups and a warm, hearty chili can be a bit challenging with the summer heat; however soups and chilis are great year round and an awesome way to really sneak in some extra veggies. Veggies in this form will cook down and help to pack your warm comfort meal with awesome flavors. Vegetables like spinach, mushrooms, peppers, squash, and onions enhance these lunch or dinner options. Even dark leafy greens can be great in soups.
Chili is a favorite here at weight loss camp. Campers love it, but it’s also packed with vitamins and nutrients. We love use lean ground turkey, lots of beans, peppers, and onions. Our chili is a lean alternative, but still tastes great!
Get Creative With a Veggie Pasta
Vegetable spaghetti really is all the rage these days. It’s the perfect way to not only sneak in extra vegetables, but also replace those extra carbs in most of our diets.
Worried your children won’t buy into this trend as much as you do? Try easing them in. Mix some vegetable spaghetti with a whole wheat pasta as well – this way this don’t miss the taste of the pasta or the serving of vegetables. Our personal favorite vegetable spaghetti here at Shane weight loss camp is one made with butternut squash. Zucchini, turnips, and even carrots all make great vegetable pasta options as well.
The great thing about this option is that when topped with a hearty, but healthy sauce you won’t even notice the added greens. A nice lean meat sauce pairs perfectly. Plus another added benefit is vegetables add great flavor to our favorite sauces. We recommend using mushrooms and onions, or even zucchini to mix it up!
Be Adventurous with Kale Chips
Kale chips are really easy to make and actually super tasty. Regular potato chips are high in calories and unhealthy saturated fats – so kale chips are an great healthier alternative.
Simply preheat your to 375 degrees, and begin to de-rib your kale by making chip size pieces of the green. Drizzle them with a small bit of olive oil and sprinkle just a dash of sea salt. Bake for about 8 minutes or until they reach that crispy texture you desire. The best part is you can eat so many more kale chips than you could regular potato chips.
One of the best parts about working at a weight loss camp is getting to share a passion for healthy living with so many wonderful campers. Nutrition education is so important to us at Shane weight loss camps. We want our campers to learn all the tools they need to not only see weight loss success at camp but after they return home as well! After all half of weight loss is achieved in the kitchen – it’s much harder to lose weight when not practicing healthy eating habits.
At our weight loss camp programs we include vegetables at all three meals each day – it’s easy to do when following this sneaky tips! What are some of your favorite ways to incorporate some extra veggies into your day? We love hearing from you!