no_broccoliThere is no question that when you are trying to get pregnant, eating a fertility diet rich in vitamins and minerals is a great way to get your body in its best fertility shape. A critical component of the fertility diet is vegetables. But for men and women who really hate eating vegetables, this can be some pretty bad news.

There are lots of reasons that you might hate vegetables. Maybe you were forced to eat them as a child. Maybe you were on a special diet where you had to eat too much of a certain type of vegetable for a time and it ruined the whole category for you. Some people actually have taste buds that are especially receptive to the bitter taste for which some vegetables are known, which makes eating vegetables especially challenging.

Whatever the reason that you hate eating vegetables, there are several ways that you can incorporate them into your diet without struggling, choking, or gagging them down. Why not try:

1. Using them in recipes you already like. Add spinach to lasagna or cooked carrots into soups and stews. You can try pureeing cooked cauliflower and adding it to pasta dishes, such as macaroni and cheese, or baked goods like cookies or muffins. You might be surprised how the recipe you like masks the flavors that you don’t – possibly to the point that you don’t even realize you ate any.
2. Try them raw. This may seem counterintuitive, but considering that much of the objection to vegetables is the bitter taste, you may find that the raw version is far less offensive to your taste buds. Raw veggies tend to have less sharp flavors and as a bonus, they tend to have a crunchy texture as opposed to a mushy one.
3. Drink them. You remember the old commercial that said, “I coulda had a V8?” Well you coulda, too. Drinking vegetables is a great way to get a couple of servings quickly. But V8 isn’t your only option. There are several drink blends available that mix vegetables with fruit juices that mask their flavor. Or you can mix them into a smoothie or juice on your own. Corn, edamame and spinach can often be added to a fruit smoothie without changing the flavors of the fruits.
4. Dip it. Used in moderation, a flavorful dip can be a great way to make eating vegetables more fun. From ranch dressing to spaghetti sauce to salsa, there are any number of great condiments that can make getting your servings of vegetables more palatable on a given day.
5. Cut them up. Carrot sticks often taste better then whole carrots themselves. Besides, if you have a bunch of carrot sticks ready to go in your refrigerator, it can make it far more convenient and portable to grab when you are looking for a snack. Celery and peppers are a couple more vegetables to prep ahead of time and have ready to eat at all times in the fridge. Many stores also sell single-serving sizes of grape tomatoes that you can grab on the go as well. You may find that part of what is keeping you from eating more veggies has less to do with taste and more to do with convenience.

Tips like these are the kind of thing that is a priority for National Infertility Awareness Week (NIAW) from April 20 to 26. This year, the theme is “Resolve to Know More.” Be sure to check out all the activities and events that are designed to help the infertility community as well as everyone else understand the daily challenges and issues faced by millions of couples every day.

There is no question that for couples that are trying to get pregnant, fertility can be enhanced by a fertility diet rich in vegetables. For those of you who really hate eating your veggies, this can be quite a challenge. Try these tips for hiding veggies in your diet to help your body get what it needs to help you achieve your family-building dreams.

Sources:

Buffardi, Danielle. “5 Ways to Sneak Fruits and Veggies Into Your Kids’ Meals.” www.americanpregnancy.org. 16 January 2013. Web. 31 March 2014. <http://www.americanpregnancy.org/pregnancyblog/2013/01/5-ways-to-sneak-fruits-and-veggies-into-your-kids-meals/>

Magee, Elaine. “Eat Your Vegetables: 15 Tips for Veggie Haters.” WebMD. 03 Nov 2008: 1-3. Web. 28 Dec. 2013. http://www.webmd.com/diet/features/eat-your-vegetables-15-tips-for-veggie-haters