Eat Your Vegetables
"Eat your vegetables" is a favorite saying of mothers everywhere—not just parents of children with diabetes. In fact, adding more vegetables to your meals is a great idea for everyone and the holidays are a perfect time to get started. We all want to dress the table with plenty of tempting treats. Often the menu's vegetable section has the fewest options of all. Vegetables are a wonderful source of vitamins and minerals. Most vegetables are low in carbohydrates, making them great choices for children with diabetes.
Although vegetables are great sources of vitamins and minerals, some vegetables are actually higher in starch than others. Watch out for potatoes, corn, and other starchy vegetables because they are high in carbohydrate and raise blood glucose levels more than leafy greens and other veggie options. Check out our Whole Grain Foods page to find a list of common starchy vegetables.
For a complete listing of carbohydrate counts in foods, check out our book, The Diabetes Carbohydrate and Fat Gram Guide. The USDA also has an online Nutrient Database where you can search or download to learn the carbohydrate counts and serving sizes for many foods.
Asparagus is a good vegetable choice because it is high in vitamins A and C, low in fat, and a good source of fiber. Another great option is any type of squash. Squash can be eaten year round because there are winter varieties as well as summer ones. Summer squash has soft outer rinds (like zucchini). Winter squash has hard outer rinds (like pumpkin). Squash contains vitamin A, C, some B vitamins, iron and calcium. Winter squash is especially high in vitamin A. Whether you serve steamed or grilled zucchini (squash) as a side dish or as a main part of your meal, it's a very nutritious addition to your menu planning.
Also, a good rule of thumb with vegetables is that healthy meals are made up of colorful foods. Bright colors in natural foods like tomatoes, carrots, sweet potatoes, and green vegetables mean they contain antioxidants -- food substances that help prevent disease. The deeper the color, the more nutritious the food.
The next time you think you don't have the time to eat properly, remember that vegetables are among the most convenient foods around. You can cook most vegetables in just a few minutes if you steam, stir-fry, or microwave them.
To search for tasty vegetable recipes to join your holiday tables, check out our cookbooks in our online store.
Guides to Healthy Living
Sign up for our monthly Consumer Books enewsletter and be the first to know about our newest cookbooks and guides on meal planning, nutrition, weight control and self care.
Thank you for signing up!
Check out our parent mentor volunteer program full of parents just like you!
Become a Red Strider! Know someone with diabetes? Walk for them!
Every dollar you give can be doubled until May 15th to help Stop Diabetes!
Scroll through our calendar of EXPOs to find out when there will be one near you.
Ditch the chips! We've got recipes for eight healthy snacks you'll love to eat.
Learn what BIG discounts on auto insurance may await you.
Get motivated with our newly revised “I Hate to Exercise” book
Subscribe to our blog! It’s the best way to see what we’re up to at the Association.
If you have diabetes, join us for the ride!
Order your Diabetes Forecast® today! 25 Tips to healthy living. Click here to start.
Check out our site full of vegetarian meal planning ideas!
Find your local office to get involved in your community.
A new tool to increase the convenience of portion management
Get recipes, tips and more! Join the conversation!
Learn more about Dribble to Stop Diabetes