Veggie Nutrition 101

Nutritious Vegetables

Everyone knows they need to eat more vegetables, but how much is enough? Choose My Plate tells us:


19 – 50 years old = 2 ½ cups

51+ years old = 2 cups


19 – 50 years old = 3 cups

51+ years old = 2 ½ cups

This is every day.  If you’re thinking “I am not measuring my food at every meal.”   You know what? Me neither. It’s too much work.

Here is what some pretty common vegetables look like whole, in the grocery store, and cut up in measuring cups.

Green Beans


Orange Pepper




As you can see, you hold the answer right in your hands. If you can comfortably hold a handful of green beans, an orange pepper, or a zucchini they are all about 1 1/3 cups of vegetables, so a little goes a long way. Ladies, we have smaller hands (typically), so it’s logical we would eat less and gentlemen would eat a little more.

Vary the veggies. You don’t have to eat an entire tomato, but fresh salsa with baked chips or cucumber and pepper slices with low-fat dip are healthy, delicious snacks. And a little of this and a little of that will quickly add up to two or three “handfuls” of veggies.

If you know you are a typical American and the last green or yellow foods you ate were M&M's, this is a pretty gentle start to eating more vegetables. So just start eating!