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Quick Veggies Easy Way to Good Nutrition

Packaged, ready-to-eat vegetables are a quick, easy way to get the vegetables you need daily, says a University of Georgia expert.

"Ready-to-serve vegetables such as packaged salads and slaws are convenient for working moms who want to serve their families healthy meals, but don't have a lot of time to plan menus," said Gail Hanula. She's an Extension Service nutrition specialist with the UGA 0029 College of Family and Consumer Sciences 2BD4 .

"With these packaged vegetables, you can put together a salad quickly and provide a high-fiber, low-calorie, vitamin-packed dish," she said.

Hanula said packaged vegetables such as carrot sticks are an excellent, easy way to let children and adults eat healthy home-packed lunches.

"I bought some for my family's lunches. They're easy to grab and throw in a lunch box, and they're healthy snacks," she said. "They're an easy way to add one serving of the recommended five fruit and vegetable servings per day."

Kids aren't the only ones who brown-bag their meals. "They're perfect for adults on the go, too," Hanula said. "Packaged vegetables can be a great addition to snacks or dinner on the run. They're quick, nutritious and low in calories."

Besides lunch-box meals, packaged ready-to-eat vegetables fit nicely into home meals.

"When the meal preparer works outside the home, it's hard to put together a meal in 15 minutes," Hanula said. "These vegetables are real time- savers. They can be served as a raw, healthy side dish or added with meat for a quick, easy stir-fry dinner."

Hanula said most packaged vegetables don't need to be rinsed before serving. However, many people like to.

(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of Georgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)

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