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What is considered a serving of microgreens?
One hand- one serving of microgreens. As you see from the charts below, the amount that is considered a serving depends on the person’s age. Knowing that microgreens have on average 10 times (and up to 40 times) the nutrients in full-grown vegetables, we need to know what a serving size is.
The good news is, it’s easy to convert serving sizes- the size of the hand determines the size of the serving. A 3-year-old will have six servings of microgreens that are easily held in their hand. A teenager or an adult, the same thing. With their bigger hands, it is still 6 handfuls per day- if microgreens are the only vegetable eaten.
Note that one of the most important points about eating vegetables (right after ‘just eat them’!) is to eat a variety. A variety of microgreens, and a variety of types of vegetables.
More information on serving sizes and the importance of eating vegetables
To have the best health, we need to eat vegetables. There are over 10,000 phytochemical that have been identified in the vegetables that we eat, and many more that are as yet unknown. A handful of broccoli microgreens has thousands of phytochemicals (1), many of which are vital to the health of our bodies. Phytochemicals (nutrients) do not come from any other source- we cannot get them from pills, potato chips, or wishful thinking. If we don’t eat vegetables, our bodies lack important nutrients.
98% of kids and 90% of adults do not eat enough vegetables.
Why don’t kids eat vegetables?
- Parents don’t like vegetables so they don’t serve them to their kids.
- Taste buds have become accustomed to the high salt, sugar and fat content of processed foods, so plain vegetables don’t taste good or just don’t satisfy.
- The texture of vegetables, particularly cooked vegetables, is not appealing.
- A lack of knowledge about the quantity and type of vegetables needed.
- It’s easier to grab and prepare processed food.
There are other reasons, but no matter what the reason, they don’t outweigh the need our bodies have for the nutrients in vegetables.
How much full-grown vegetables do we need on a daily basis?
The average adult needs between 2-3 cups of vegetables a day, and kids need between ¾ -3 cups, depending on age and gender. How do we go from eating no vegetables to eating sufficient quantities a day? We start.
Let’s define a cup of vegetables
- 1 cup of raw or cooked vegetables,
- 1 cup of 100% vegetable juice, or
- 2 cups of loose, raw leafy greens.
Define a serving of vegetables
For a one-year-old child that needs ¾ cup of vegetables per day, a serving size may be as small as a tablespoon, with 6 servings throughout the day.
For an older child that requires 1 ½ cups of vegetables per day, a serving size is ¼ cup with again, 6 servings per day.
An adult serving size is generally six servings of ½ cup. For many people, that is an overwhelming amount of vegetables to eat each day. There is a solution.
Microgreens to the rescue!
Instead of cups of broccoli or big salads, add handfuls of microgreens to everyday foods. Add to soups, sandwiches, burritos, spaghetti sauce- even ramen noodles if that is what you normally eat. One-tenth of a cup is about 1.5 tablespoons. So, for every cup of needed vegetables, substitute 1-2 tablespoons of chopped microgreens.
Sample Plan for Slowly Adding Vegetables To the Menu
Make a plan, and Just Start.
A little knowledge is necessary to eat properly. However, knowing that broccoli is good for you and doughnuts are not so healthy doesn't take a degree in nutrition- just the desire to increase our opportunity to have healthier bodies and minds.