I really believe in focusing on what we should be eating instead of what we shouldn’t be eating. Color is a great place to start. The ADA recommends:
To get the most nutrition out of your calories, choose foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients—and lower in calories. Pick fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy more often. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.
My translation? Make sure you are eating different types and colors of fruits and vegetables. (Notice how whole grains are typically varying colors, as well?) Salads are a great way to get a lot of veggies – both type and color – in at one sitting. Start with dark leafy greens. My favorites are spinach, herb salad mix and romaine. Then add as many other vegetables as you can. Think cucumbers; broccoli; red, orange or yellow peppers; shredded purple cabbage; sliced carrots; tomatoes; squash; zucchini; sprouts and you’ve got a range of colors and a good portion of your veggie quota in for the day. Not a fan of raw veggies? Try a huge stir-fry!
Add another veggie or two at dinner, some fruit at breakfast and dessert and dessert and keep those fruits and you’ll easily surpass the measly 5 cups of fruit and vegetables recommended per day. I’d recommend more like 7-8 cups of fruit and vegetables per day and the easiest way to get them in is to make sure they are accessible – cleaned and ready to eat! Now go, eat your colors!
Visit the ADA site for resources, quizzes, games and recipe ideas to promote National Nutrition Month.