By Kristina LaRue, Nutrition Intern at Second Harvest Food Bank
It’s National Nutrition Month! The American Dietetic Association designated the month of March to communicate the importance of making good food choices. This year’s theme is “Eat Right with Color.” This is the challenge to Americans— eat a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables every day.
Why does color matter?
• Not all plants are created equal—Each fruit and vegetable provides different nutrients and unique health benefits.
• Live it up with color—Eating the same fruits and vegetables over and over again is boring, especially when you are supposed to eat 5 a day. Including a variety of choices will help you to enjoy your food a whole lot more!
• Rev up the flavor—Fruits and vegetables come in all flavors. Add a twist to a dish by including a new taste. Eat the rainbow.
• Red—watermelon, pomegranate, strawberries, radishes, cherries, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb.
• Orange/Yellow—rutabagas, sweet potatoes, lemons, pumpkin, yellow tomatoes, apricots, pears, peaches, butternut squash.
• Green—zucchini, spinach, lima beans, collard greens, avocados, artichokes, green apples.
• Blue/Purple—blueberries, figs, blackberries, plums, purple grapes, prunes, raisins.
• White—cauliflower, mushrooms, garlic, onions, potatoes, turnips, bananas.
Take the challenge!
• Next time you are at the supermarket, put a new fruit or vegetable in your shopping cart!
• Make a list of the fruits and vegetables that you currently eat to figure out what colors you might be missing.
• Get creative—find new recipes that include fruits and vegetables. Make a fresh veggie dip, enjoy fruit smoothies, use dried fruits in trail mix.
• Keep ready to eat fruits and vegetables in the fridge.
• Double up. Increase the amount of veggies in the recipe.
• Have fruits for dessert.
Maria Ali, RD, LD/N