Health Information

Eating With Color

IMAGE A balanced diet should include a variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy. Varying the color and types of foods in your diet will ensure that you are getting all of the nutrients that you need to stay healthy.

Add Colorful Fruits and Vegetables

An easy way to add color to your diet is to include a variety of fruits and vegetables. Produce tastes best and has the most nutrients when it is in season, and most of these foods are low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sodium.
Color Fruits Veggies
Green Avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi Asparagus, broccoli, green peppers, leafy greens
Orange and deep yellow Apricot, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple Carrots, yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, butternut squash
Purple and blue Blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato
Red Cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, strawberries Beets, red peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes
White, tan, and brown Banana, brown pear, dates, white peaches Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white corn

Are you ready to brighten your next meal? Here are some quick tips!
Color Food Ideas
Green
  • Add broccoli, spinach, or green peppers to pizza.
  • Add sliced apple to a salad.
Orange and deep yellow
  • Bake your own sweet potato fries.
  • Use yellow pepper instead of green pepper in recipes.
Purple and blue
  • Add blueberries to cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt.
Red
  • Add strawberries to cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt.
  • Add red peppers and tomatoes to an omelet or scrambled eggs.
White, tan, and brown
  • Add banana slices to a peanut butter sandwich.
  • Try mashed parsnips and/or turnips instead of mashed potatoes.

Finding Fresh Foods

Some sources for fresh, colorful foods include:
  • Join a local Community Supported Agriculture (CSA). These programs allow you to eat in color and in season. Some farms offer quarter-share or half-share options, fruit shares, and eggs. You can find a participating farm near you on the Local Harvest website.
  • Buy goods at a farmer’s market. Some farms participate in winter markets so you can buy fresh local produce all year.
  • Start a home garden. It is economical and a great way to get kids involved.

RESOURCES

Dietary Guidelines http://www.dietaryguidelines.gov

ChooseMyPlate http://www.choosemyplate.gov

CANADIAN RESOURCES

Dietitians of Canada http://www.dietitians.ca

Health Canada http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca

References

Dairy. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/dairy.html. Accessed September 27, 2013.

Fruits. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/fruits.html. Accessed September 27, 2013.

Grains. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/grains.html. Accessed September 27, 2013.

Protein foods. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/protein-foods.html. Accessed September 27, 2013.

Vegetables. United States Department of Agriculture website. Available at: http://www.choosemyplate.gov/food-groups/vegetables.html. Accessed September 27, 2013.

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