When thinking about the 2011 theme for National Nutrition Month – Eat Right with Color – it’s easy to think about the produce department. However, to get all the nutrients your body craves, it’s important to think beyond green and orange – and to include black and white, pink and silver, as well as brown and tan foods.
Here are just a few of the tasty colors that can put delicious nutrition onto your family’s plates - and help them maintain healthier weights, as well as a lower risk of heart disease, diabetes, and cancer.
- Green: Tasty options include spinach, leaf lettuce, asparagus, broccoli, beans, and snap peas. If your kids aren’t wild about cooked vegetables, try a tossed salad of baby spinach with apple slices and light dressing.
- Orange and yellow: Popular picks include baby carrots, oranges, tangerines, peaches, and pineapple. Get into a simple fruit-for-dessert habit: refreshing slices of fresh orange or canned-in-juice mandarin oranges.
- Blue and purple: Beets, grapes, plums, and blueberries are all nutritious selections. Frozen blueberries are well-accepted and versatile. Sprinkle berries on breakfast cereal, fruit salad, or vanilla yogurt for a treat.
- Red: While there are lots of red fruits, veggies, and beans, lean red meats - like beef, pork, and lamb - are also important sources of the protein, iron, and zinc that children need to grow and maintain muscle mass.
- White: Fat-free/low-fat dairy foods are excellent sources of three missing nutrients (vitamin D, calcium, and potassium). Three servings a day of milk, cheese, or yogurt help kids grow strong bones and teeth.
- Brown and tan: Whole grains now come in a range of crunchy, healthy colors. Buy products that list a whole grain as the first ingredient on hot and cold breakfast cereals, breads, rolls, crackers, and pasta.