Fruits and vegetables come in a wide variety of shapes, sizes, flavors, and colors. Eating more fruits and vegetables may reduce the risk of some chronic diseases, like cancer, heart disease, stroke, obesity, and diabetes. Fruits and vegetables provide important nutrients for health and maintenance of your body. Different types of fruits and vegetables provide different nutrients, so it’s important to get a good variety. An easy way to make sure you’re getting all the different nutrients is to choose a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables to fill half your plate.
Vegetables fall into five different subgroups based on their nutrient content: dark-green vegetables, starchy vegetables, red and orange vegetables, beans and peas, and other vegetables. Each type has it’s unique benefits, so aim to eat a variety of colors over the course of the week.
Make Half Your Plate Colorful
Make half your plate fruits and vegetables. The more color, the better. Try to eat at least two different colors of fruits and three different colors of vegetables every day. Let your kids be the produce pickers when grocery shopping. Help them choose a rainbow of fruits and veggies to eat for meals and snacks throughout the week.
Fresh, Frozen, Canned, or Dried
Don’t limit your rainbow of produce to just fresh options. You’ll get the same important nutrients no matter what form you choose. When shopping for canned fruits, look for fruits canned in juice. For veggies, choose no added salt options. Frozen fruits and veggies are convenient because they’re already washed, chopped, and ready to use. Plus, canned and frozen varieties won’t go bad before you eat them!
How do you make sure you’re getting a rainbow of nutrients in your family’s diet? One of my New Year’s Resolutions has been to eat leafy greens with at least one meal per day. For families with kids, try crafting a rainbow with examples of different colored fruits and veggies (grocery sales ads are a great source of pictures!). This can be an inspiring way to get your kids on board with eating more colorful produce. Share your tips with us in the comments!