During the 2011 National Nutrition Month, the American Dietetic Association encourages everyone to add color and nutrients to meals through this year's theme: "Eat Right with Color."
Kristin Klinefelter, registered dietitian with Medsave Family Pharmacy and Wellness Center, said, "eating your colors" is a concept that all age groups can incorporate.
"No matter what kind of group or client I am talking to, I can incorporate education about the importance of colorful fruits and vegetables," she said. "Children love the challenge of 'rating their plate' to see what colors of the rainbow they are eating, and adults with all medical conditions or wellness goals can incorporate color and get excited about it."
Use this quick color guide to add color to meals and snacks:
Green produce indicates antioxidant potential and may help promote healthy vision and reduce cancer risks.
- Fruits: avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi and lime.
- Vegetables: artichoke, asparagus, broccoli, green beans, green peppers and leafy greens such as spinach.
Orange and deep yellow fruits and vegetables contain nutrients that promote healthy vision and immunity, and reduce the risk of some cancers.
- Fruits: apricot, cantaloupe, grapefruit, mango, papaya, peach and pineapple.
- Vegetables: carrots, yellow pepper, yellow corn and sweet potatoes.
Purple and blue options may have antioxidant and anti-aging benefits and may help with memory, urinary tract health and reduced cancer risks.
- Fruits: blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins.
- Vegetables: eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato.
Red indicates produce that may help maintain a healthy heart, vision, immunity and may reduce cancer risks.
- Fruits: cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, red/pink grape fruit, red grapes and watermelon.
- Vegetables: beets, red onions, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb and tomatoes.
White, tan and brown foods sometimes contain nutrients that may promote heart health and reduce cancer risks.
- Fruits: banana, brown pear, dates and white peaches.
- Vegetables: cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, parsnips, turnips, white-fleshed potato and white corn.
ADA Spokesperson Karen Ansel recommends choosing a variety of colors when shopping for seasonal fruits and vegetables.
"And for additional options in the color palette, choose frozen or dried fruits and vegetables available throughout the year," she said. "Instead of grilled chicken and mashed potatoes, consider painting a more colorful plate, such as grilled chicken topped with salsa, mashed sweet potato, asparagus and spinach salad with orange slices. A colorful meal is not only visually appealing, but it also contains a variety of nutrients and is quite flavorful."
For more information on how to "Eat Right with Color," visit ADA's National Nutrition Month website for a variety of helpful tips, fun games, promotional tools and nutrition education resources.
Those interested in nutrition counseling, can contact Kristin by email to set up an appointment. She can be reached at email@example.com or call me at MedSave at 759-1222.
Aimee Imhof is the marketing specialist for MedSave Family Pharmacy, at 759-1222.