Beware the Beige Plate

White Plate

Your Plate is a Blank Canvas

March is National Nutrition Month® and this year’s theme is Eat Right with Color. 

Beige is not the new black, it’s boring when it comes to food.  One way to add color to your plate easily is with lots of fruits and veggies.  And while you’ve heard   “eat your veggies!” more times than you care to remember, odds are you aren’t getting enough. Just 27 percent of adults meet the recommendation for eating enough vegetables.  We do a little better with fruit as 33 percent of adults get the recommended amount.  Obviously, we have a long way to go.

Eating a variety of colorful fruits and vegetables is an easy way to ensure you get the range of nutrients you need for the best health.  There a saying that we “eat first with our eyes” and it’s true.   All too often, we get stuck in a rut, filling our plates with meat, rice or potatoes with the optional side of green beans.  But, have you noticed how just a sprig of parsley can brighten up a dull-looking plate and make it more appealing?  Color can really entice you to eat more healthfully. Here are some easy ways to brighten up your plate with more color…

  • Variety abounds when using vegetables as pizza topping. Try broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms and zucchini.
  • Get saucy with fruit: Puree berries, apples, peaches or pears for a thick, sweet sauce on grilled or broiled seafood or poultry, or on pancakes, French toast or waffles.
  • Mix up a breakfast smoothie made with low-fat milk, frozen strawberries and a banana.
  • Grill colorful vegetable kabobs packed with tomatoes, green and red peppers, mushrooms and onions.
  • Banana split: Top a sliced banana with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt. Sprinkle with a tablespoon of chopped nuts.
  • Add color to salads with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.
  • Stuff an omelet with vegetables. Turn any omelet into a hearty meal with broccoli, squash, carrots, peppers, tomatoes or onions with low-fat sharp cheddar cheese.
  • “Sandwich” in fruits and vegetables. Add pizzazz to sandwiches with sliced pineapple, apple, peppers, cucumbers and tomato as fillings.
  • Wake up to fruit. Make a habit of adding fruit to your morning oatmeal, ready-to-eat cereal, yogurt or toaster waffle.

Source: American Dietetic Association, http://www.eatright.org

Check out these online resources for more fruit and veggie tips and ideas:

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