March is National Nutrition Month and I love the American Dietetic Association’s (ADA) message this year - Eat Right with Color.

I really believe in focusing on what we should be eating instead of what we shouldn’t be eating. Color is a great place to start. The ADA recommends:

To get the most nutrition out of your calories, choose foods packed with vitamins, minerals, fiber and other nutrients—and lower in calories. Pick fruits, vegetables, whole grains and fat-free or low-fat dairy more often. Be aware of portion sizes. Even low-calorie foods can add up when portions are larger than you need.

My translation? Make sure you are eating different types and colors of fruits and vegetables. (Notice how whole grains are typically varying colors, as well?) Salads are a great way to get a lot of veggies – both type and color – in at one sitting. Start with dark leafy greens. My favorites are spinach, herb salad mix and romaine. Then add as many other vegetables as you can. Think cucumbers; broccoli; red, orange or yellow peppers;  shredded purple cabbage; sliced carrots; tomatoes; squash;  zucchini;  sprouts and you’ve got a range of colors and a good portion of your veggie quota in for the day. Not a fan of raw veggies? Try a huge stir-fry!

Add another veggie or two at dinner, some fruit at breakfast and dessert and dessert and keep those fruits and you’ll easily surpass the measly 5 cups of fruit and vegetables recommended per day. I’d recommend more like 7-8 cups of fruit and vegetables per day and the easiest way to get them in is to make sure they are accessible  - cleaned and ready to eat! Now go, eat your colors!

Visit the ADA site for resources, quizzes, games and recipe ideas to promote National Nutrition Month.

15 Comments ( Reply )

  1. Sarah @ OneLoveSarah
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 9:21 am

    I love this campaign for this years NNM. I hate when I make something and there is no color variation. I love a rainbow on my plate!

    Reply

  2. Megan (Braise The Roof)
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 11:41 am

    I didn’t know March was NNM! Thanks for the heads up- does that excuse my rapidly increasing (and pricey) habit of hitting up the grocery store’s salad bar at lunch lately?? ;)

    Reply

    • Emily
      Mar 03, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

      I will allow it, but only for March!

      Reply

  3. michelle @ Housewife in the Raw
    Mar 03, 2011 @ 4:06 pm

    Can I chime in to add some advice? When feeding your young children lots of colors, make sure to have a good stain remover. Mother Nature makes some potent natural colors than can be really hard to get out of carpet/clothes/furniture. :)

    Reply

    • Emily
      Mar 03, 2011 @ 4:08 pm

      That is a great tip Michelle! :)

      Reply

  4. Kathleen @ KatsHealthCorner
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 4:03 pm

    I LOVE National Nutrition March!!!!

    What a great tips you have to improve your health! :) Pass the fruit basket over this way! :D

    xoxo
    Kathleen

    Reply

  5. Tiffany @ Simply Shaka
    Mar 04, 2011 @ 7:58 pm

    Learn something new every day–I didn’t know it was Natl Nutrition March! I love when I make a meal and it has almost all the colors in the rainbow, it makes me happy.

    Reply

  6. Sara @ Nourish and Flourish
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 1:06 am

    I absolutely love HUGE colorful salads! The only problem is that my tummy often doesn’t (especially if they contain raw broccoli, cabbage or cauliflower!)…Steaming first helps tremendously! I also love wilting greens by sauteeing them with a smidgen of oil and lots of garlic and pepper. So so good–and no dressing needed! Soup is another fantastic way to sneak a ton of veggies into a meal!

    Reply

    • Emily
      Mar 05, 2011 @ 9:13 am

      Those are also really good ideas Sara! I love wilted greens.

      Reply

  7. Simply Life
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 6:20 am

    Great info! Good thing my pizza last night was nice and colorful! :)

    Reply

    • Emily
      Mar 05, 2011 @ 9:12 am

      Ooh, pizza is an extra yummy way to get lots of color in!

      Reply

  8. chrysta
    Mar 05, 2011 @ 5:10 pm

    Great Advice!! thanks for the tips..

    Reply

  9. Lindsay @ Pinch of Yum
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 8:00 am

    I’m always thinking that I need to try to get at least 5 servings… when I’m trying, it’s not that hard to do… but the moment I stop thinking about it, it seems like I don’t get near enough!! Thanks for the reminder! :)

    Reply

  10. Katie @ Real Food Katie's Way
    Mar 06, 2011 @ 6:58 pm

    I love that there is an entire month dedicated to bringing awareness to nutrition and healthy living!

    Reply

  11. Joy Weese Moll
    Mar 14, 2011 @ 1:36 pm

    That sounds like a delicious, as well as colorful, salad!

    Reply

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