The American Dietetic Association (now Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics) , the association of Registered Dietitians and Nutrition Professionals, celebrates nutrition during the month of March every year, with a new theme each time.
The theme for 2011 was “Eat Right with Color.” The relevance of the theme goes well beyond the year and is a good reminder to us all.
Dietitians advocate for your health and this month we want to focus on the importance of eating right and staying physically active while incorporating color into your life.
I want to encourage you to make some positive changes in your lifestyle that will impact your health and the health of your family.
Color on Our Plates
We all need to remember to include a colorful variety of fruits, vegetables, whole grains, lean proteins and dairy on our plates every day. The new Dietary Guidelines for Americans also emphasize a plant based approach to healthy eating which includes colorful food choices. Follow our series “A Dietitian Explains it All” at Senior Care Corner to learn more about the new research based health guidelines.
Tips for you and your family to add a little color to your menus:
- Add salad to your meal: greens, red tomatoes, orange shredded carrots, maroon julienne beets, white jicama slices, brown pine nuts, purple cabbage shreds, green celery slices, yellow corn kernels, or any of your colorful favorites
- Add fruit to your meal: red and green apples, pink grapefruit, yellow bananas, red grapes, purple plums, yellow peaches, blue blueberries, red strawberries, green melon, red watermelon, red cranberries, and list goes on.
- Add veggies to your meal: orange squash, green zucchini, purple cabbage, green peas, red peppers, brown and red beans, yellow corn, black beans, red radishes, and many more varieties.
- Use fruit purees over protein foods, in oatmeal, over dessert or in a smoothie.
- Grill protein and veggies for a colorful splash on your plate.
- Add sliced veggies to your lunch box sandwich, put in a pita or wrap for more family fun.
- Snack on fruits, nuts and veggies.
- Add shredded or grated veggies to your home cooked meals and family favorite recipes.
- Be sure to include whole grain foods at every meal.
We encourage you to contact a Registered Dietitian to get the advice of an expert when making nutrition changes in your life and the life of your family.
With National Dietitian Day each year, we commemorate the dedication that Dietitians have to the nation’s health today. Dietitians are the health professionals that can take the science of nutrition and translate that into healthy eating for everyone. You can read more on the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics site.
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