Just like when Dorothy opened her eyes to a world of color in the Land of Oz, you can too when it comes to choosing good food with benefits beyond the basics. Why should you reach for colorful food? Because it’s what inside of most every fruit and vegetable that can make the difference between eating just to satisfy hunger and fueling your body with the best that nature offers.
Antioxidants, vitamins, minerals, fiber, “good” fat … those nutrients found in fruits and vegetables are essential to help protect you from disease and unhealthy conditions such as obesity, stroke, high cholesterol, type 2 diabetes, and heart disease. And you can think of produce as a “super food” since so many options have cancer-fighting compounds to bolster your immune system.
If you’ve been stuck in a meat and potatoes rut, or your broiled chicken or fish dishes are begging for a makeover, it could be time to brighten things up. Start with eating colors for a healthier breakfast and work your way through to an evening snack. It’s easy to add at least one green, red, or orange serving of fruit or vegetables to your plate at every meal. Yellow and purple options may be next! Here are some great ideas to get started:
Easy breakfast bites
- Toss blueberries, raspberries, or strawberries—fresh or frozen—into your cereal, oatmeal, or yogurt
- Whip up a “garden variety” omelet with any color pepper, tomatoes, and onions
- Try mashed avocado on toast or sliced bananas and almond butter on an English muffin
Love your lunch
- Become a veggie burger connoisseur
- Replace chips as your sandwich’s BFF with sautéed or precut raw veggies
- Think salad bar if you’re away from home—you’ll have your pick of your favorites
New dinner dishes
- Grill eggplant and layer with kale and marinara sauce
- Treat spaghetti squash like pasta and top with a vegetable-based sauce
- Turn your sides into the main dish, featuring sweet potatoes, steamed broccoli or asparagus
- Green or red/purple grapes
- Carrots and celery
- Apples and oranges
- Cherry or grape tomatoes
- Peaches, nectarines, and apricots
- Raw green beans
Next time you can’t decide what to eat, pick a few colors instead and try to make a nutritious creation from these ideas!