National Nutrition Month—Eat Right With Color
National Nutrition Month. Making A Rainbow Plate
By Vivienne Mackie
This year (2012), the themes for the month are “Eat Right With Color” and “Get Your Plate in Shape”. It’s a fun way to get folks thinking about what’s on their plates, the basic idea being that fresh, natural foods of different colors are more healthy generally and that we should try to put more of those on our plates every day.
Recently, the USDA changed its guidelines for recommended daily intake of each food group and the well-known Food Pyramid has become a Food Plate, called MyPlate. It was introduced by First Lady, Michelle Obama, who is a champion of healthy eating, especially for children, given the obesity rate in the USA.
http://www.choosemyplate.gov/ (This is a good site, with tips, sample menus etc).
The new symbol is a colorful plate, as it seems that most people, and especially kids, can more easily imagine and envisage a plate of food as a way of dividing up the types of foods. The plate is divided into 4, with fruits and vegetables taking up half the plate (2 sections), with the vegetable section being a bit larger than the fruit section. Grains and protein are the other 2 sections, with the grain section being a bit bigger than the protein. A small round side plate at the top has Dairy.
Part of the “Eat Right With Color” theme uses a Rainbow of Color. Many of us have learned how to remember the colors of the rainbow with this memory aid: ROY G. BIV (red, orange, yellow, green, blue, indigo, violet). How can we all get this rainbow onto our plates?
Here are a few ideas, using fruits and vegetables from around the world. Many world cuisines rely heavily on vegetables, fruits, herbs and spices as staples—and the delicious dishes testify to that! The idea of a rainbow plate gives ‘eye candy’ plus a much wider range of nutrients than over-cooked and over-processed foods.
Red: red bell peppers (called capsicum in many parts of the world), radishes, raspberries, red onions, cranberries, devil fruit (but white inside), strawberries, tomatoes
Yellow: yellow bell peppers (capsicum), mangoes, pineapples, grapefruit, yellow zucchini
Green: leafy green vegetables, coriander (called cilantro in USA), avocados, broccoli, rapini, peas, green beans
Purple (Indigo/Violet): purple potatoes, beetroots, blackberries, plums
For a list of other colored fruits and vegetables go to
Have fun enjoying all these colorful, healthy foods!