Focus on Color
Focus on Color
Do you remember your mom always telling you to eat your fruits and vegetables? Well, this concept is still encouraged.
Instead of using the Food Guide Pyramid, the USDA has come up with Choose My Plate. This is a great visual aid to help people monitor portions and add more fruits and vegetables to their meals.
Choose My Plate encourages you to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables. Then make sure half of your grains are whole grains and choose 1% or less with dairy products.
Why is it recommended to fill half of your plate with fruits and vegetables? They are naturally low in fat, low in calories and packed with fiber. A serving of fruit is only 60 calories and a serving of vegetables is only 25 calories. If you fill up on fiber from your fruits and vegetables, you can control the other portions on your plate. This will add variety to your meals and will lead to fewer calories consumed.
Aim to choose lots of color when picking out your fruits and vegetables. If you decide to choose frozen vegetables, make sure they do not contain a cheese sauce or any other ‘special’ sauce. If you choose frozen fruit, make sure they don’t contain any added sugars.
You will still need to monitor the amount of fats you add to your meals. Choose more unsaturated fats, such as polyunsaturated and monounsaturated fats. Limit saturated fats and trans fat on the nutrition fact label. Choose more liquid fats, and limit solid fats. Since they are both a fat, you still need to monitor the portion. A teaspoon of fat (solid or liquid) = 5 grams of fat and 45 calories. This can add up quickly if you don’t pay attention to how much you are adding to a salad, baked potato, or your protein source.
Remember to add a variety of fruits and vegetables to your meals and snacks. These foods are low in fat and saturated fat and high in fiber. If you stay on track with choosing more color on half of your plate, this will make it easier for you and your family to stay on track.
- What to Make of Portions and Serving Sizes?
- Healthy Eating Options for Fueling Your Child
- Benefits of Fiber
- Do You Struggle With Planning Healthy Meals for Your Family?
- Nutrition Myths Debunked
- Health & Nutrition Apps for Family Fun
This post originally appeared on our July/August 2011 Magazine