A balanced diet should include many kinds of fruits, veggies, whole grains, lean proteins, and dairy. Varying the color and types of foods will ensure the diet contains all the nutrients needed to stay healthy.
Add Colorful Fruits and Veggies
An easy way to add color to a diet is to include a variety of fruits and veggies. Produce tastes best and has the most nutrients when it is in season. Most of these foods are also low-calorie, low-fat, and low-sodium.
|Green||Avocado, apples, grapes, honeydew, kiwi||Asparagus, broccoli, green peppers, leafy greens|
|Orange and deep yellow||Apricot, cantaloupe, mango, pineapple||Carrots, yellow pepper, sweet potatoes, butternut squash|
|Purple and blue||Blackberries, blueberries, plums, raisins||Eggplant, purple cabbage, purple-fleshed potato|
|Red||Cherries, cranberries, pomegranate, strawberries||Beets, red peppers, rhubarb, tomatoes|
|White, tan, and brown||Banana, brown pear, dates, white peaches||Cauliflower, mushrooms, onions, turnips, white corn|
Here are some quick tips to brighten meals:
|Orange and deep yellow||
|Purple and blue||
|White, tan, and brown||
Finding Fresh Foods
Some sources for fresh, colorful foods are:
- Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) programs allow people to eat in color and in season. Some farms offer quarter-share or half-share options, fruit shares, and eggs. Programs are listed on the Local Harvest website.
- Buy goods at a farmer’s market. Some farms also have winter markets that offer fresh local produce all year.
- Start a home garden. It is economical and a great way to get other family members involved.
Choose My Plate—US Department of Agriculture
Eat Right—Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics
Dietitians of Canada
Dairy. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/dairy. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Dietary guidelines for Americans 2015-2020. US Department of Agriculture and US Department of Health and Human Services. Available at: https://health.gov/dietaryguidelines/2015/guidelines. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Fruits. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/fruits. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Grains. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/grains. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Protein foods. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/protein-foods. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Vegetables. US Department of Agriculture Choose My Plate website. Available at: https://www.choosemyplate.gov/eathealthy/vegetables. Accessed August 21, 2020.
Last reviewed March 2020 by EBSCO Medical Review BoardDianne Scheinberg Rishikof MS, RD, LDN Last Updated: 2/26/2021