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Create a Colorful Plate

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Create a Colorful Plate

The United States Department of Agriculture recommends fruits and vegetables fill half your plate. By focusing on plant-based foods, you will benefit from added color, flavor and texture plus vitamins, minerals and fiber.

Cooper Clinic Registered Dietitian Nutritionist Colleen Loveland, MS, RDN, LD, CDE, offers the following simple ways to incorporate fruits and vegetables so your plate is full of the essential nutrients—and color—to build a healthy diet.

Vegetable Fixes:

  • Top your pizza with vegetables. Add broccoli, spinach, green peppers, tomatoes, mushrooms, onions and zucchini. It not only will taste great, but look great too!

  • Need a quick snack? Roast a variety of vegetables with a sprinkle of low-fat cheese rolled in a whole-wheat tortilla. Also, munch on crunchy vegetables instead of chips with your favorite low-fat salad dressing as a dip. 

  • Edamame makes a great snack or side-dish to any meal.

  • Fire up the grill for a colorful kabob. Any vegetables work and even fruits can be fun and different on the grill.

  • Make healthy additions to your salad with baby carrots, grape tomatoes, spinach leaves or mandarin oranges.

  • Stuff an omelet with a variety of vegetables. 

  • Top a potato with beans and salsa or broccoli and low-fat cheese.

  • Have veggie soup for a snack or with a sandwich at lunch.

  • Grate, shred or chop vegetables into family favorites such as lasagna, meat loaf, pasta sauce or rice dishes.

  • Fill your freezer with frozen veggies to quickly steam or stir-fry for a side dish.

  • Be a dipper with whole-wheat pita wedges in hummus, baked tortilla chips in salsa, strawberries or apple slices in low-fat yogurt or graham crackers in applesauce.

Fruit Fixes:

  • Make a quick and easy smoothie with your favorite fruits. Bananas and strawberries make a delicious combination. Try berries or melons for other flavors.

  • Keep a bowl of fresh fruit in the center of the kitchen or on the kitchen table for the taking.

  • Puree your fruit to make sauces that are tasty on seafood, poultry, pancakes or a whole-grain waffle.

  • Change up your sandwich with different fruits for added variety. Incorporate sliced pineapple, apple, cucumber and tomato as fillings.

  • Add fruit to your cereal and grab a piece for the go during the day.

  • Skip the cake and have fruit for dessert. Try a healthier version of your favorite fruit desserts like our recipe, Raspberry Peach Cobbler. Also try a sliced banana or a bowl of fresh berries with a scoop of low-fat frozen yogurt and a sprinkle of chopped nuts.

When shopping, choose a variety of vegetables: fresh, frozen or low-sodium canned options are all good options. Focus on color, especially dark green, red and orange.

For more information on Cooper Clinic Nutrition Services, click here or call 972.560.2655.


Article provided by Cooper Aerobics Marketing and Communications.