The single, most powerful dietary change that we can each make is to eat more fruit and vegetables at meal and snack times, what we call Eating Colourful.
As a busy working mum who is also a nutritionist and dietitian, I’ve spent many years testing out different tips and tricks to make healthy eating easy.
These days my family and I manage to eat an abundance of colourful fruits and veggies without too much hassle. I wanted to share with you my top tips for eating colourful, in the hope you will get some ideas to help you stay colourful in your daily life.
1. Shop colourful
It sounds obvious I know. But to eat colourful, you have to shop colourful. Take a look in your trolley when you’re next shopping. Have you got a traffic light of colour? Some green fruits and veggies? Some orange and/or yellow? Red? Once you have a traffic light, turn it into a rainbow. Add some brown or white, blue and purple.
Remember to stock the freezer and pantry with colours for when you can’t make it to the supermarket.
I buy lots of fresh veggies, but also some frozen (peas, berries) and canned (corn and beans). This means that towards the end of the week, if we ran short on fresh foods we were still able to stay colourful.
2. Buy enough colours
Do the maths on how much produce you need. There are 6 people in my family. I aim to provide each person in my family 2 pieces of fruit and approximately 5 serves of veg each day. If buying for 3 days, that’s 36 pieces of fruit. If buying for a week, that’s a lot!
3. Eat veggies at breakfast, lunch and dinner
Why wait until dinner to have veggies?
Incorporate veggies into breakfast by adding leafy green vegetables to smoothies, grated carrot or zucchini to bircher museli or porridge, or having veggies either in or around eggs (have you tried our colouful breakfast omelette?).
Enjoy leftover dinner as lunch, add colour to your sandwich or have a carrot or cucumber on the side. The kids and I often snack on a platter of cut veggies while I make their sandwiches before lunch. Mr Foost prefers veggies in his sandwich, while my kids prefer them on the side in their lunch boxes.
4. Snack on colours
Stick to fruits and veggies if you are feeling peckish between meals. Whole fruit or veggies, leftover roasted veg, veggie sticks (pre-cut some and keep in a tub in the fridge) with dip (hummus, cream cheese), cherry tomatoes, fruit salad or smoothies. There is so much colour to choose from!
5. Fill half of your dinner plate with veggies
Change your thinking and approach to planning a dinner. Instead of thinking of the meat or pasta as the main and veggies the side, think of veggies as the base and make the grains and meat the side. Aim for your dinner plate to be half veg.
Follow these tips for increasing your colourful eating and enjoy the feeling of having more energy. Please share any tips you have for eating more fruits and veggies.