National Nutrition Month is an annual campaign sponsored by the American Dietetic Association to promote nutrition awareness and education. This year’s theme is "Eat Right with Color." This month, the American Dietetic Association encourages everyone to add color and nutrients to meals, taking time to look at their eating patterns and begin to make small improvements that will lead up to significant health benefits. One way to add color to meals and snacks is to eat more fruits and vegetables. US adolescents do not consume the recommended amount of fruits and vegetables. The advisory committee for the Dietary Guidelines for Americans report that adolescents eat an average of 1.2 to 1.5 servings of vegetables and 0.8 to 1.2 servings of fruit per day compared to the recommended 5 servings of fruit and vegetables.
Increasing fruits and vegetables not only add color to your plate but also add many vitamins and nutrients such as fiber, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A. Whether they are fresh, frozen, canned, dried or 100% juice: all forms of fruits and vegetables matter! However, juice should be limited and canned goods can be rinsed with water to get rid of excess sodium. Most frozen fruits and vegetables are packaged and frozen shortly after being picked, so their flavor and nutritional value are preserved. Another way to add color is to buy seasonal produce. Broccoli, corn, green beans, pineapple, and strawberries are all in season in the spring. It may also cost less to buy produce in season! Any favorite meal can be made more colorful. Try adding sliced bell peppers and tomatoes to pizza or spinach and broccoli to spaghetti. This is more appealing to the eye, and it tastes go