Last week, a friend told me that the rule in his house was that “Everyone had to have at least two colors at a meal.” Now while one could argue that meat and potatoes are two colors, he was talking about having different colored vegetables and fruits.
At East Penn Foot & Ankle Associates, we believe that the “rainbow” diet idea is an excellent way to introduce healthier habits to our patients.
Putting “more colors” on your plate is an easy way for children to remember how to eat healthy and for anyone who struggles with what makes up the food groups. A rule of thumb is, regardless of your age or physical condition, there should always be more fruits and veggies on your plate.
Diabetes and your diet
What about the diabetic who has to watch the sugars and starches in fruits and veggies? An easy to remember rule is “green is good”. Most green veggies are lower in sugar and starch than red or yellow veggies, so load up on the greens and use the red or yellow veggies to add flavor. Diabetics should also be careful how much sugary fruit they eat, but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy a healthy load of these colorful, good for you treats.
Fine restaurants present your meals so the food looks delicious and desirable to eat. Frequently, they do this by adding more color. You can try this yourself – throw green or red herbs on top of food to make it pop.
If you don’t have a multiple colors diet, there’s no better time to start than today. Focus on the bright colors of the rainbow: greens, yellows, oranges, and reds. Here are some easy tips:
- When preparing dinner, throw a quick salad together with premixed salad packs from your local supermarket
- At breakfast, add a banana, apple, or berries to your cheerios, shredded wheat, or oatmeal (no sugary cereals).
- As you send your children off to school, help combat childhood obesity and juvenile diabetes by making sure that your children are eating a healthy, well rounded meal at lunch. If you are concerned about their willingness to eat healthy, have them get involved in the shopping and preparation of their lunchtime ingredients.
Every meal should be a bright, colorful display of deliciousness – here is to a happy healthy way of life! If you’re diabetic, we suggest you visit the what can I eat? page from the American Diabetes Association.