Family Magazine

Making It EASY to Put COLOR in Your Plate

By Daylehayes
Making it EASY to put COLOR in your plate(Many thanks to Sandra Frank for her whimsical Nutrition Month collages of children and food. See more at Dietitians Online. )

Nutrition experts agree that vibrant, brightly-colored, whole foods are often the healthiest bargains in the grocery store. They tend to be nutrient-rich - meaning that more nutrition is packed into every calorie.

Processed and packaged foods tend to have more fat, sodium, and added sugars (with bright artificial colors rather than natural goodness). These items also tend to come with higher price tags since you pay for fancy packaging and advertising.


Savvy shoppers know that planning ahead is the best way to get the most delicious nutrition for your grocery dollar. Smart shopping isn’t necessarily more complicated or time-consuming - it is just more deliberate and thoughtful.

  • Make a list: Take a few quiet minutes to make a careful list, based on your family’s schedule for the week and what you already have available in your kitchen.
  • Check specials: Take advantage of store sales and lower prices on seasonal produce items to save big. Check newspaper ads, in-store circulars, or online specials.
  • Snack smart: Seriously! When you’re hungry, you’ll make more impulse buys that are expensive and higher in calories. Eat some string cheese or fruit before shopping.


  • Concentrate on the perimeter of the store: In most grocery stores, the most healthful, freshest foods are along the outside walls - in the meat/fish/poultry, dairy, produce, and sometimes bakery departments. Do most of your shopping here.
  • Stroll the canned, frozen, and cereal aisles: There are plenty of nutrient-rich choices on the aisles too, especially on those with cereals, rice, legumes (dried and canned beans/peas), canned fruits in juice, and frozen vegetables and berries.
  • Skip the candy, cookie, snack, and soft drink sections: It’s no secret that the packages and displays in these aisles are designed to tempt you into buying things that you don’t really need. Keep them out-of-sight and out of your shopping cart.


Fill your shopping cart with the colors of good health, like green broccoli, purple grapes, yellow peppers, orange cantaloupe, black beans, brown rice, pink salmon, lean red meat, and low-fat white milk. Your family will eat better and feel better.

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