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Easy Ways to Add Nutrition- Think Rainbow! 

We’ve all heard it said over and over, eat healthier… but what does that really mean?  How do I know if I’m eating healthier or healthy enough?  What about the picky eaters in my family? Are they eating healthy enough?

 

It is week 4 of the Live Well Kitsap online Transformation Event (www.livewellkitsap.com/transformation) and we are all about helping people find ways to add  more healthy food, good taste and  nutrition into the diet.

 

With all the conflicting information out there… eat this, don’t eat that… when you quiet all the noise, it does not have to be difficult or complicated to get better nutrition into your diet!  Let’s look at some of the basics- and the practical how to make better nutrition and food choices!

 

1.     Think in Rainbow colors!  What is something purple or blue that you can add more of?  Plums, blueberries, purple sweet potatoes, or grapes! How to get more in your diet: Wash some organic blueberries or grapes and put them in a bowl and leave them out for snacking.  Want to add more orange?  Think carrots, squash, oranges or orange bell peppers.  How to get more in your diet?  Leave finger sized cut up carrots and orange segments in a bowl or plate.  Need more greens? Bring in more spinach, broccoli, kiwi, or asparagus. How to get more in your diet?  Leave sliced kiwi out for snacking, add spinach to morning smoothies, serve more salads with lunch!

2.     Get the Kiddos involved. When you are at the grocery store, spend extra time in the produce section with your kids.  Start looking with fresh eyes at the myriad of color in the produce section.  You can ask little ones to find you something red… or orange, or green.  Let them put the fruits and veggies they find in the grocery cart!  Older kids can help find something when you ask them to find one new thing they want to try from the produce section.

3.     Replace prepackaged and processed foods with natural options.  Stop buying the white stuff- pasta, breads, crackers, bagels, and rice and replace with color! Try brown or black rice, quinoa, protein pasta ( red and green are made from lentils). The more you think   "variety of colors” the easier this gets! Additionally, plan time to cook together on the weekends to reduce the need to buy processed dinners.

4.     Plan meals not with “meat and potatoes” in mind, but with a rainbow of color in mind.

When you start training your brain to think in terms of protein, greens and a variety of color, your plate will naturally invite more and better nutrients into your diet.  Consider a meal like salmon (pink,) broccoli (green), carrots ( orange or rainbow) and blueberries. Aim for 3-4 different colors on your plate.

 

Eating healthier does not have to be an uphill climb that we dread.  Food should be fun, taste good, and nourish our bodies and brains.  Pick one thing to begin to do differently this week and invite the family to join you on some new food adventures!

 

By making small changes that can stick- that become the norm for how you eat, you can help your own diet and that of your family become healthier.  And more and better nutrition adds up to fun and feeling great as you boost mood, energy and wellbeing for all.

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