Pathways to Wellness

conversation • connection • commitment

Colourful meals

Variety is the spice of life and it’s good for our health too!  Aim for a mix of foods from three of the four food groups at every meal:

  • Vegetables and fruits – the more colourful the plate, the better!
  • Meats and other sources of protein like fish and beans
  • Grains – especially whole wheat pasta, brown rice, bulgur or quinoa
  • Milk, other dairy products (like cheese or yogurt) and soy products

For more information on the four food groups, get a copy of Canada’s food guide at
http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/fn-an/food-guide-aliment/order-commander/index-eng.php#1

Feel free to “veg out” – half of your plate should be vegetables but you can throw in some fruits too. Fruits and vegetables have a lot of things our bodies need (like vitamins, nutrients and fiber) and fill us up without adding fat, salt, sugar and calories found in processed foods. Frozen fruits and vegetables are just as nutritious as fresh because they are frozen at their peak – just stay clear of products that have sauces which are often loaded with fat, salt or sugar.

Fruits and vegetables can be grouped together based on their colour:  red, orange/yellow, green, blue/purple, or white.    Each colour is associated with a different set of vitamins and nutrients.  Learn more about food colours (and other useful information) by downloading What color is your food? written by Julie Garden-Robinson, North Dakota State University and generously made available through Creative Commons. 

Eating a “rainbow” every day gives you the range of vitamins and nutrients your body needs.  It’s also a great way to get kids interested in fruits and vegetables.     Get your kids involved in tracking the fruits and vegetables they eat every day using  I like rainbows…and I eat one every day.

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