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Eat a Rainbow of Colorful Fruits and Veggies

Did you know that one simple dietary change can save lives and medical costs? The change: Add more colorful fruits and vegetables to your plate.
Eat a Rainbow of Colorful Fruits and Veggies

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According to the American Heart Association, this change could save nearly 40,000 lives and $7.6 billion in medical costs every year in the U.S. Choose from the rainbow of colorful fruits and vegetables, including red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple/blue and white ones.

Fill Half Your Plate With Fruits and Vegetables

We all should try to fill half of our plates with fruits and vegetables. Aim for four to five servings per day (that's about 4 to 5 cups). Try these ideas to add more fruits and vegetables throughout your day.


  • Top your cereal with bananas or fresh or dried berries.
  • Make a smoothie with frozen, canned or fresh fruits. Add yogurt or juice and blend.
  • Make some pumpkin bread or muffins to enjoy.
  • Add chopped veggies (peppers, onions, spinach) to your omelet or scrambled eggs.


  • Pack a whole piece of fruit (apple, orange, plum, pear, etc.) to enjoy with your lunch. Rinse it in water at home before you leave.
  • Have vegetable soup for lunch. If you make it at home, store it in a thermos to keep it warm.
  • Add veggies, such as spinach, cucumber slices or tomato slices, to your sandwich.


  • Keep a bowl of fresh, whole fruit on your counter so the fruit is easy to grab.
  • Have cut-up fruit such as cantaloupe or watermelon in containers in your fridge where there are easy to see.
  • Keep some dried fruit such as raisins or dried cranberries in a plastic bag for quick snacks.
  • Try freezing red or green grapes as a sweet treat.


  • Have steamed vegetables as a side dish.
  • Add extra veggies to soups or casseroles. Add shredded carrots to chili. Try adding some frozen veggies such as peas during the last few minutes of cooking brown rice.
  • Enjoy fresh or canned fruit as your dessert. Try sprinkling apple slices with cinnamon to enhance their natural sweetness.

Julie Garden-Robinson, Food and Nutrition Specialist, NDSU Extension Service

Featured in Food Wise October 2016 newsletter (PDF)

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