Fruits & Veggies—More Matters™ Tips

Tips for eating a more colorful diet

Use these easy, fun tips to help you eat a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day!


  • Stir low-fat or fat-free granola into a bowl of low-fat or fat-free yogurt.  Top with sliced apples or berries.
  • Add strawberries, blueberries, or bananas to your waffles, pancakes, cereal, oatmeal or toast.
  • Top toasted whole-grain bread with peanut butter and sliced bananas.
  • Add vegetables like bell peppers, broccoli, spinach, mushrooms or tomatoes to your eggs or your egg white omelet.
  • Make a fruit smoothie using bananas, frozen blueberries or peaches, and low-fat or fat-free yogurt.
  • Have fruit as a mid-morning snack.

Try making Savory Apple Sausage:

  • Mix one large finely chopped apple with a pound of lean ground turkey. 
  • Season with sage and rosemary and shape into patties. 
  • Cook in a nonstick skillet over medium heat on each side until internal temperature reaches 165° F.

Lunch and Supper

  • Ask for more vegetable toppings (mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes) and less cheese on your pizza.
  • Add some cooked dry beans to your salad.  If you have a sweet tooth, add chopped apples, pears or raisins.
  • Add broccoli, green beans, corn or peas to a casserole or pasta.
  • Add lettuce, tomato, onion and cucumber to sandwiches.
  • Order salads, vegetable soups or stir-fried vegetables when eating out.
  • Broil sliced vegetables like zucchini, bell peppers, eggplant and tomatoes for just a few minutes until they begin to blacken around the edges.  Serve warm with a low-calorie dressing of lemon juice, low-fat or fat-free mayonnaise and black pepper.
  • Choose beans, corn on the cob or a side salad with low-calorie dressing instead of French fries.
  • Try eating at least 2 vegetables with dinner.
  • Have soup.  You can stick with the basics like tomato or vegetable soup, or mix up some minestrone or vegetable chili.  When possible, choose soups with less sodium.
  • Open and rinse cans of kidney beans, wax beans, green beans, and chickpeas, and toss with a low-fat or fat-free vinaigrette for an ultra-fast bean salad.

Try making Very Vegetable Lasagna:

  • Take your favorite lasagna recipe
  • Try adding different combinations of your favorite veggies between the layers. 
  • Try mushrooms, spinach, carrots, broccoli, zucchini, onions and eggplant. 
  • Be creative!


  • Try hummus (made with chickpeas) on whole wheat pitas.
  • Snack on veggies like carrots, bell pepper strips, fresh green beans or celery with low-fat or fat-free ranch dip.  Store cleaned, cut vegetables in the fridge at eye level and keep low-fat or fat-free dip on hand.
  • Try baked tortilla chips with black bean and corn salsa.
  • Keep a bowl of fruit on your desk or counter.
  • Stash bags of dried fruit at your desk for a convenient snack.

Try making Easy Bean Quesadillas:

  • Spread low-fat cheese and fat-free refried beans between two tortillas, and brown on both sides in a pan until the cheese melts.

Find more helpful tips on making fruits and veggies part of every eating occasion at!

*Recipe ideas developed for Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC). These recipes meet Centers for Disease Control & Prevention (CDC) and Produce for Better Health (PBH) nutrition standards that maintain fruits and vegetables as healthy foods.

The Colors of Health

Getting a colorful variety of fruits and vegetables every day is important!


  • Because colorful fruits and vegetables provide a wide range of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals! 
  • Your body uses these to help you maintain a healthy weight, protect against the effects of aging, and reduce your risk of:
    • Heart disease
    • High blood pressure
    • Diabetes
    • Some cancers

It’s important to eat all your colors every day to get the variety of vitamins, minerals, fiber and phytochemicals you need to stay healthy and fit!

What are vitamins and minerals?

  • Natural substances in a wide variety of foods, long recognized as essential to maintaining health.

What are phytochemicals?

  • Natural plant compounds that work together with vitamins, minerals and fiber to provide a variety of health benefits. 
  • Many of the bright colors in fruits and vegetables come from phytochemical pigments.

What are antioxidants?

  • Plant substances that help protect cells from free radical damage (the by-product of normal metabolism). 
  • Over time, free radical damage can lead to a number of diseases associated with aging.

BLUE and PURPLE fruits and vegetables contain anthocyanins and phenolics, antioxidant pigments that are currently being studied for their anti-aging benefits.

Including BLUE and PURPLE in your low-fat diet helps you maintain:

  • A lower risk of some cancers
  • Urinary tract health
  • Memory function
  • Healthy aging

BLUE and PURPLE fruits and vegetables include:

Fruits Vegetables Beans & Peas (legumes)
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Black Currants
  • Dried Plums
  • Elderberries
  • Purple Figs
  • Purple Grapes
  • Plums
  • Raisins
  • Eggplant
  • Purple Asparagus
  • Purple Cabbage
  • Purple Carrots
  • Purple Peppers
  • Purple Potatoes
  • Black Beans
  • Black Soybeans
  • Fava Beans

GREEN fruits and vegetables contain indoles and lutein, antioxidants that have potential health-promoting benefits.

Including GREEN in your low-fat diet helps you maintain:

  • Vision health
  • A lower risk of some cancers
  • Strong bones and teeth

GREEN fruits and vegetables include:

Fruits Vegetables Beans & Peas (legumes)
  • Avocados
  • Green Apples
  • Green Grapes
  • Green Pears
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwifruit
  • Limes
  • Artichokes
  • Arugula
  • Asparagus
  • Broccoli
  • Broccoflower
  • Brussels Sprouts
  • Chinese Cabbage
  • Green Beans
  • Green Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumbers
  • Endive
  • Leafy Greens
  • Leeks
  • Lettuce
  • Green Onions
  • Okra
  • Green Peas
  • Green Peppers
  • Snow Peas
  • Spinach
  • Watercress
  • Zucchini
  • Edamame
  • Green Lentils
  • Green Split Peas

WHITE fruits and vegetables contain many phytochemicals that are of interest to researchers for health benefits, including allicin (found in garlic and onions).

Including WHITE in your low-fat diet helps you maintain:

  • Heart health
  • Healthy cholesterol levels
  • A lower risk of some cancers

WHITE fruits and vegetables include:

Fruits Vegetables Beans & Peas (legumes)
  • Bananas
  • Brown Pears
  • Cherimoyas
  • Dates
  • White Nectarines
  • White Peaches


  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Jerusalem Artichokes
  • Jicama
  • Kohlrabi
  • Mushrooms
  • Onions
  • Parsnips
  • Shallots
  • Turnips
  • White Corn
  • White Potatoes
  • Brown Lentils
  • Chickpeas (Garbanzo Beans)
  • Soybeans
  • White Beans (Navy Beans, Great Northern Beans)

YELLOW and ORANGE fruits and vegetables contain antioxdants like vitamin C as well as carotenoids and bioflavonoids, two classes of phytochemicals that scientists are studying for their health-promoting potential.

Including YELLOW and ORANGE in your low-fat diet helps you maintain:

  • Heart health
  • Vision health
  • A healthy immune system
  • A lower risk of some cancers

YELLOW and ORANGE fruits and vegetables include:

Fruits Vegetables Beans & Peas (legumes)
  • Apricots
  • Cantaloupe
  • Carambola (Star Fruit)
  • Golden Kiwifruit
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Mangoes
  • Nectarines
  • Oranges
  • Papayas
  • Peaches
  • Pineapples
  • Tangerines
  • Yellow Apples
  • Yellow Figs
  • Yellow Pears
  • Yellow Watermelon
  • Butternut Squash
  • Carrots
  • Pumpkin
  • Rutabagas
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Sweet Corn
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Yellow Beets
  • Yellow Potatoes
  • Yellow Summer Squash
  • Yellow Tomatoes
  • Yellow Winter Squash
  • Yellow/Orange Peppers
  • Yellow Lentils
  • Yellow Split Peas

RED fruits and vegetables contain lycopene and other phytochemicals that are being studied for their health-promoting potential.

Including RED in your low-fat diet helps you maintain:

  • Heart health
  • Memory function
  • A lower risk of some cancers
  • Urinary tract health

RED fruits and vegetables include:

Fruits Vegetables Beans & Peas (legumes)
  • Red Apples
  • Blood Oranges
  • Cherries
  • Cranberries
  • Red Grapes
  • Pink/Red Grapefruit
  • Red pears
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon
  • Beets
  • Red Peppers
  • Radishes
  • Radicchio
  • Red Onions
  • Red Potatoes
  • Rhubarb
  • Tomatoes
  • Pink or Red Beans (Kidney Beans, Pinto Beans, Red Beans)
  • Red Lentils