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A bowl of cereal with fresh fruit

Fruit is one of the best ways--and a healthy way--to add some color to your bowl of cereal.

Make eating more appealing

By Kelly Kunkel

From eNews, April 17, 2008

When it comes to a healthy diet, sticking to a plan can be difficult for many reasons. Maybe you are not sure what to eat, you lack the time or energy, or you think healthy foods taste bad. Often the image of healthy food is dull and the eating experience a chore.

One of the most important things you can do to stick to your commitment to a healthy diet plan is to make healthy eating more appealing. Here are some ways to help make that happen:

Enjoy your foods
Sit down when you eat, and eat with family and friends. Food tastes better with company and conversation. If you live alone, invite a friend over for dinner, when you can have a potluck meal or a tasting party. Try out new recipes and invite someone over to try them out.

Eat with your eyes
Not literally, of course, but if the food doesn't look good, if it's not attractive, we probably won't give it a chance. Choose different foods from the color palette, different shapes, and different textures.

Dress up your table
Break out the good china, use the tablecloth or placemats you've been storing for years, and try candles or flowers as a centerpiece. The change can go a long way toward improving your eating experience. Experiment with herbs and spices to increase flavor without calories and fat Add fresh or dried dill, basil, or oregano to steamed vegetables, or cinnamon to fruit dips. Try herb vinegar dressing on your salad or herbs on your baked potato.

Experiment with fruits and vegetables
Try mango, jicama, Chinese cabbage, or turnip greens, if you haven't before. Prepackaged mixed salad greens or frozen stir-fry vegetables can be a time saver and can also help to increase your vegetable intake.

Try a variety of ethnic cuisines such as Chinese, Mexican, Greek, or Indian
Select from the low-fat, high-fiber choices and enjoy.

Kelly Kunkel is a nutrition educator with University of Minnesota Extension.