assorted vegetables

Frequently Asked Questions

 
What is Colorful Choices?
How does it work?
What if I want to log a produce item that’s not listed?
Who can participate?
What’s a Top ChoiceTop Choice?
Should I eat more than 5 servings/day?
How does the team challenge work?
How do you form a team?
What is a serving size?
Will I lose weight participating in Colorful Choices?
Does Colorful Choices involve a special diet or supplements?
Do I have to record my choices online every day?
What if I have questions about the program?
Are there incentives to the program?

 

What is Colorful Choices?

It may be the simplest nutrition program ever — no calorie counting, no fat gram tabulating, no weighing or measuring. Just easy-to-remember daily selections of colorful produce — more than 120 to learn about and choose from! A diet rich with vegetables and fruits is exceptionally healthy. Putting produce first can reduce your risk of obesity, heart disease, some cancers, diabetes, and hypertension while increasing energy and well-being.

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How does it work?

Your goal is to eat at least 5 produce servings each day, with a minimum of 3 vegetables — in red, orange, yellow/white, green, and blue/violet. By spreading daily choices across the rainbow of colors, you’re guaranteed the best produce has to offer — vitamins, minerals, fiber, and phytonutrients — for better health.

Scoring is based on a point system:

  • Vegetable serving = 2 points
  • Fruit serving = 1 point
  • Top ChoiceTop Choice selection = 1 bonus point
  • Each day, aim for a total of 8 points or more.

While all produce is good for you, a Top ChoiceTop Choice selection may offer extra health benefits; examples are blueberries, broccoli, pumpkin, spinach, and tomatoes. Each time you record a Top Choice you get the fruit or vegetable points, plus a bonus point.

Note: For ½ servings, divide each point value in half. For example, ½ serving of vegetable is 1 point or ½ serving of fruit is 0.5 points.

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What if I want to log a produce item that’s not listed?

Choose an item that’s a similar color and closely related. For example, cranberries could be a substitute for goji berries and spinach for any dark green leafy vegetable. Although our comprehensive produce list couldn’t include all possibilities, it shows the most popular and familiar choices.

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Who can participate?

All CSUN Faculty and Staff. Colorful Choices is all about healthy eating patterns anyone can adopt. It shows you how to improve your overall health through colorful selections of vivid vegetables and fabulous fruit. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to put produce first.

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What’s a Top ChoiceTop Choice?

While all produce is good for you, a Top Choice may offer extra health benefits.

To enhance your score with the fewest calories, focus on the underlined items in this Top Choice list:

  • Beans (edamame/soy, lentil, garbanzo, black, kidney, pinto, black eyed pea, navy)
  • Blueberries
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Cranberries
  • Kale
  • Kiwi
  • Oranges
  • Pomegranate
  • Pumpkin
  • Raspberries
  • Spinach
  • Strawberries
  • Sweet potato
  • Tomato.
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Should I eat more than 5 servings/day?

Colorful Choices allows you to record up to 9 choices/day, as either full or half servings. More than 5 total servings could be more than you need. Check out Choose My Plate recommendations for the right number of vegetable and fruit servings for you.

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How does the team challenge work?

All teams must have 4-5 members (yourself plus 3-4 others) and be formed by Monday, June 11. The team challenge will end on Sunday, July 29, so to have your activity count toward your team’s score, you must log by Wednesday, August 1.

In this friendly challenge, teams challenge each other to see who can top the leaderboard. Although you can participate on your own, it may be the most fun part of this nutrition program. Scores are based on the team’s average points. Each person’s individual contribution affects the team score, so gather a group who will encourage and support each other along the way.

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How do you form a team?

After you register, click the Team link — invite others to join or accept invites from another team leader. Although there are advantages to having teammates close by, they can be across the hall or around the world; the most important thing is to recruit others who are motivated to be healthy.

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What is a serving size?

Here are some typical serving size examples:

Vegetables

  • 1 cup of most fresh or cooked vegetables
  • 1 cup sliced fresh vegetables
  • 1 cup vegetable juice
  • 1 cup cooked beans
  • 2 cups leafy greens.

Fruits

  • 1 cup of most fresh fruit
  • About 8 large strawberries
  • 1 cup diced fruit (fresh, or canned without syrup or added sugar, is best)
  • 1/2 cup dried fruit
  • 1 cup 100% juice
  • About 32 seedless grapes
  • 1 large orange
  • 1 small apple
  • 8” banana
  • 1 medium pear.
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Will I lose weight participating in Colorful Choices?

Many people do, but that’s not the main goal. Studies do show that people who get a higher percentage of their overall calories from vegetables and fruit are more likely to maintain a healthy weight.

Low-calorie choices are listed below.

Top ChoicesTop Choice under 50 calories/cup:

  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Cauliflower
  • Kale
  • Pumpkin
  • Spinach
  • Tomato.

More low-calorie produce choices (under 50 calories/cup):

  • Asparagus
  • Bell peppers
  • Bok choy
  • Broccoli rabe
  • Cabbage
  • Celery
  • Cucumber
  • Eggplant
  • Endive
  • Fennel
  • Green beans
  • Green onions
  • Jalapeno peppers
  • Kohlrabi
  • Leafy greens (2 cups raw) (like arugula, collard greens, iceberg lettuce, red or green leaf lettuce, romaine lettuce, Swiss chard)
  • Mushrooms
  • Okra
  • Radish
  • Star fruit
  • Summer squash/zucchini
  • Turnips
  • Watermelon.

Remember to limit dressings, spreads, and sauces with added fat and/or salt.

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Does Colorful Choices involve a special diet or supplements?

No. The goal of the program is to enhance your daily eating habits to include more vegetables and fruits, using a color theme. And while daily supplements may be a good idea, a balanced diet packed with produce is the best way to be sure you’re getting all the nutrients your body needs for optimum health and energy.

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Do I have to record my choices online every day?

It’s not required, but if you record your choices daily, you’ll enjoy the full experience of Colorful Choices as you watch individual and team progress. If you’re unable to log in every day, use the paper log and update your servings online when you can.

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What if I have questions about the program?

Use the Contact link at the bottom of each page on the website. A Colorful Choices representative will respond within 1 business day.

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Are there incentives to the program?

Yes, there will be incentives, however participation in the program is about health and health promotion. More info to follow.

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