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Healthy eating is anything but boring!

How beautiful food photos can inspire you to eat well

By Shannon Crocker, MSc RD

Do you remember when healthy food had a bad reputation for being boring and bland? Well no more! Food photography – in particular Instagram food photography – has changed how we view healthy eating.

Healthy food is now described using words like delicious, mouth-watering, and drool-worthy. Foodie photographs showcase vibrant vegetables, brilliant berries, toasted nuts, yellow egg yolks, creamy white dairy, bright pink salmon, and crisp green herbs.

It’s all a feast for your eyes.

Because we eat first with our eyes, a food photo that looks like a work of edible art can make your mouth water. What does that mean for healthy eating? That gorgeous plate of healthy food – in a photograph or on your dinner table – might inspire you to eat well.

Here are three nutritious, delicious recipes that look pretty in a picture and will have you craving healthy!

1. Fruitalicious Cottage Cheese

This Fruitalicious Cottage Cheese made with Nordica Cottage Cheese and topped with fresh berries not only looks lovely, but also is a super breakfast choice; eating breakfasts high in protein, along with regular exercise, can help build strong, healthy muscles.

Cottage cheese is a high protein choice, with 15 grams of muscle-boosting protein in just half a cup. The 4% MF cottage cheese provides a bit more fat for staying power and a creamy texture and taste that make meals sensational.

Foodie Photo Tip: Arrange ingredients and props strategically – but not perfectly. Scatter a few berries around the bowl to brighten up the photo and make it more visually interesting. According to Irene Matys, food stylist, food photographer, and curator of recipes, how you compose a photo can say a lot. “Set a mood by telling a story with your photo, i.e. add a few ingredients alongside your dish, whether it be herbs, lemon, nuts…something to tell your viewers what’s in the dish!”

2. Fattoush with Grilled Halloumi and Lemon Caper Dressing

Say goodbye to sad salads! Gone are the days of iceberg lettuce with a couple of tomato slices and a few slivers of carrot. Instagram has promoted salad to a whole new level of deliciousness.

This Fattoush with Grilled Halloumi and Lemon Caper Dressing is no exception. It’s bursting with flavour from the tangy lemony dressing that pairs perfectly with the warm grilled halloumi.

Nutritionally speaking, a big bowlful of leafy greens and veggies provides plant-based nutrients such as vitamin C, fibre and folate which are all key for heart health. The cheese provides hunger-curbing protein and health-boosting nutrients such as vitamin B12 which is vital for your brain.

Foodie Photo Tip: Add utensils and props. According to Matys, “adding serving utensils makes the photo inviting”. Add a wooden serving spoon beside your big salad bowl. Place a napkin and fork beside your plate. Make sure any utensils are slightly dull so there’s no glare. Check out flea markets for cool vintage cutlery.

3. Tropical Smoothie Bowl

Smoothies are a super way to add a whole lot of goodness into one glass – or in this case, bowl!

Making your smoothie a little thicker than usual makes it spoon-able. Putting your smoothie in a bowl allows you to add nutrient-rich toppings like nuts, seeds and fresh fruit. And the fact that you have to chew versus sip might help you feel more satisfied with your meal. Those toppings can also make your smoothie look a little more interesting and appealing.

Try this Tropical Smoothie Bowl featuring Nordica Smooth Plain for a big hit of protein that delivers serious snacking satisfaction. The frozen mango, pineapple and banana make it frosty, flavourful and fibre-filled. It’s perfect for breakfast or a hearty snack.

Foodie Photo Tip: Consider colour and lighting. A light blue bowl will show off the pale peach hue of this smoothie. Vibrant fruit toppings can be added on one side of the smoothie, brightening the photo and adding a layer of interest. Matys says natural lighting is the best way to show off food’s beauty.

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