Be Sure to Eat the Rainbow
Healthy eating starts with the colors on your plate! The colors of fruits and vegetables signify richness in vitamins and minerals. What better way to attract and involve children in healthy food choices than with bright colors. Put a positive spin on new and healthy food choices. Include your child in the selection, and pick a rainbow of colored produce from bright citrus to dark greens. Naming these selections super hero and heroine foods could be one approach! Another approach would be to try new recipes from different cultures; vegetables are often used in flavorful ways!
An easy to follow guide can be found on the USDA’s MyPlate website http://www.choosemyplate.gov/; make half your plate fruits and vegetables!
The Color Wheel: The color of fruits and vegetables can often be categorized by nutrient content.
• Red is usually a sign of vitamin A, (beta carotene) vitamin C and lycopene. Red produce includes: beets, cherries, cranberries, pomegranates, raspberries, rhubarb, and tomatoes.
• Orange signifies that you will get vitamins A, C, and B6, as well as potassium and fiber. Orange produce includes: butternut squash, carrots, cantaloupes, oranges, pumpkins, orange peppers, and peaches.
• Yellow indicates that you will get potassium and fiber. Yellow produce includes: bananas, yellow bell peppers, spaghetti squash, and summer squash.
• Dark Greens are packed with nutrients. Dark leafy greens are rich in lutein, which helps eyesight. Green produce includes: asparagus, broccoli and spinach.
• Blue/Purple signify some of nature’s most powerful antioxidants. Antioxidants can help to fight cancer. Blue and purple produce includes: blueberries, cabbage, eggplant, grapes, and plums.
• White indicates you will get vitamins C and K. White produce includes: cauliflower, parsnips and rutabagas.