I like to think my kids eat healthy. They love bananas, sweet potatoes and will even drink kale, apple and carrot power smoothies. Yet, sometimes, I feel like my children don’t eat a big enough variety of fruits and vegetables. Thus, I decided I would try to get them to eat five different colors of healthy food. Here’s how I got my kids to consume five different colors a day.
My kids already like fruits and veggies. However, there are some healthy picks I would like them to eat more often. It’s not necessary for them to eat five right away. With my daughter, I initially told her to pick three. She loves strawberries and mandarin oranges, so this was easy. When you first start the process, it’s a good idea to put a favorite fruit or veggie in the lineup. Then, throw in a new pick from the produce aisle. For instance, I had some frozen peas so I put these into my mostly sweet rainbow. After eating all of her favorites, my daughter decided to eat the peas too!
Edible Food Art
I don’t make all of my children’s meals an art project. However, sometimes, making food fun and delicious helps kids eat their fruits and veggies. Making edible rainbows is an easy way to get kids to eat colorful foods. You can make fruit flowers, vegetables robots or any picture that may encourage your child to be a little more adventurous! You can also do themes. Try all tropical fruits or a rainbow of peppers.
Eat the Rainbow
There are so many colorful, high nutrient choices to fill your families’ plates. Here are a few examples:
Red: Strawberries, Raspberries and Tomatoes: According to fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org, all three of these are high in vitamin C. Strawberries are also a good course of folate. It’s easy to add these to smoothies, on top of french toast or mixed with yogurt. Tomatoes are also potassium rich and high in Vitamin A. Put these on pizza, in pasta sauce and on top of sandwiches.
Orange: Oranges, Peaches and Nectarines: All three of these are abundant in vitamin C. You can grill nectarines and add a dollop of greek yogurt and honey for a healthy dessert. Of course, fresh squeezed OJ is delicious.
Yellow: Yellow Peppers and Mangos: Mangos and yellow peppers are high in both vitamin C and A. In addition, according to the World’s Healthiest Foods, peppers contain vitamin B6 and fiber. While peppers are at their nutritional best when raw, you can also grill or saute them for excellent flavor.
- Green: Kale, Spinach and Broccoli : Many leafy greens are high nutrient super foods. Kale is an “excellent source of vitamin A and vitamin C” along with “a good source of calcium and potassium.” Likewise, spinach is high in dietary fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, iron and folate. It is also a good source of magnesium.
- Blue and Purple: Blueberries and Eggplant: Blueberries contain antioxidants and vitamin C. Both eggplant and blueberries contain dietary fiber. Blueberries are great on top of pancakes and straight out of the container. Eggplant is delicious roasted or sauteed. Put a little tomato sauce and cheese on top for a yummy alternative to lasagna.
My kids may not eat a rainbow everyday. However, I’m trying to make their diet as nutrient-rich as possible.
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