Saturday, January 15, 2011

Eating the Colors of the Rainbow - Teaching Kids Clean Eating

My son came home from school yesterday ( he is 9 ) with a handout about "Eating the colors of the rainbow" as part of their study of nutrition and healthier eating habits. I think it's so clever - and so informative to those of us with young children - I think I'll share it!

Eating the Colors of the Rainbow

  1. Red tomatoes
    Red tomatoes
    On day 1, pick a red fruit or vegetable. Choices include tomatoes, red bell peppers, watermelon, cherries, cranberries, raspberries, beets, and strawberries. Tomatoes and watermelon get their red coloring from lycopene, a powerful antioxidant. Red bell peppers contain significant amounts of beta-carotene, which has immune-boosting properties. Beets are high in iron and folate. Berries are good sources of fiber and helpful antioxidants, such as vitamin C. 

  2. Oranges
    On day 2, continue with an orange fruit or vegetable. Try cantaloupe, papaya, sweet potato, orange, carrots, orange bell peppers, pumpkin, mangoes, peaches, apricots or any other bright fruit or vegetable that catches your eye! Many orange fruits and vegetables are great sources of beta-carotene, antioxidants and fiber.

  3. Yellow corn
    Yellow corn
    On day 3, try some yellow - corn, yellow bell peppers, yellow squash, bananas, lemons, grapefruits, potatoes or some other sunshine-colored produce. Bananas and potatoes are great sources of potassium, a necessary mineral for cardiovascular health. Lemons and grapefruit are packed with vitamin C. Corn provides fiber, thiamin and lutein, an eye-protecting compound.

  4. Green cucumbers
    Green cucumbers
    On day 4 - go green! Green fruit or vegetables, that is, such as broccoli, spinach, lettuce, peas, cucumbers, avocado, kiwi fruits, pears, green beans, celery, white grapes, artichokes, zucchini, Brussels sprouts or limes. Produce of this color are chock full of healthy ingredients like folates, fiber, vitamins A and C. Cruciferous vegetables like broccoli and cabbage are strong anti-cancer foods.

  5. Blueberries
    On Day 5, don't be blue about going blue! Try blueberries or blackberries - both nutritious fruits containing beneficial antioxidants, including anthocyanins, which are pigments giving the fruits their strong blue coloring.

  6. Indigo colored radicchio
    Indigo colored radicchio
    On day 6, the color of the day is indigo - a transition between blue and violet. Eggplant, fig and radicchio all are good, colorful foods to try. Figs are excellent sources of fiber and potassium.

  7. Red or Purple Onion
    Red or Purple Onion
    On day 7 finish up the week with a violet-colored fruit or vegetable. Red grapes, flowering kale, red or purple onions, and plums are all good choices. Onions have been shown to raise HDL, the good cholesterol. Red grapes contain resveratrol, another cardiovascular protector.