Through all of the information we receive on how to raise healthy children, we hear consistently that we should feed our families along the color spectrum. The reason is that colorful foods are often picked right from the earth. Plant foods contribute to our natural defense systems with their protective phytonutrients. Plus, we know as adults, they’re delicious! Dr Greene’s wonderful campaign Color In, helps to reinforce the importance of providing colors at a very early age.
I recently visited a natural products trade show and was struck by a comment that Dr. Weil made during a talk. He said, “We should each ask ourselves one simple question at the end of the day: How much (yellow) have I eaten today?” Once again, it’s about eating along the entire color spectrum. I was both inspired and encouraged by the simplicity of this thought. If we agree to stick to this one idea as parents, we will be helping to build incredible habits for the future.
Our children will be healthier, they will appreciate a variety of whole foods and enjoy many new recipes.
So how do we get our kids to enjoy colorful food?
We already know kids have a very positive reaction to colors. From the clothes they wear, to the rooms we paint and the toys and books we share with them, color is undeniably exciting. Yet there is a lack of color on their plates. This feels like such a missed opportunity! A colorful meal looks inviting. All is takes is trial. As a mom of 2 young children, I know that sometimes it can take many tries. It is this very idea I had in mind when designing the Goodee™ Reward Board.
The Reward Board engages children in the “eating the rainbow” concept rather than preaching at them. By simply placing a magnet on the color grid for each colorful food they try, they are one step closer to reaching their goal. It’s a wonderful tool you can use to encourage them to just give a variety of colorful foods a go at it. It’s a fun process for them and adds a colorful snapshot to be hung in your home.
Why we like colorful food:
RED beets, tomatoes or apples help to maintain heart health, memory function and urinary tract health.
ORANGE sweet potatoes, carrots or clementines help to maintain heart health, vision health and a healthy immune system.
YELLOW bananas, a bowl of chick peas or mangoes help to maintain heart health, vision health and a healthy immune system.
GREEN kale, arugula, spinach, broccoli or kiwi helps to maintain vision, strong bones and teeth as well as respiratory health.
BLUE/VIOLET plums, blueberries, eggplant or black rice helps to maintain healthy heart, memory and motor skills.
NATURAL/TAN walnuts, sunflower seeds or a bowl of brown rice or oatmeal helps to promote a healthy digestive tract, maintaining heart health and aiding in weight loss.
Why they like colorful food:
There is nothing more fun and evocative than color to a child. It’s a reminder of a bright red wagon, a vibrant kite on a summer day, a favorite pile of legos, a box of markers and a fresh piece of paper or a field of grass just calling for a quick game of soccer. Color is a part of their daily lives. It should also be a part of their daily meals.
So tonight, as you put your kids to bed, ask them: “What colors have we eaten today?”