Solution #3: Bring on the Colors!

 

Bowls of fresh fruits and veggies.

“Colors are like instruments in symphony—the more you have, the richer the experience.” That’s the analogy I use with kids when I talk about the importance of eating your colors. The truth: none of us are eating enough colors. Veggie and fruit intake is woefully low relative to recommended levels.

But taking a stand by saying, “Eat your broccoli!” isn’t particularly effective. To get kids to eat their colors, you need to go back to Solution #1: Focus on Fun, Not Food.

There are a few simple things you can do to boost colors at your table:

1) Setup for Success. Head out to the market and challenge your kids to load the cart with color. Aim for five colors (bonus points if one of those colors is a new food to try). Then head home and spend 15 minutes prepping your veggies for the week ahead. This is an easy way to get your kids involved—little ones can tear the kale leaves and older children can chop the Brussels sprouts. A few minutes of prep will lead to a week’s worth of easy meals.

2) Aim for 3 Colors. Crunch a Color is the game I created to get my daughter to eat a more colorful diet. The principle is simple—the more colorful your plate, the more points you can earn. 5 for apples. 10 for broccoli. 15 for kale. The goal? Three colors and 30 points at each meal. Dessert can be colorful too. Offer fruit on weeknights. Save treats, made at home, for weekends.

3) Flip Flop Your Fridge. Think like a junk food marketer. Pack colorful fruits and veggies in glass containers, and then stack them on the shelves of your fridge. When you open the refrigerator door, you want to see are bold, beautiful colors! That will make it many times easier for you and your kids to choose healthy, even when its hectic.

4) Avoid Airplane Foods. Tune into seasonal foods by challenging your kids to avoid airplane foods, aka, foods flown in from another hemisphere, like strawberries in January. Seek out local, when you can.

Tune in tomorrow when I share Solution #4: Reinstate the Kids’ Menu

Jennifer Tyler Lee

Jennifer Tyler Lee is the author of The 52 New Foods Challenge: A Family Cooking Adventure for Each Week of the Year (Penguin Random House/Avery 2014) and the creator of the award-winning series of healthy eating games, Crunch a Color®.

Note: This Perspectives Blog post is written by a guest blogger of DrGreene.com. The opinions expressed on this post do not necessarily reflect the opinions of Dr. Greene or DrGreene.com, and as such we are not responsible for the accuracy of the information supplied. View the license for this post.

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