Kids love rainbows! What’s not to like, they’re so bright and colourful! Did you know you can take their love of rainbows and put it on a plate filled with fruits and vegetables?! Using a rainbow as a guide you can ensure your children benefit from a wide range of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients in their diet.
Phytonutrients are natural chemical compounds found in all plants; they protect against disease and promote health in plants and humans. They also give fruits and vegetables their colour. No single fruit or vegetable provides all of the nutrients kids need to be healthy. Eating a variety of colourful fruits and vegetables everyday is the key!
By breaking produce down into colour groups of fire-engine red, vibrant orange, sunny yellow, rich green, and deep purples you can make eating fruits and vegetables fun for your kids! Even at a very young age kids can easily grasp the concept of eating a rainbow.
Here are some examples from each colour group:
- Red Apples, cherries, peppers, raspberries, strawberries, tomatoes
- Orange Apricots, cantaloupe, carrots, mangoes, oranges, sweet potatoes
- Yellow Bananas, peppers, pineapple, corn, grapefruit, squash
- Green Broccoli, cucumbers, grapes, peas, spinach, kiwi
- Purple Beets, blackberries, blueberries, red cabbage, eggplants, plums
As parents we “know” our children should be eating a minimum of 5 servings of fruits and vegetables a day, but this knowledge doesn’t seem to be making its way into their diets!
Here are 5 tips to encourage your kids to eat more fruits and vegetables:
1. Keep Fruits and Vegetables in Sight: Stock your fridge full of washed and ready to eat fruits and veggies.
2. Remove the Competition: If you have unhealthy food options like sweets, chips and other junk food around they will usually be chosen over fruits and veggies! Stick with healthy foods in your kitchen.
3. Prepare Meals Together: Start bringing kids into the kitchen at a young age. Toddlers can wash and rip lettuce, preschoolers can measure and stir, and older kids can find recipes and help create meals. Children are far more likely to dig into a new dish if they helped prepare it!
4. Keep it Simple: Veggies taste best when you don’t do too much to them. Eating them raw seems to be a favorite with kids. Add some yummy dip and you’re done!
5. Keep trying: Kids need to be exposed to, and ideally taste, a new food as many as 10 to 15 times before they’ll accept it. Just getting them to take one bite is a victory!
Do your kids eat five colourful fruits and vegetables every day?
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