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Thursday, August 9, 2012

Taste the Rainbow


(Is that copyright infringement? Uh...sorry, Skittles. I’m small time; you don’t want to hassle with me.)

Fruits and veggies are awesome for you. There is really no way around it. They are all natural (or at least they should be – steer clear of the Applenana…that was a college science experiment gone horribly wrong), and they contain so many vitamins and nutrients as well as belly filing fiber (an apple alone has nearly 4.5 grams of fiber). Not sure how many servings you should eat? Click here for a serving calculator provided by the CDC.

At my house, we eat tons for blueberries, bananas, apples, carrots, and frozen green beans and peas. While it’s tricky to get little ones to swoon over veggies; smoothies do a great job of hiding the taste, so might adding a bit of tomato sauce over fresh cooked veggies. Or, you could check back tomorrow for my Friday blog and I’ll tell you about someone who has discovered another great way to disguise veggies for youngsters (hint: she has a very famous husband).

But the bottom line is this: taste…errr…eat the rainbow. It’s best to try to gobble down a variety of different fruits and veggies, absorbing the range of vitamins and minerals offered. The best way to vary your servings is to think about eating all sorts of different colors.

Here are a few ideas for what fruits and veggies to look for from each color:

Red:
Red apples
Beets
Red grapes
Red peppers (these vitamin C bombs contain twice as much C as the green ones)
Raspberries
Strawberries
Watermelon (my favorite. I’m still convinced that I could devour an entire large watermelon in one sitting. I’ll let you know if I try)

Orange/Yellow:
Oranges
Lemons (try substituting water with lemons for your regular lunch drink)
Peaches
Sweet potatoes (great for making sweet potato fries!)
Pineapple (great for smoothies!)
Carrots (great for seeing in the dark…at least that’s what I tell my kids.)
Mangoes
Yellow tomatoes

Green:
Avocados
Broccoli (toss a few florets into your smoothie…but not too many…)
Green grapes
Peas (We LOVE frozen peas with dinner! Cover them with a bit of tomato sauce for the kiddos!)
Limes (You could do lime water, too.)
Green peppers
Asparagus (makes for interesting bathroom trips later…)
Kiwi

Blue/Purple:
Blueberries
Blackberries
Figs
Purple grapes
Raisins
Plums
Eggplant
Prunes (also makes for interesting bathroom trips later...but in a different way...)

White:
Bananas
Cauliflower
Onions
Mushrooms (We dice these and add them to our spaghetti! Our kids never even know!)
Garlic
Potatoes
Jicama
And…uh….bananas.

So go on…taste the rainbow! Copy right infringements be darned!


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