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Family Nutrition

The Rainbow Connection

Take a look at the food on your plate. Chances are you’re seeing mainly white, yellow and brown. Oatmeal for breakfast: White. Burger at lunch: White and brown. Healthy dinner: White chicken, brown rice, yellow squash.

We eat with our eyes, but our vision has become monotone. By simply coloring more of your plate with red, orange, green, purple, and beige, you’ll add beauty AND purpose to your meals.

The natural color of whole foods is due to the beneficial phytonutrients contained in that plant. Phytonutrients are the valuable chemical compounds in fruits, vegetables, whole grains and nuts. These compounds are linked to preventing disease and improving overall health.

To gain the most benefit from phytonutrients, add more colors of the rainbow to your foods. Be sure you don’t dull the colors by overcooking, and try to add as much color variety as possible to all your meals and snacks throughout the day.

It’s easy to get the kids involved in this healthy painting too. Ask them to use crayons to mark the color of the foods on your shopping list, then have them select the brightest choice from the produce bins. 

Build your rainbow plates with the following colorful options:
  • RED – Beets, cherries, cranberries, pink grapefruit, pomegranates, radishes, raspberries, red apples, red cabbage, red grapes, red peppers, red potatoes, rhubarb, strawberries, tomatoes, watermelon

  • ORANGE – Apricots, butternut squash, cantaloupe, carrots, grapefruit, mangoes, nectarines, oranges, papayas, peaches, persimmons, pumpkin, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, tangerines, summer or winter squash

  • YELLOW – Golden Delicious Apples, Asian pears, bananas, bell peppers, corn (fresh and frozen), ginger root, lemon, pineapple, potatoes (Yukon), star fruit

  • GREEN – Green apples, artichokes, asparagus, avocados, cucumbers, broccoli, Brussels sprouts, green beans, green cabbage, green grapes, green onions, green peppers, honeydew melon, kale, kiwi, lettuce, limes, peas, spinach, zucchini

  • BLUE-PURPLE – blueberries, blackberries, boysenberries, eggplant,  figs,  marionberries, purple kale, purple cabbage, purple potatoes, purple grapes, plums, raisins

  • TAN-WHITE – Cauliflower, coconut, garlic, onions, pears, shallots

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