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Day 2: Eat The Rainbow



Variety, Variety, Variety.  For years the “Produce for Better Health Foundation” at http://www.fruitsandveggiesmorematters.org/, formally known as 5aday,  has been teaching this.  I will quote directly from their literature:”Eating fruits and veggies in a variety of colors–red, dark green, yellow, blue, purple, white and orange–provides the broadest range of nutrients. And color is a great way to engage kids–from filling the shopping cart with a spectrum of colorful fruits and vegetables to making sure there’s a rainbow on their plate!”

If you have kids like Kristie’s who eat all the apple’s out of the fruit basket the first day, it’s a good opportunity to teach them about variety .  “You had a green apple today, so maybe try a yellow banana if your still hungry.”  That’s if you can catch them before they take the first bite.  You can’t really put it back after that.

Each color in produce boasts specific nutrients related to that color.  For example


Dark Green/Green




Fruits an vegetables circle collage isolated on white background

So will the kids go for this?  You can see why we need to eat a variety because they all have something different to offer.  My kids like to keep track of things and there are some fun trackers like the one pictured above through 5aday (I still don’t know how to link to the actual products).  My daughter has her tracker in her room to check with when she get’s hungry to make sure she get’s a variety.  Other ideas are let them get creative and make faces with chopped up peices of different fruits and vegetables.  And lastly YOU need to get creative and make mealtime more colorful.

My biggest challenge is to keep a variety of fruits and vegetables on hand.  I tend to buy the same things each time I’m at the grocery store, and I only buy fresh produce in season, since I”m not about to pay 1.99 for a pound of grapes.  So the reason my kids are not getting a variety is not their fault.  It’s mine.  I will decide to spend more time in the produce section and when something is in season, perhaps freeze, dry, or whatever I need to do, so we can eat it all year.

So kids, you get a pass this time, and I’ll take the blame for a lack of variety in our house.

Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

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Hey! I had no idea you had this blog! It is fantastic! Tell Wade he is in big trouble for not sharing this info with Mat, for me!!!!!

Thanks Kati. I think wade is embarrased anytime our lives our out there for people to read about. Thanks for adding me to your blogroll! I sent you an email at littlebitofutahsown@gmail… if you don’t check that one, let me know.

This is SO true! Besides Darrell being a super picky eater – I am not willing to pay top dollar for all of the produce. I recently saw grapes for $5.99/lb. I did a double take because I thought it had to be wrong – but it wasn’t! Somehow I justify that my Wendy’s hamburger had a white onion, green pickles, red tomato and green lettuce – that’s 4 out of 5 right?! 🙂 I know, it is TERRIBLE! I can’t wait for your new plate to come on the market, it is going to be GREAT!

Thanks Tia, you certainly are getting a variety of colors at Wendy’s. Although you may need to order 50 more hamburgers to equal your 5 a day! ha, ha. I can’t wait for the plate too, but just a warning… If they don’t sell, you and me will be standing on a street corner somewhere hoping to make a sale.

[…] Today’s idea was inspired by my friend, Eliece.  To ensure her kids are getting their 5 Fruits and Vegetables a day, she portions it out in the morning.  During meals and snack time, they take out one of their portioned fruits and veggies to eat. By the end of the day, all snack bags/ or containers should be gone.  Her kids like the independence of choosing which portion to eat and when, and she likes knowing they are getting some good nutrients.  What I like about it is the variety.  My kids can get 5 a day, but some days its entirely in apples.  They need the diversity of the rainbow here. […]