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Growing Up Gourmet: It's All About the Color!

Saturday, February 2, 2008

It's All About the Color!

We all know green is good. And it seems like everything is 'green' these days. Lunch boxes, toilet paper, cars, lightbulbs, even fully furnished homes. Green foods are good too: spinach, broccoli, asparagus, avocados, lettuce, and peas are all rich in antioxidant vitamins, follate, and iron.

Being eco-friendly is great. But green isn't the only color your kids should be learning about. Red and pink foods (peppers, grapefruit, watermelon, tomatoes, strawberries) are filled with nutrients such as beta carotene, lycopene, and powerful cancer-fighting carotenoids. Orange and yellow foods (carrots, squash, pumpkins, sweet potatoes, apricots, melons) are high in beta-carotene, and citrus fruits are full of vitamin c. And dark blue and purple foods (blueberries, grapes, blackberries, figs, plums) are also packed with cancer and disease fighting antioxidants.

Snack time is a great time to make sure your kids are eating through the rainbow. Keep baggies -- or in the spirit of being green -- small containers in your fridge stocked with fruits and veggies of different colors. Throw a "green snack" and a "red snack" into your daughter's backpack for a pre-soccer pick-me-up, and grab a "blue snack" and an "orange snack" for nibbles in the car. At the grocery store, choose by color: assign each child a color and see what nutritious fruits and veggies they bring back to the cart!

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