We all know how important it is to have your child eat well balanced meals, especially when it means including vegetables. Aside from french fried potatoes and buttered corn, is your child getting a full range of the nutritionally rich vegetables that are considered the “Rainbow Foods”?
It used to be we encouraged children to eat their greens: broccoli, spinach, zucchini, beans. Now we can expand this color palate to include healthy veggies, all in rainbow colors. We are blessed to live in an area so agriculturally diverse: fresh, organic produce is available at your local farmer’s market, and “U Pick Farms” can be a wonderful day trip for your family. Don’t want to leave the house? You can participate in a CSA, Community Supported Agriculture and produce will be delivered to your door.
Perhaps the best way to encourage your child to eat a variety of vegetables is to put them to work! Have them help plant their very own garden. Many of these vegetables can easily be grown in containers, too. Just 1 tomato, zucchini or cucumber will produce a significant amount of food. Warning: if you send your child out into the garden to harvest beans for dinner, don’t be surprised if they get eaten before making it into the kitchen!
Sample of Rainbow foods to plant this Spring:
Red: red tomatoes, red peppers, beets
Orange: orange peppers, carrots, beets
Yellow: yellow tomatoes, beans, squash, peppers, corn
Green: beans, zucchini, cucumbers, peppers, peas
Purple: purple beans (which turn green when cooked), eggplant, peppers
Debbie Togliatti has her own gardening business: Weed It and Reap: Garden Restoration and Design and is a teacher who gets young children involved in gardening and nature experiences. She lives in the Bay Area of Northern California.Did you like this? If so, please bookmark it, RSS feed.