A rainbow of course! What else? Yes my friends… If you want children to get all excited before they even make it to the table, spend a little more time preparing the dish and add as many colors as possible! This will not only help get your kids in a better mood but it will also offer them countless vitamins that are valuable for their growing bodies. This is not just something I say… Researchers from the University of Cornell support that: If you want to serve your children’s food in the best possible way, all you have to do is take care of 3 simple – but very important – things. What are they you ask? Let’s take a look:
- Put the food in the in the lower part of the plate, closer to where they are seated (since that’s what they prefer – possibly because they have easier access to it).
- Add a variety of different foods.
- Fill their plate with colors! The more colors, the merrier!
We decided to add a little more information from these experts. We decoded the nutrients that are hidden behind the color of each ingredient, in order to help you make the best choices possible but also so that you can have a complete picture of what it is you are putting in your children’s plates… and tummies!
Red: A very valuable color for your body, especially the heart, since it shows the presence of lycopene, a carotenoid that gives some fruits and vegetables their red color. It is found in watermelons, red peppers etc., but its best “ambassador” is the tomato, which is the best source of lycopene – especially when cooked! Furthermore, red foods help regulate blood pressure and protect your heart. Beetroots, apples, strawberries and even red onions are some red foods and they undoubtedly deserve a place in both your children’s plates - and yours!
Yellow and Orange: These colors show a strong presence of beta-carotene as well as vitamin C in food. They contribute to better vision while at the same time protect your immune system. Sweet potatoes, pumpkins, oranges, grapefruit, nectarines, apricots and carrots are just some of these important foods. ..
Green: Always say “yes” to leafy green vegetables. They are a very good source of vitamins K and C, calcium, iron and many other valuable nutrients. Some of them are: broccoli, green cabbage, spinach, greens, lettuce, kiwi and many more…
Blue and Purple: Anthocyanins are responsible for the lovely shade of purple in blueberries, raspberries, plums, black grapes and many other foods. They are antioxidants that are of great value to your body.
White: The white color of foods is attributed to flavonoids and to allicins that help protect the heart and the body from bacteria and infection. Garlic, cauliflower, leeks and onions as well as some types of mushrooms are just a few examples of foods that belong to this category.
Brown: The color brown shows the presence of lignans, which help your digestive system, put you in a better mood while at the same time help sharpen your mind! These are 3 very good reasons to add some oats, whole wheat pasta, brown rice and rye bread to your table!
Create a nice, colorful palette in your dishes and your children are bound to see their food in a whole new light! This will make them happier and also get their appetite going ;-)