Someweek over the rainbow: National Nutrition Month

We’re already one week into National Nutrition Month and this year’s theme – Eat Right with Color – is a simple way to boost the nutritional value of every meal. A press release from the American Dietetic Association explains: “A rainbow of foods creates a palette of nutrients, each with a different bundle of potential benefits for a healthful eating plan….To maximize the nutritional value of your meal, include healthful choices in a variety of colors.”

I get giddy about anything involving color-coding and spreadsheets, so I tracked how much of the spectrum I scarfed down during this past week:

But let’s be honest: a nutrition-minded grown-up with a predilection for plant-based foods is a proverbial fish in the barrel for Eating Right with Color. A much bigger challenge? Getting a kid to eat that way.

Miles eating his favorite food

This week, I’ve had some success hyping the “Eat Your Rainbow” idea with my son. He’ll always eat fruit – in fact, our fruit bowl has a hard time keeping up with his appetite – but vegetables are not an easy sell. So I gave him that simple mantra, and I managed to get carrot sticks and edamame into him without complaint. Well, without much complaint.

Ready to be the Picasso of Produce? Here are a few guides to help:

  • A great list of foods in each color group from InspiredRD (here)
  • PBS Kitchen Explorers’ tips for helping kids Eat Right with Color, including a rainbow vegetable stew recipe (here)
  • Squidoo guide for kids to Eat A Rainbow (here)

8 comments

  1. Nice post. I am a self-confessed Excel geek and love anything involving spreadsheets :p I’m going to make a conscious effort to eat the rainbow this week too!

  2. Thanks, Bianca! Enjoy eating and spreadsheeting. Later this month I will also do a quick post with links to colorful, plant-strong recipes to help folks trying to eat their colors.

  3. Thanks for the reminder of what this month is as I totally spaced it. The spreadsheet is a great (and fun) idea for both adults and kids. This would be a fun activity for the classroom!

  4. Love the spreadsheet… although I somewhat debate putting kettle corn on list! ;-) I fear that I am definitely failing on blues and purples most weeks. This is a very interesting challenge – great post!

  5. @RecipEngineer, ha! Agreed, I took liberties with that one.

  6. Thank you for posting my link! I love your spreadsheet–Very organized of you :)

  7. ug, I dont have kids but I work with parents with kids who dont eat their fruits and veggies. Such a struggle but finding creative ways to make it fun and offering variety from the get go is key! :)

  8. @thehealthyapron Agreed! I’ve also found autonomy is a great aid. Dishes/meals where he has control over the choices and assembly – like a taco bar for last night’s dinner (http://www.flickr.com/photos/katn77/5513594862) or make-your-own fruit salad – are more likely to meet with success than if I present him with the same meal, pre-determined & pre-made.

    And peer pressure can be leveraged for good! In a Little Chefs cooking class with his friends, my son gobbled down celery, raisins, hummus, and strawberries because the other kids were doing so. He often refuses those at home.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *