The Rainbow Connection

March 20, 2012 | By | Comments (1)

If parenting a preschooler has taught me anything, it’s that everything is more fun when it’s a bit of a game. (To wit: the nightly Rinsing Out of the Shampoo Battle, which has turned into a game of “Is that Elmo I see on the ceiling? Quick, look up before he leaves!”)

So that’s why, earlier last week, I challenged myself to increase my (sometimes flagging) produce intake by turning it into a bit of a game.

Basically, I dared myself to eat at least one hue from the entire rainbow during one day. That’s 6 hues—thereby ensuring I’d meet my daily fruit and veggie requirement!

It’s both harder and easier than it seems! You either need to cram a lot into one meal or make sure the shades are scattered throughout the day. Snacks are vital parts, too. But if you wanna chase the rainbow, reaching for crackers or nuts for a pick-me-up just isn’t enough. The change of mindset made making super-healthy choices feel a bit more exciting than usual.

(If any of these meals look rather sparse or unbalanced, it’s because I’m mostly going to highlight the colored items–not the browns, whites and other dull hues that went with!)

1. Breakfast: sliced strawberries (red) in yogurt, with sliced banana (yellow)

2. Snack: Blueberries (blue) and blackberries (purple)

3. Lunch: Spinach (green) salad with onions (purple) and tomatoes (red/orange), peppers (yellow)

4. Snack: Carrots (orange) and hummus

5. Dinner: marinara sauce (red) over pasta, broccoli spears (green)

6. Dessert/snack: Pineapple chunks (yellow)

Next time, I think I’ll up the ante and challenge myself to eat these colors, but try to find new, more unusual sources for each hue. Blueberries=blue? No duh! Perhaps I could opt for blue fingerling potatoes, or eggplant.