Pleasing Kids’ Palates with a Varied Palette
Color-Rich Fruits & Veggies
When it comes to nutritional recommendations on fruits and vegetables, the advice usually given (including by us) is: The more the better! This is good advice, as most Americans do not consume sufficient quantities of fruits and vegetables each day, and the most consumed vegetable in the United States is actually the French fry. However, less attention is focused on how to ensure you are eating the right mix of fruits and vegetables. In fact, nature has given us a handy index to use in designing our fruit and vegetable eating plan: color. You can use these colors as a valuable guide for building healthier menus for your family.
What causes fruits and vegetables to be of different colors? The short answer is that the molecular compounds in the outer layers of the fruits and vegetables selectively reflect photons within the electromagnetic spectrum based on their quantized energy-level structure. But that isn’t very helpful, is it? A simple way to think about it is that different chemicals called “pigments” in the skins of fruits and vegetables give them their color, and different pigments have different health benefits for people. Pigments also provide a visual guide to what other healthy substances are contained in the food. Let’s take a look at what these different colors mean.
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