Thursday, April 12, 2012

Tasting the Rainbow

A few weeks ago I was observing a 2nd grade classroom during a nutrition lesson. At the end of the lesson on fruits and veggies all the students did a vegetable tasting of all the colors of the rainbow. I was shocked to discover that NONE of the students complained and everyone tried all of the different veggies. There wasn't an, "Ewww Yuck" even murmured. Well if these 2nd graders could do it, so could my son! Today as I was getting my fruits and veggies prepped for juicing (more on that below) I made him a rainbow of produce for him to have a little tasting of.
Not pictured but in the green was also a spinach leaf
Half way done
Some tasting rules: 1) You need to try a bite of everything. 2) If you don't like it set it aside and try something else 3) If you have nothing nice to say don't say anything at all. 4) If you don't like it commit to try it again another day. 5) If you don't like what you tried for that color find another fruit or veggie within the same color band. 6) Make it fun!
"A's" breakfast creation this morning
Benefits of tasting the whole rainbow: 1) We should have a minimum of 5 fruits and veggies a day, but you can never have too many! 2) Fruits with the same color tend to have the same vitamins and minerals. For example, carrots and cantaloupes both have Vitamin A which help your eye sight. If you only eat the same color of fruits and veggies you are missing out on some vital vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants.3) Studies have shown people could cure high blood pressure, Type-2 diabetes, high cholesterol, some autoimmune diseases and even stop cancer growth by eating a plant-based diet.

With all of these health benefits and more I have been making a conscious effort to eat a nearly vegan lifestyle. What does that mean? Well, I am choosing to eat a mostly vegan diet except I am allowing myself two dinners a week to eat meat and cheese if I want to. To take it one step further I am choosing to only drink fruit and veggie juice during the day and then have a healthy meal with my family for dinner. Before people start leaving me comments I just want to say that I am over 100lbs over weight, have medical problems, and did some research. Two of my most favorite documentaries are Forks over Knives and Fat,Sick, and Nearly Dead both currently on Netflix streaming. My family has a very high history of colon cancer and heart problems. I need to make a change to be a positive example to my children and live to be over 70 (a rarity in my family). I am in no way judging or being on a soapbox. I love meat and cheese! I have just decided to make this lifestyle change for me.
What is on my menu today (grapes, strawberries, clementines, spinach, kale, pineapple, cantaloupe, kiwi, cucumber, apples, carrots, and cabbage). I would definitely say I have the whole rainbow represented.
No matter what your diet consists of I would encourage you to do a veggie and fruit tasting for you and your children. Commit to trying a fruit or veggie you have never had before. I just tried kale for the first time. Not a huge fan but can add it to my fruit juice and it doesn't bother me. Prepare your produce in different ways. What is the worst that can happen? You may actually like it!

3 comments:

  1. What a great way to encourage a picky eater and I applaud you on your mission to eat healthier too! My family has a history of colon cancer too and unfortunately, with recurring polyps, I've had more colonoscopies at the age of 35 than most people twice my age. (sigh) Thanks for sharing your story and this great activity! What a wonderful example you're setting for your kids!

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  2. Thanks for the positive comments. You have always been so supportive. Sorry to hear about your health woes. If you have the opportunity watch Forks Over Knives...it will change the way you see things completely.

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