Eat. Live. Be. – Eat Your Rainbow!

| April 4, 2011 | 6 Comments

Before I spotted Will on the school bus this afternoon, I spotted his two tall white bunny ears. And even though I didn’t send him off to school wearing those ears, I knew it was him. No, I couldn’t see his little joyful face through the darkened bus windows, but I just knew. Maybe it’s a mother thing. Maybe it’s that he was sitting in the front seat of the bus where he often sits. Maybe it was a combination.

When his bus driver pulled the lever to open the door, she smiled brightly. “I don’t have a Will on the bus today, but I do have this bunny,” she yelled to me over the roar of the school bus engine. I laughed, and said I would take him – ears and all.

My little bunny bounded off the bus and off we went, down the winding driveway to our house.

Whenever I hear the phrase “eat your rainbow,” I think of my kids. They do, and not because I force them to, but because they want to. Fruit makes a regular appearance at breakfast (strawberries this morning for Will, grapes for Paige and I), and Will’s lunchbox always has at least one — often two — fruits or veggies in it. Bananas, apples, pears, grapes, berries … they love ‘em all.

korean inspired rice bowl

When it comes to working five fruits and veggies into our daily diet, it’s pretty easy. When these are a regular part of your meal, like it is for my kids, then it’s simple to get all the servings in.

Here are a few ways that I ensure that we get enough “color” in our diets:

  • Fruity pancakes are a breakfast favorite around here. In fact, pancakes rarely make an appearance without some sort of fruit cooked into it — raspberries, blueberries and bananas are all favorites. Grated apples can be a delicious addition too. If we are cooking with fresh berries, then raw ones are served alongside the pancakes as well.
  • Whenever I make a salad, I make sure it has at least two colors in it. That may mean tossing in carrots and red peppers with the lettuce. Or it might be romaine lettuce with sliced strawberries. Or it could mean a much more complicated salad. But it’s never just green.
  • Dinner means two veggies. It’s rare that I will make a dinner that doesn’t include two vegetables. Salad and corn. Roasted sweet potatoes and another veg in the main dish. Often it’s salad and a veggie side dish.
  • Almost never say no. When it comes to fruits and veggies, it’s rare that I will say no to a request for seconds — or even thirds. Bananas (which are binding) and grapes (which are very much not) are my two exceptions.
  • Plan for a few veggie-rich meals each week. Rice bowls are a favorite of mine for lunches, and not just because they are so easy. They are also perfect for loading up on the veggies, as in my Korean-Inspired Rice Bowl.

How do you make sure to get your 5-a-day in?

Be sure to check out the other ELB bloggers lunches too.

Category: Healthy Life, Raising Healthy Kids

About the Author ()

Sarah Walker Caron is a freelance writer, editor and recipe developer. Her work has appeared in countless online and print publications including iVillage, BELLA NYC Magazine, Yum for Kids magazine and more. She lives in Connecticut with her two kids, two beagles and husband.

Comments (6)

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  1. Jen_from_NJ says:

    Great ideas and I love your bunny story!

  2. Joanne says:

    Reading about how much your kids love fruits and veggies makes me so ridiculously happy! It’s so great that you’ve instilled this love in them so early on. And when you eat at least 2 fruits or veggies with every meal, it’s SUPER easy to get your 5 a day in! Score.

  3. claire says:

    Ha! We very nearly had the same title. :-)

  4. Kim says:

    These are fantastic tips! It’s very challenging to get my daughter to try new things. She’s getting into fruits now. She wolfs down mandarin oranges like they will stop growing tomorrow. But your suggetions are gold!!!!

  5. Kate says:

    We’re having berry pancakes for lunch!

  6. It’s a great reminder that eating lots of colors every day from produce is so good for us. I love finding new recipes to help us accomplish that.
    This was my first post for Eat.Live.Be. I do hope you stop by soon. I plan on being a frequent contributor.
    Cheers!

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