Why & How To Get Your Family To Eat The Rainbow

It’s no secret that we are influenced by the products we see on the media forms around us. “Think about Tik Tok and Instagram – when everyone else is participating in something, or purchasing the same product, then we will want to, also” that’s what Amanda Ashy, a Holistic Nutritionist and Mindfulness Teacher who specializes in young adults and children comments. But what role does that play in the food we consume and the lifestyle choices that we make? And why is it so important for our families to be eating the rainbow?

“We [can] try to make healthy lifestyle choices, but our efforts are often determined by our environment; that environment prioritizes processed food products (crisps, sweets and sodas) over eating real food” Ashy states, who notes that “we are a product of our environment” and even though there is more education available as the conscious consumer drives an increase in corporate and commercial transparency it can still be a challenge. “Even when we’re educated on the importance of eating real food for overall mental and physical wellbeing, it’s hard to make lifestyle changes because of commercial and peer influence”, but it’s still in a better place than it once was; with just a little more education and resilience we can all make the changes we need to ensure that we are making the right choices for ourselves and our families. By educating and discussing these topics with your children, or friends and family who may not be as aware of the dangers around processed foods and the lack of fruit and vegetable intake you can help them make their own decisions which in turn empowers them, resulting in healthier lifestyle choices sticking – rather than preaching and restricting. It has to be a collaborative effort and the best way to start is to simply “Eat The Rainbow” – something Ashy teaches all of her clients and her own family. “Eating a rainbow means you are aiming to eat as many different colours of the rainbow as possible… every day; by doing this, not only are you up-levelling your health, but you’re also adding fun and vibrant coloured foods to your everyday life” which can be a great way to get excited in the kitchen and about healthier foods – for both kids and adults alike. 

But Why Is Eating The Rainbow So Important?

Each colour comes with a set of its own nutritional profiles; these attribute to an all-around healthier lifestyle. Just like with processed foods – everything should be eating in moderation, and even the healthiest of foods is no exception. We need variety in our life to be reaping the benefits in the entire spectrum. Here Amanda lays down the nutritional benefits for each colour and some fun and delicious ways you can enjoy them with a few special Rebel Recipe recipes to really fuel your appetite. 

Red Food – Heart Healthy 

Our heart is so important, for emotional and mental health, but also for our physical health. Foods like tomatoes, apples and red onions are well known for their heart health properties. So, ‘an apple a day’ really can keep the doctor away! Braeburn apples are top of the list; are not only a healthier sweet treat but they can pack a dose of energy when that 3 pm slump hits. 

A heart-healthy Bolognese packed with tomatoes and red onions is also a fantastic way to up your reds; a fun way to get kids even more excited is to top that Bolognese on top of a pizza base! Delicious and family-friendly.

Orange & Yellow Foods – Eye See You

If you look right in the centre of your retina you will see that there is a yellow spot filled with orange pigments. These pigments are called carotenes, which help to protect our vision. And what does carotene sound like? Yep, you got it – CARROTS. Carrots, sweet potatoes and mango are extremely rich sources of carotenoids. 

In fact, the carotenes in mangos are twenty times more absorbable in the body than those of carrots, so don’t just limit your orange’s to just carrots. Get a little more tropical and experiment with new flavours and textures. 

Fun fact: peeling carrots can reduce their health properties by more than half. Simply wash and eat.

Want to really boost the rainbow and your carotene? Try this roasted rainbow carrot dish, packed full of vitamins and flavour. 

Green Foods – Brilliant Bones 

When we think of foods to build strong bones and teeth, it’s usually dairy products that pop to mind. But guess what – green foods are actually better for your bones than milk!

Cabbage, kale and broccoli are some of the top products that help boost your bones. I know it can be a little tough to get kids to get excited about vegetables; especially the green ones. So why not try this deliciously fun dish that chars the cabbage to sweeten its leaves and is a great Summer BBQ dish.

Did you know: it takes up to ten times trying a new food for your tastebuds to become acquainted with the flavour? So, set yourself a goal and choose a portion of food to try 10x and see what happens. 

Blue and Purple Foods – Brain Fuel

Not only are blue and purple coloured foods great for our mental health, but foods like blueberries, blackberries, blackcurrants and grapes can also give you a brain boost.

One of the quirky things about these berries is that they are actually able to find their way into the areas of our brain that are essential for intelligence; they are also good for slowing the rate of mental decline.

Top tip: Make being in nature more purposeful this year by going foraging and picking loads of blackberries (hello, free food). Pop them in the freezer for year-round fresh fruit to go into your smoothie or dessert.

1 Comment

  1. […] so much fun creating these dishes. I’m so used to packing my recipes with all the different colours of the rainbow, so I really had to get creative when it came to finding and cooking ingredients of the same […]

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