Eating yourself a rainbow

My daughter is really into rainbows – like really into them. She draws rainbows everywhere. With chalk on walls. With paint on canvases. With pencils on paper.

I always try to feed my children healthy snacks and what better time to do that then the start of summer. Well to be honest, the last month has felt like summer. Spring has totally been skipped in Sydney which is very alarming to me. But back to the rainbows. On Saturday, I decided to make a rainbow fruit platter.

Apart from being pretty and very appealing to a rainbow obsessed little girl, there is in fact a lot of science behind this theory. Fruit and vegetables come in different colours and these colours are caused by phytochemicals.   Each different colour has a set of antioxidants which helps your body in different ways:

Red

Examples: Tomato, Red capsicum, Radishes, Strawberries, Rhubarb, Cherries, Red grapes, Raspberries, Watermelon and Red apples.

Benefits: red fruit and vegetables have lycopene. This is a powerful antioxidant which reduces the risk of some cancers and protects the heart.

Blue/ Purple

Examples: Beetroot, Red cabbage, Eggplant, Blackberries, Blueberries, Purple grapes and plums

Benefits: Blue and purple foods get their colour from anthocyanin.  The darker the colour towards blue, the higher the level of phytochemical. Blueberries for example are considered a ‘superfood’ and have the highest antioxidant activity of any food. The blue and purple foods are considered to help keep your blood pressure in check.
Green
Examples: Spinach, Asparagus, Avocados, Broccoli, Peas, Green apples, Green grapes, Limes, Kiwifruit, Green beans, Lettuce,Cabbage,Celery, Cucumber and Green capsicum
Benefits: Green foods include a whole range of goodies, like chlorophyll, cartenoids, indoles and saponins. They have cancer fighting properties also.
Orange/ Yellow
Examples: Carrots, Rockmelon, Lemons, Sweet potato, Pumpkin, Pineapples, Mangoes, Corn, Oranges, Squash, Peaches, Nectarines, Apricots and Grapefruit
Benefits: These coloured fruit and vegetables have cartenoids, especially betacartenoids.  They have anti-inflammatory qualities and are great for your eyes and skin and helps your muscles after exercise.
White/ colourless/ brown
Examples: Cauliflower, Brown pears, Mushrooms, White peaches, Garlic, Bananas, Potatoes, Dates, Onions, Ginger, Parsnips and Turnip
Benefits: These foods contain a phytochemical called alicin (found in garlic) which have anti-viral and antibacterial properties. These foods also support healthy bones and reduces the risk of osteoporosis and reduces blood cholesterol levels.

Many schools these days have ‘crunch and sip’ where children take in fresh fruit or vegetables to have during class time with water.  This, along with lunches and recesses provide great opportunities to include a ‘rainbow’ in lunchboxes for children.  There is a great website which makes this fun with lots of ideas for parents and teachers.

rainbow fruit

~ by em0navari on October 15, 2015.

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