Food Education: Counting Colors Instead Of CaloriesTue 19 Nov 2013
Story by Alyssa Toro
I just love how kids seem to see the world in bright colors and to be drawn to colors in all that they do. This made me think… it’s only natural that they’d want to eat bright colors too. You may know the old adage: “We eat with our eyes first”. For kids as well as adults, aesthetic pleasure and healthy eating come together through color. I believe we can use color to guide kids back toward healthy choices amidst all of the temptation to eat fried foods, artificial snacks and baked goods.
We eat with our eyes first
Don’t get me wrong, I am not advocating a completely clean diet. But I am advocating a more colorful diet. There are so many ways to appreciate food in terms of color. Make it fun again. Take the preaching out of it by talking about how beautiful a bright red apple is, or how a bowl of greens looks like it was just plucked out of nature. There is nothing more beautiful than a colorful plate of fresh fruits and vegetables.
As a designer, I have always appreciated a beautiful palette, but as a mom of two, I realize that kids notice more color more than we do. To them, everything is vibrant and pure. It was just this morning that my five-year-old asked my father if the world was black and white in the “olden days”. My father told him there were just as many colors then as there are now, but you just couldn’t see them on film. The world is full of color – and no one appreciates that more than our children. It is with this notion that I developed Goodee™.
Creating a rainbow on the plate
There are so many easy, healthy recipes for kids that don’t require too much time or effort. Put a bowl of freshly cut bell peppers in beautiful reds, oranges, yellows and greens on the table and watch what happens. Sauté some dark green kale in garlic and extra virgin olive oil, and watch their senses take over. Don’t talk about the benefits of a bowl of fuchsia-colored raspberries; just place them on the breakfast table.
Our goal is to offer parents a quick, fun and colorful tool that promotes this healthy eating for children. The Goodee™ products allow you to encourage healthier eating by involving kids in the process.
We need to appeal to the right brain more often – appeal to our senses. No more stats, calories or conflicting information. Think, see and eat in color and notice how eating a rainbow will create a lifetime of sunshine for both you and your kids.
A snapshot of how you benefit from colorful food:
RED foods will help you maintain heart health, memory function and urinary tract health.
(Examples: beets, tomatoes, pomegranates, apples cherries)
ORANGE foods will help you maintain heart health, vision health and a healthy immune system.
(Examples: sweet potatoes, oranges, carrots)
YELLOW foods will help you maintain heart health, vision health and a healthy immune system.
(Examples: bananas chick peas, mangos)
GREEN foods will help you maintain vision, strong bones and teeth as well as respiratory health.
(Examples: spinach, kale, arugula, broccoli, kiwi)
BLUE/VIOLET foods will help you maintain healthy heart, memory and motor skills.
(Examples: plum, blueberries, eggplant, black rice)
NATURAL/TAN foods will help with a healthy digestive tract, maintaining heart health and aiding in weight loss.
(Examples: oatmeal, walnuts, brown rice, sunflower seeds)
About the Author: Alyssa Toro is a mom of 2, a Certified Health Coach and Senior Partner/Chief Creative Officer at Connelly Partners in Boston, where she has helped to cultivate the CP Wellness and Sustainability practice. She is the creator and founder of Goodee™, launched in January 2013. The product line is sold through http://www.goodeekid.com and in 11 stores of the Whole Foods North Atlantic region.
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