A study by the Centers for Disease Control shows that 60 percent of children and 18 percent of adults aren’t getting enough fruit each day, and worse: 93 percent of children and 83 percent of adults are deficient in veggies. According to new research, the USDA recommendation of four to six servings of produce each day is too conservative to achieve protective health benefits; in fact, research has shown you need to eat more than seven servings of fruits and veggies daily to reduce your risk of death by at least 23 percent.
Key to getting the biggest benefit from a diet rich in produce is eating the rainbow. Meals featuring bright and varied colors indicate a wide variety of nutrients. Produce like cruciferous vegetables (broccoli), berries, and nitric oxide-rich vegetables like beets are great options. But telling you to add colorful produce to your diet is one thing. Doing it, making it fun and delicious, and getting your kids to eat it is another challenge.
Tweet This: 60% of children & 18% of adults aren’t getting enough fruit each day, and 93% of children and 83% of adults are deficient in veggies. These 11 recipes will get you and your family enjoying every color of the rainbow. http://bit.ly/2Tlq2Oz Via @brettblumenthal
I’ve put together a collection of fun recipes that encourage you to eat the rainbow. They’re easy to put together, appealing to kids, delicious and nutritious.
- Chocolatey Strawberry Smoothie: A delightful pink color and drinkable food? A perfect way to pack in antioxidant-packed berries and spinach.
- Rainbow Veggie Pizza: Everyone loves pizza and this one is beautiful. Take a little extra time to create a pizza packed with veggies; your kids will be so mesmerized by the colors, they won’t realize how many veggies they’re eating.
- Rainbow Smoothie: Not a quick and easy one, this is more of a kitchen project. But boy, does it wow in the end!
- Fruit or Veggie Kebabs: No recipe needed here! This is a fast and easy way to pack in a variety of produce at a single sitting. Kids love to eat anything on a stick and skewering fruits and veggies makes for a beautiful presentation and easy cleaning. Add dressing to make the raw veggies even tastier.
- Spiralized Veggie Rainbow Salad: Spiralized veggies are a huge hit–they’re colorful and fun. But they’re not just stand-ins for pasta. Check out this recipe that allows you to spiralize your own veggies or grab them prepped at the store. Topped with crunchy nuts and seeds, this is a winner.
- Rainbow Vegetarian Pad Thai: This delicious recipe is a perfect dinner and packs in lots of gorgeous color with basil, zucchini, bell peppers, carrots and more.
- Sheet Pan Salmon and Rainbow Veggies: Can you say easy cleanup? One pan dinners are the best for keeping it simple on weeknights and this one is flavorful and features a wide variety of veggies that roast at the same time as the fish.
- Rainbow Quinoa Salad with Tahini Ginger Dressing: Perfect for make-ahead meal prep and lunchboxes, this salad packs in protein with the quinoa while featuring crunch from red cabbage, carrots, broccoli and more. You could go off-recipe here and add in whatever salad veggies you have in the fridge.
- Rainbow Veggie Pinwheels: Great after-school snacks or party appetizers, these rainbow pinwheels are packed with veggies and hummus and can be put together in just a few minutes.
- Harvest Rainbow Mason Jar Salad with Creamy Pesto: Great for meal prep, make a set of these ahead for the week. This recipe has it all: fruits, veggies and an easy but delicious homemade dressing.
- Rainbow Salsa: There’s no better way to get kids to eat veggies than letting them dip chips into it! Make this colorful salsa for a snack, to top tacos or for your next party. Pair whole grain pita chips with it to round it out.