How To Make Sure You Are “Feeding the Rainbow”

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When you “feed the rainbow” then you are feeding your kids a healthy diet of a variety of foods. Get a list of which fruits and veggies are in each color category.

Sister feeding strawberries to brother

In order to have a varied and healthy diet, it is wise to eat all the colors of the rainbow when it comes to fruits and vegetables. Different colored produce contains different nutrients. When you eat a variety, you get a variety of vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients (stuff like beta-carotene).

I have often heard this over the years. This is the reason I feed my babies a green veggie at lunch every day and a yellow veggie at dinner. That way I make sure green and yellow are covered each day. I then apply a color of fruit to each meal.

There have been some things I have often wondered about. Take apples. The skin is red (or green), but the flesh is yellow/white. So what color am I eating? (the answer is red–if the apple is red).

I have compiled a list of the colors of the rainbow and the fruits and veggies you, your spouse, your children, and your baby can eat.

NOTE: not all of the foods listed below are safe for babies. Please be sure to feed only age-appropriate foods to infants and toddlers.

RED FOODS

Many red foods may help reduce the risk of some cancers. Many red foods also contain antioxidants that help prevent cell damage and help keep your heart healthy.

Fruits

  • Apples (red apples).
  • Cherries
  • Strawberries
  • Red grapes
  • Cranberries
  • Pink grapefruit
  • Pomegranates
  • Raspberries
  • Watermelon

Vegetables

  • Beets
  • Red cabbage
  • Red peppers
  • Red potatoes (I didn’t know this!)
  • Radishes
  • Rhubarb (it is a vegetable. Look it up)
  • Tomatoes (I know it is can be debated about fruit or vegetable. And a side note, it is the state vegetable of New Jersey and the state fruit of Ohio. Also, I read that the benefits of tomatoes are better when they are cooked and served with some fat, like in spaghetti sauce).

Feed the Rainbow pinnable image

ORANGE & YELLOW FOODS

Orange produce contains vitamin A, which is good for your eyes. Orange produce can reduce the risk of cancer and heart disease. It is also supposed to boost the immune system. But take note that citrus foods like oranges are not a good source of vitamin A, though they do provide vitamin C folate and a B vitamin.

Fruits

  • Peaches
  • Apricots
  • Nectarines
  • Yellow apples
  • Cantaloupe
  • Grapefruit
  • Lemons
  • Oranges
  • Tangerines
  • Mangoes
  • Papayas
  • Pineapples
  • Yellow watermelon
  • Pears (although I have also read they are white, not orange/yellow)

Vegetables

  • Carrots
  • Squash (butternut, winter, yellow summer)
  • Pumpkins
  • Sweet Potatoes
  • Corn
  • Yellow peppers
  • Rutabagas
  • Yellow tomatoes

GREEN FOODS

Some green foods help to reduce the risk of cataracts and age-related macular degeneration in the eyes. Others help protect against cancer. Others contain folate, which reduces the risk of birth defects.

Fruits

  • Green apples
  • Avocado
  • Green grapes
  • Honeydew
  • Kiwi
  • Limes

Vegetables

  • Artichokes
  • Asparagus
  • Green beans
  • Broccoli
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Green cabbage
  • Cucumbers (another controversial one. I use the same reasoning to have it as veggie as I do tomatoes).
  • Lettuce
  • Spinach
  • Green onions
  • Peas
  • Green peppers
  • Zucchini

BLUE & PURPLE FOODS

These foods contain antioxidants that protect cells from damage. They may reduce the risk of cancer, stroke, and heart disease.

Fruits

  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Prunes
  • Plums
  • Figs
  • Juneberries
  • Raisins
  • Purple grapes

Vegetables

  • Eggplant (technically a fruit, but used as a veggie, so I list it here)

Fruits and Veggies of the Rainbow chart

WHITE FOODS

These white foods may help lower blood pressure. They also may help reduce the risk of stomach cancer and heart disease. Some are also a good source of potassium.

Fruits

  • Bananas
  • Pears (yellow or white? I have read both)
  • Ginger

Vegetables

  • Cauliflower
  • Garlic
  • Mushrooms (I know it is a fungus, but it fits best with veggies)
  • Potatoes
  • Turnips
  • Parsnips

There you have it. There are more out there, especially in different countries. This list is by no means all-inclusive.

More more extensive information on what each food does for the body, see the book Super Baby Food.

RELATED POSTS ON FEEDING BABIES AND KIDS

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valplowman
valplowman

Valerie, also known as The Babywise Mom, is the mother to four children. She has been blogging on Babywise and general parenting since 2007. She has a degree in technical writing and loves using those skills to help parents be the best parents they can be! Read her book, The Babywise Mom Nap Guide, to get help on sleep from birth through the preschool years. You can also find her writing at Babywise.life, Today Parenting, and Her View From Home. Read more about Valerie and her family on the About page. Follow her on FacebookPinterest, and Instagram for more tips and helps.

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1 Comment

  1. twins09
    October 26, 2009 / 8:32 PM

    I wish there were more green veggies that infants could eat. The only two are green beans or peas, and my LO hates peas!!!

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