Eat Your Colours.
This healthy eating campaign was started in a large Canadian grocery store chain a few months back. Like most nutritionists, I told my clients this for years.
When you sit down to a meal, pause and look at your plate. What's on it? How many colours do you see? How much food is on the plate? Try to ask yourself this for each meal.
For many of us, eating is something that we need to squeeze into a busy day. We eat in front of the TV, the computer, in a meeting, in our car or on the run. We don't eat consciously. It sounds strange because we are obviously conscious when we're eating. We eat to live. Even foodies can't live to eat all the time, but we can all become more aware.
When I was working with clients, especially those who were new to nutritional consulting, I would start small and keep things very clear. I love the eat your colours tip. It is such a tangible change to make.
I thought about this yesterday at lunchtime. The girls and I were having butternut squash soup, kale sauteed with a bit of butter and garlic and some scrambled eggs. The meal was so colourful! I know that it is hard to get children to 'eat their greens'. Greens are still hit and miss with my girls. The other day, Teagan ate a huge helping of spinach. Yesterday, she ate only a quarter of her kale. I don't really care. If they try it, that's what matters. I also keep serving it. Just because a child rejects it once, it doesn't mean that she/he can't develop a liking for something. Try, try and try again. Try serving it in different ways. The French say that children will eat everything but sometimes it can take 14 tries.
Green and orange vegetables are the Rolls Royce of all veggies. Green veggies like broccoli, spinach and kale are loaded with vitamins and minerals. What sets them above the rest are the numerous studies showing their superpowers in helping to ward of cancers, lower cholesterol, keep your heart healthy, detoxify the liver, help with inflammation in the body...the list goes on. Like their green counterparts, orange veggies, like sweet potato, carrot and butternut squash are also packed with nutrients. But again, their health benefits go a big step further. They also have anti-inflammatory and antioxidant properties, particularly when it comes to the digestive tract. They can actually help lower the risks of the heavy metals and free radicals that inevitably enter our bodies every day. Orange veggies are also fantastic at keeping our blood sugar stable, a plus for diabetics.
If this concept is new to you, start small. Buy spinach or kale and add it to another dish or to a salad. Cut up some sweet potatoes, toss them with a little bit of oil, a touch of cinnamon and sea salt and bake them.
At dinner tonight, take a look at your family's plate. How many colours do you see?