Next time when you ask your children to ‘Eat your greens’, try to say ‘Eat your rainbow’ instead!
The vibrant colours of fruits and vegetables is responsible for their disease fighting and health protecting properties. These plant pigments are phytochemicals that act as antioxidants to protect our cells from damages, cancers and help us maintain a healthy heart.
But getting the little ones excited about veggies can be a huge challenge. It’s time to get crafty and let your imagination run wild with colour!
Red (red chilli, tomatoes, raspberries, red capsicum, strawberries, radish, apple) – lycopene
Purple/Blue (purple cabbage, blueberries, olives, eggplants) – anthocyanin
Orange/yellow (carrots, corn, pumpkin, orange, manago) – carotenoids, including alpha & beta carotenoids. Beta-carotenoid is converted to vitamin A in our body which helps to build strong immunity and good eyesight!
Green (cucumber, green herbs, bok choy, broccoli, asparagus) – lutein and zeaxanthin helping to reduce age related eye diseases.
White/brown (white cabbage, daikon, soybeans, onion) – quercetin, allicin in garlic (antiviral and antibacterial)
There are so many more healthy protecting phytochemicals but here are just a few examples! Don’t forget, fresh vegetables and fruits are also rich in minerals, vitamins potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, vitamin K, folate as well as dietary fibre. The best way to eat these phytochemicals and nutrients is consumed in foods.
How to plate a Rainbow?
When ordering takeaway, Fresh Vietnamese is plated with rice or noodles below and fresh salad topping positioned on top. This is super simple to do at home! Shred up your veggies using a slicer, peeler or carefully with a sharp knife. Lay all the fresh ingredients including crispy shredded veggies, fresh herbs and lean protein out in bundles on a clean chopping board and have your kids pick, pile and play with putting together their own bowl.
Roll’d’s Goi is an example of a Rainbow – the mixed salad base consists of red and white cabbage, pickled carrot & daikon, cucumber, fresh herbs and red chilli as an option. Choose your favourite choice of protein and make it a perfect lunch or dinner! Adding rice vermicelli noodle to make it a Bun for extra fuel!