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Eat Your Rainbow

You may have heard the phrase “eat your rainbow” uttered by one of our team members in the past. No, we’re not talking about eating colorful candy. “Eat your rainbow” refers to making sure you eat all of the different colors of produce because they contain different nutrients. This simple method of making healthy choices by remembering to choose produce of various colors ensures that you have a diet full of the vitamins and minerals needed to make you healthy, strong, and smart. This year America’s Grow-a-Row is focusing our January through May Healthy Eating Lesson curriculum around this theme for 270 students in Essex and Hudson Counties.

January’s lessons feature the color red. Red produce is full of antioxidants such as lycopene and anthocyanins as well as folates that are good for your heart and maintaining low blood pressure. Lycopene may also protect against breast cancer and prostate cancer. Find out more information about the health benefits of red produce with this online resource.

Each month will also be “sponsored by” a specific fruit or vegetable that will be the feature of the cooking portion of our lessons. January is sponsored by the red bell pepper! Red bell peppers are rich in Vitamin A and support skin, bone, and tooth health. Did you know that when you eat a bell pepper, the part of the plant that you eat is technically the fruit? This is because the pepper itself grows from a flower and holds the plant’s seeds.

To celebrate the red pepper, we made delicious vegetable-stuffed peppers full of even more colorful peppers, yellow squash, tomatoes, rice, black beans, and scallions and topped them with a bit of cheese. The students loved them and many asked for seconds. They were even more excited when they each got an America’s Grow-a-Row bag full of ingredients to make the recipe at home with their families.

The students are excited to learn about next month’s featured color and type of produce! February is going to be sponsored by an orange food. Can you guess what it is?

*Disclaimer: This article is not intended to provide medical advice or diagnosis. Please consult your physician or a medical professional before attempting to treat a condition.


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