Healthy eating can be made fun when learning with the Kids Crew!
Our Kids Crew is here encourage healthier choices and teach children about good nutrition. Kids Crew is based on MyPlate and each Kids Crew character represents a section of the MyPlate.
For the Vegetables section of MyPlate, our Kids Crew character is Pepper!
Pepper is a skateboarder and represents the Vegetable food group and how good nutrition allows us to be alert and focused. Her favorite foods are carrots with hummus and veggie pizza.
When we eat our meals, half of our plates should be filled with veggies (and fruit)!
Technically, one quarter of our plates should be filled with veggies, but that is just a minimum so enjoy as many veggies as you would like! Since most adults and kids do not eat the recommend 3 servings of veggies each day, remember our Kids Crew character Pepper and ‘Have A Plant’! Veggies are not only great as a side dish or even part of a main dish such as in salad or soup, but also make a great ingredient in smoothies or can be enjoyed for snacks.
While all veggies are healthy and contain fiber, vitamins, and minerals, when choosing veggies, think ‘color’! Each different color veggie provides different phytonutrients that our bodies need. We have five main color group of veggies! Check out each group, examples, and the phytonutrients they contain:
Veggie Color Group
Broccoli, Kale, Spinach, Brussels Sprouts
Source of lutein and zeaxanthin which promote vision health and may reduce cancer risk
Yellow Bell Pepper, Carrot, Sweet Potato
Source of carotenoids which promotes healthy skin, nails, and hair and supports a healthy immune system
Tomato, Red Bell Pepper, Red Kidney Beans
Source of lycopene which promotes heart health and may reduce cancer risk
Purple Potatoes, Eggplant, Red Onion
Source of anthocyanins and flavonoids which promote healthy aging and memory function
Cauliflower, Garlic, Onions
Source of sulfur compounds which may reduce cancer risk
Some veggies such as potatoes, sweet potatoes, acorn squash, butternut squash, pumpkin, peas, black/pinto beans, and corn are considered ‘starchy veggies’ since they contain a higher amount of natural carbohydrates and sugar which our bodies convert to use as energy. While these starchy veggies are higher in carbs and calories, they are still healthy choices, but should not be the only veggies we eat – we need our greens too!
Beans such as black beans, pinto beans, and chickpeas/garbanzo beans, count as a veggie, but also a protein food too! Be sure to include beans in your meals and snacks a few times each week for fiber, protein, vitamins, minerals, and phytonutrients! With so many veggies, enjoying veggis is easy and delicious!