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A 'Rainbow' on the Plate

Media Release

5 May 2005

To support Well Child Week, 9 - 15 May 2005)

A 'Rainbow' on the Plate

Eating your greens is not the only answer to healthy nutrition ... it is also about eating your reds, your yellows and your purples.

That is the message from Plunket in the lead-up to Well Child Week (9-15 May) which is promoting plenty more fruit and veges in Kiwi children's diets.

"Healthy, bright adults grow from healthy, bright children and a key to this is good nutrition," says Trish Jackson-Potter, Northern Clinical Advisor for Plunket. 'Well Child Week reminds us how important it is to eat your greens...your yellows, your reds and even your purples.

"Simply, it is about serving a 'rainbow' on a plate - starting with pureed first foods at around six months."

Trish Jackson-Potter says this advice is backed up nutritionists, well child providers and paediatricians who advocate a daily habit of serving fruits and vegetables from the five colour groups - red, green, orange/yellow, white and blue/purple.

"How much varies depending on the child's age, a serving is equal to the child's handful.

"We are so lucky to have a wide variety of fresh fruits and vegetables to choose from in New Zealand for our children to have five servings (handfuls) a day. A great range of frozen and canned vegetables and frozen and canned fruit in natural juices are also available year round," she says.

"Occasional treats for older children needn't be off the menu either, as long as they are also getting snacks like apples pieces or carrot sticks. These set up good eating habits that will stay with the child for life.

"Think of a rainbow, and mealtimes can be colourful, healthy and fun," says Trish.

Plunket and other well child providers offer guidance on when a child is ready to eat various foods. Brochures and feeding guides are also available with information for different ages.


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