Vegetables and fruit fall into five different colour groups. Each colour has its own set of unique vitamins, minerals, antioxidants and natural plant chemicals – these are what give vegies and fruit their vibrant colour and healthy properties.
Offering a variety of colours not only makes the food look more appealing to kids, but it also ensures they’ll be eating a wide range of nutrients.
What's in a colour?
Red: Red vegies and fruit are coloured by a natural plant pigment called lycopene which is a powerful antioxidant that can help reduce the risk of cancer and keep our heart healthy.
Purple/Blue: Anthocyanin gives blue/purple vegies and fruit their distinctive colour. Anthocyanin has antioxidant properties that protect cells from damage and can help reduce the risk of cancer, stroke and heart disease.
Orange/Yellow: Carotenoids give this group their vibrant colour. A well-known carotenoid called beta-carotene is found in sweet potatoes, pumpkins and carrots. It’s converted to vitamin A, which helps maintain healthy mucous membranes and healthy eyes.
Green: Green vegies contain a range of plant chemicals including some which can help prevent cancer. Leafy greens such as spinach and broccoli are excellent sources of folate.
Brown/White: White vegies and fruit contain a range of health-promoting plant chemicals – for example, allicin (found in garlic) is known for its antiviral and antibacterial properties. Some members of the white group – such as bananas and potatoes – are also a good source of potassium.