Today’s post is a guest article from Kayla Kaplan. Kayla is a Master’s Candidate at Tufts University in Food & Nutrition Policy & Programs with a focus on Nutrition Innovation & Communication. In addition to being a graduate student and dog mom, she is a vegan foodie who is highly informed and passionate about her veggies. Find her on Instagram @veggiekayla.
how to Eat the Rainbow
Like rainbows, eating fruits and vegetables are natural aspects of life and should evoke happiness! Don’t force yourself to munch on cauliflower if you hate it. Instead, find a food with similar nutrients that you actually like eating. If it doesn’t feel like a chore it will be so much easier to incorporate produce into your meals. The internet may know me as Veggie Kayla but there are definitely times when I have to remind myself to eat a piece of fruit or order something with vegetables in it.
Thankfully, I’m good about using my Kinsho products. I’m a proud user of the Kinsho bento bowl (in grey, my favorite color!), turquoise mini bento, and large coral bento. Each product motivates me in it’s own way; for example, the bento bowl lets me pack salads or buddha bowls without them getting soggy and the small bento travels well which means I’m prepared for a long day instead of hangry!
Put your beautiful Kinsho bentos to WORK with these tips.
Change it Up!
“Eating the rainbow” is a catchy way to say variation is important! You don’t necessarily need a rainbow for every meal or even every day, but if you notice yourself continuously eating a lot of red or orange fruits and veggies make sure you get in some greens or blues or yellow.
Each different color has its own nutritional value and plays a role in a balanced diet. One great way to ensure variation is to try to eat what’s in season for where you live. Another fun and effective strategy is to challenge yourself to try a new fruit or vegetable every month!
Dips, spreads, sauces, drizzles… these are all great ways to add flavor and prevent your fruit & veggie rotation from getting boring. Not everyone enjoys munching on raw veggies and there is no shame in needing some extra flavoring to motivate your palate. Hummus is a classic pairing with fresh veggies but I also love white bean spread, kale pesto, or a peanut ginger sauce.
And if you think fruits can’t get in on the sauce game, I suggest trying strawberries and chocolate hummus or bananas with pumpkin seed butter. If you’re the type that likes to meal prep, make a few sauces at the beginning of your week and fill the small section of your bento with a different one each day.
Texture is Key!
Think yogurt and granola, oatmeal and sliced almonds, or celery and peanut butter. Be aware of your food’s texture when planning your meals and snacks. If you’re going to pack something on the softer side, say mac and cheese or a PB&J, be sure to include some crunch. Put the softer item in one section of your bento but fill at least one of the others with something crispy or crumbly or chewy.
I like to include kale chips, jicima, crispy chickpeas, baked fries, cabbage slaw, coconut chips, granola, or dried fruit in my bentos because I always crave something crunchy! Even a sprinkle of hemp seeds, trail mix, or roasted pumpkin seeds can bring the crunch and some extra nutrients.
Make it Pretty!
In total honesty… my bentos make me feel FANCY! I’m more likely to pack a bright salad or some fruits and veggies to snack on because it looks pretty. I’m guilty of taking photos of pretty much everything I eat but it pays off with more than just a pretty food shot! If I take the time and energy to make my lunch aesthetically pleasing I enjoy it more! The colors of the bento boxes, and knowing there is a #foodporn worthy meal inside, gets me excited about eating.
Be sure to let me know if you try any of these tips or if you have other strategies on eating the rainbow! Tag me on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter so I can see your Kinsho creations. photo credits: Kayla Kaplan