Count Your Colors

My mom always tells me to eat my veggies. Now she wants me to count their colors too. At first I thought that was silly. Now I think it's fun! Different colored vegetables contain different vitamins. My mom wants to make sure that I am eating different colored vegetables so that my body can be as healthy as possible.

The USDA wants me to eat a variety of veggies too. They've divided vegetables into subgroups. Dark green veggies, like romaine lettuce and broccoli, are in one group. Red and orange vegetables, like carrots and red peppers, are in another. Beans and peas make up the third group. Starchy vegetables, such as corn and potatoes, are also in a group. All other vegetables, like mushrooms, are in a group of their own.

MyPlate, the USDA's nutrition guide, suggests that girls ages nine to thirteen eat 1 1/2 cups of dark green veggies, 4 cups of red and orange vegetables, and 1 cup of beans and peas each week. They also recommend that girls eat 4 cups of starchy vegetables and 3 1/2 cups of other vegetables over the course of a week. That's a lot of veggies, but between meals and snacks, you have plenty of time to eat them all.

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