Kids in the kitchen - Eat a rainbow!

Ever wondered why carrots are orange or why broccoli is so good for us?

Fruits and vegetables get their colour from the nutrients that they are made up of and benefit our health in different ways. That’s why it’s so important to eat a rainbow every day!

Colour Health benefits Food sources
Red Keeps eyes, skin and immune system healthy.
May help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Vegetables and legumes: red capsicums, red chillies, red kidney beans, tomatoes, radishes
Fruit: cherries, guava, pomegranate, raspberries, red apples, red grapes, strawberries, tamarillos, watermelon 
Orange and yellow Keeps eyes, skin and immune system healthy.
May help protect against cancer and heart disease.
Vegetables and legumes: button squash, carrots, corn, orange capsicum, orange lentils, pumpkin, sweet potatoes (kumara), pumpkin, button squash, yellow capsicum, yellow tomatoes, yellow zucchini
Fruit: apricots, cumquats, loquats, oranges, grapefruit, lemons, mandarins, mangoes nectarines, papaya, pawpaw, peaches, persimmons, peaches, pineapples, quince, rockmelon, star fruit, yellow pears
Green Keeps bones, digestive system and immune system healthy.
Protects against heart disease and cancer.
Vegetables and legumes: asparagus, bok choy, broad beans, broccoli, brussels sprouts, celery, Chinese cabbage, cucumber, globe artichokes, green beans, green capsicum, green herbs, green kale, green olives, kohlrabi, leeks, okra, peas, silverbeet, spinach, spring onion, zucchini,  
Fruit: avocados, feijoa, green apples, green figs, green grapes, green pears, honey dew, kiwi fruit, limes
Blue and purple Linked to improved memory function and healthy ageing.
Protects cells from damage and protects against heart disease and cancer.
Vegetables and legumes: beetroot, eggplant (aubergine), purple asparagus, purple cabbage, purple carrot
Fruit: blackberries, blackcurrants, blueberries, passionfruit, plums, purple figs, purple grapes, prunes
White and brown Helps with growth.
Energy for an active body.
Keeps immune system healthy.
Helps protect against cancer.
Vegetables and legumes: borlotti beans, brown lentils, cauliflower, celeriac, daikon radish, fennel, garlic, ginger, Jerusalem artichoke, leeks, mushrooms, onion, parsnip, potato, shallots, swede, taro, turnips, water chestnuts, white beans (cannellini, lima, navy and soy)
Fruit: Bananas, brown pears, dates, dried fig, lychee, raisins, sultanas


  • Offering colourful foods on children’s plates looks great and makes sure they are getting all the nutrients they need to stay healthy.
  • Explain the importance of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables to children. Talk to them about the benefits that different colours have for their bodies. It’s also a good reminder for adults!
  • Create a rainbow poster – Use coloured stickers or art supplies to fill in the different sections of the rainbow every time children eat a corresponding fruit or vegetable. Encourage children to eat more or try new foods from the rainbow sections that they aren’t filling up as quickly!
  • Create a rainbow on your plate – Make a fruit salad or try your own vegetable mix in a stir fry. [1]

[1] Nutrition Australia. (2013) Eat a rainbow (accessed on 23 April 2020).

Page last updated: Friday, 18 March 2022