By Patricia Bianca S. Taculao
When we think of a rainbow, the first thing that comes into our mind is the myriad of colors it displays, namely, red, orange, yellow, green, indigo, and blue. And when we chance upon one, it brings simple joy to the people who see it.
For author Mabi David, she sees the rainbow as a creative way to encourage children to consume fruits and vegetables. She incorporated this approach in her recently launched children’s book entitled “Paano Kumain ng Kulay?”
This is David’s effort to help parents encourage their children to begin eating healthy during their formative years. David wanted to do this by making the book as relatable to children as possible.
David is a sustainability worker and cook who set up Me & My Veg Mouth, a vegan kitchen that empowers communities to improve their lifestyle with sustainably grown plant-based food.
She is also a published writer with three poetry books published by High Chair, an independent poetry press.
According to David, she wanted to tap into the imagination of the kids by asking them the question “how do colors taste?” David used colors because it is “one of the easiest ways to get nutrients is by eating the rainbow.”
Sensory play is the approach that David took since she introduced the different fruits and vegetables by describing their physical attributes through her book.
The colors mentioned in the book correspond to the various shades of fruits and vegetables. Found in the last pages of the book is a table that specifies the benefits people can get from consuming vegetables that have specific colors.
“These colors are actually manifestations of vitamins in the fruits and vegetables,” said David.
According to the World Health Organization, frequent consumption of “one color” or processed meat endangers health. It could lead to diseases like diabetes, heart disease, and cancer.
To balance this out, David said that a eating healthy food that corresponds to the colors of the rainbow is the most efficient way to make sure that we are able to get a broad variety of nutrients into our bodies.
David also said that color plays a role in how people choose the food they eat. It helps people determine whether they want to eat it or not.
Another way to encourage children to eat fruits and vegetables is to allow them to choose which fruits or vegetables they like.
“We found in the past that when kids prepare the plant-based foods themselves, they want to try it–they eat it! They get encouraged [when they do this],” David said.
Aside from her poem, the book, which was published by Adarna House, features artwork from Yas Doctor to teach the readers that colorful fruits and vegetables are a good source of vitamins and minerals.
Paano Kumain ng Kulay is available in bookstores nationwide. For questions and additional information, call Adarna House at 352-6757 or send an e-mail to [email protected].