The Color of Food Matters

Green’s Girl does Miracle Meals


Issue #1:  The Color of Food Matters

I have been called many things in my life:  film producer, coach, mom, Ironwoman, 5-minute chef,  NY speed walker, lead foot,  yogi… but the one title that is consistent is “GREEN’S GIRL”.

Yeah, my diet is 90% “green” –  a lot of salads, leafy this and leafier that, vegetables, sprouts- and other greenish foods like nuts, seeds and fruits.  I make a daily shake that sends everyone running with its iridescent pond sources (I am extreme in my green.)  However, GREEN in any proportion is the key to healthy nutrition – packing plentiful of vitamins, antioxidants minerals, proteins, complex carbs– without the health sabotagers known as sugar, artificial additives, and processing.  Since we are what we eat, we could all use a bigger dose of green.  Adults, Children.  Especially children with special needs.

My son Wyatt has been diagnosed with autism since 5 years old, and has for the most part followed gluten/casein free eating.  I say eating because diet sounds restrictive!  He has a wonderful diet, rich in vegetables, proteins, grains and fruits- he declared himself VEGAN last year because he loves the food, and secondarily because didn’t want to impact the environment with animal products.   His digestion has improved. He missed the winter cold this year, and has great energy with less mood swings.  Greens work.

Gasp (I can hear you thinking)-  “My kid won’t touch a vegetable.” “ Not a chance.”  “Green lucky charms is as close as it’s gonna get…”  “Does creamy cole slaw count as salad?”

Clearly, it is going to require a shift in the way you think before you change the way you eat and feed your children.    Change your mind then change your habits!

What is important to remember is that your eating is as critical as your childs.  As a parent, you have to be strong, energetic and fueled to take on the task of caretaking,  You are also the role model, so it is not a good situation if you are pushing the steamed spinach while sneaking chocolate. This is good for the WHOLE FAMILY.  One pot per family.  No special meals, just special people.

Green’s Girl is going to debunk the popular cultural MYTHS about kids and food-  one at a time with a quick and easy splash in the kitchen with the 15 & Under Miracle Minutes Recipes  to comfort you and your kids through the transition.  The motivation can remain taste, and the cherry on top is how you feel and how your child thrives with valuable nutrition.

As you add in the greens (and other vibrant natural colors) regime, there are some immediate ‘drops’ from the family diet:

  • high fructose corn syrup and all corn syrup (it’s in most things in a box and a major obesity factor),
  • hydrogenated oils (basically indigestible in processed/prepared foods!),
  • artificial sweeteners (diet’s first three letters are…),
  • red/yellow/blue dyes –all colorings (unless you want your child to ingest crude oil which is their chemical base) and…
  • all fast food (sorry, no exceptions).  Toxic to all, and hyper toxic to our children with special sensitivities.

I’ll wait for the tantrum to stop.  I have a three day theory.  You can change your habits in three days,  It’s up to you if you want to tantrum for all of them or not.


GREEN’S GIRL takes on…MYTH #1

 “Kids don’t like greens; Kids won’t eat greens!”

You are entirely right if they are not served  greens and if they frequent drive-thrus with regularity.   Junk food lives up to its name and makes the palette and the body a junkyard.  Just as polluted areas do not thrive, kids with a poor diet are deprived what I essential to their well being.

Likes and dislikes are conditioned habits – if we assumed that our kids will only eat mac ‘n cheese, pizza, french fries and chicken fingers, then that’s what they will like and probably all they will eat.  If we assume children are born with a sweet tooth, breakfas/ lunch/snack and dinner will be a sugar battle and emotional rollercoaster.

However, if you serve greens as part of their diet, they simply develop a taste for them.   My son Wyatt loves every vegetable- (even ones that I hated as a kid, like brussel sprouts.)

How?  He was never given choice to like or dislike greens.  There was never a substitute if he didn’t “like” it.  To create a ‘green’ taste, start by cleverly camouflaging vegetables into meals, then gradually make them more visible.  If your child resists eating the green foods, do not force it.   Don’t let there be drama around food.  Simply remove the dinner plate and that meal is over.  No other food, snack, dessert is allowed.  You’ll be surprised how that young body will learn to like that missed meal.  Hunger is a great motivator!



Preheat oven to 450-500 degrees.

2 large Yams- organic please

2 Tbs Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

2 cloves minced Garlic (optional)

1 Lime (optional)

Add’l: curry powder, cumin, red pepper-  mix it up for a change.


2 mins.:  Wash the yams with skin on.  Carefully slice yams into thin chips at an angle and put in large bowl.

2 mins: Drizzle with olive oil, garlic, salt and pepper and spices and let marinate briefly.  Coating all sides.

9 mins: Spray a cookie sheet with non-stick spray.   Spread the yams out on a sheet with little overlap and put in piping hot oven-  let the chips sizzle and turn brown,  turning as needed to get an even ‘tan’.   I prefer them super crispy, but they are delicious after 7 mins or so…

2 mins: squeeze a bit of lime on the hot chips.  Let cool before de-roofing mouth palette.

While the oven is hot, I usually take advantage and thinly slice brusell sprouts, with same procedure of yams (olive oil, etc) and give them an blasted oven roasting- camo the green to a crispy brown and they will disappear!

Now these are healthy ‘chips’!!

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2 Responses to “The Color of Food Matters”
  1. Mari-Anne says:

    Diane – I love this recipe. I’ve also been vegetarian and vegan then vegetarian again for about 15 years. And my 16 year old has come to love veggies also, but more importantly is willing to try different things. Some he likes, others he doesn’t. That’s human! Another great kid friendly recipe is a variation of yours above with kale, to create kale chips in the oven. A cool alternative to potato chips. I love any excuse to eat salt! :)

  2. Bianca says:

    The salad sounds so light and rfereshing and I love the combination of sweet potato with thyme and tofu I don’t think I ever would have thought to combine these. Thanks so much for sharing with Made with Love Mondays (and please remember to provide a link back to the challenge page when submitting recipes to Made with Love Mondays)

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