Colourful Nutrition from Mother Nature
Colour plays a vital role in our everyday diet, especially when we are composing a healthy, balanced diet for our children. Nature has a beautiful way of ensuring we consume all the essential micronutrients (your vitamins and minerals) by using colour. The key is to consume a variety in colour of fruits and vegetables to cover the wide spectrum of micronutrients that are necessary to stay healthy and keep our immune system in check.
Our body’s defence mechanism depends on these vital nutrients to stay strong and fight against outside viruses and bacteria. Safe to say that there’s no time more critical than right now with the current Coronavirus pandemic.
Add colour to your diet with Lycopene and Beta-Carotene
These two phytonutrients are nature’s colourants! They are becoming popular additives to food stuff (such as tomato sauce, ice cream and pastry to name a few) to improve colour and stimulate visual perception. It is also the reason why Home Bao makes use of Rugani 100% Beetroot Juice Blend for our red dough.
Not only is it visually striking but it also has a few added health benefits. They are also one of the few micronutrients that are not heat sensitive and lipophilic. This means that our body still benefits from consuming these super nutrients even after cooking it. Some studies have shown that lycopene increases its health benefits through exposure to heat.
While most of the clinical trials have shown lycopene lowers the risk of cancer and cardiovascular disease1, beta-carotene is vital to maintain a strong immune system2.
Got a picky eater at home?
As a mom with my background in dietetics, getting my kids to eat a wide variety of fruits and vegetables is an everyday challenge. Like most children, they went through a difficult stage of picky eating3, often only consuming a narrow range of fruit and vegetables and refusing to try any unfamiliar food. This can create a stressful dinner time for mom and kids, and in worst case scenarios, be the start of eating disorders3. I am certainly going to nip it by the bud.
It gave me the idea of creating colourful dumplings when starting my own company – Home Bao, making eating “fun” by introducing visually stimulating food. We have yellow, green and red dumplings by adding vegetable puree and juice to the dumpling dough.
Make dinner time, fun time
Here are two recipes you can try at home: Hand-pulled Coloured Noodles and Coloured Bao Buns. Both are easy to prepare and allow our children to get involved. The bao dough has the consistency of an edible playdough, allowing kids to shape them into different animals or simply use a cookie cutter. Insert a paper straw and it’s a healthier alternative to a cake pop (Bao Pop)!
Yours in bite-sized happiness,
Founder and creative mind of Home Bao
- Ghellam. M Lycopene: Chemistry, sources, bioavailability, and benefits for human benefit. International congress on engineering and life science 2019.
- Khalid Gul, Afshan Tak, A. K. Singh, Preeti Singh, Basharat Yousuf & Ali Abas
Wani (2015) Chemistry, encapsulation, and health benefits of β-carotene – A review, Cogent Food
& Agriculture, 1:1, 1018696, DOI: 10.1080/23311932.2015.1018696
- Marjorie JH. The challenge to reach nutritional adequacy for vitamin A: b-carotene bioavailability and conversion—evidence in humans Am J Clin Nutr 2012;96(suppl):1193S–203S.
Tina Long is the founder and creative mind behind Home Bao. She received her Masters in Nutrition with a special focus in Pharmaconutrients to understand how specific nutrients at the right dosage can be used to deliver positive health benefits. She was operations manager at a genetic testing practice where optimal diets were designed based on individuals’ specific genetic test results. With this experience, she founded Home Bao – bringing you great tasting Asian meals that are healthy, nutritious and can be prepared in the comfort of your own home.