We all know that getting enough vegetables is important... but did you know within that, there are categories of vegetables that we should try to fit in, too? There are 5 in total: dark-green; red and orange; beans, peas, and lentils; starchy vegetables; and "other.” The vegetables within each of the first four categories have a lot in common, not only with their looks but with their nutritional value. While we often look at vegetables as a daily amount, getting these categories in every day is not necessary (and sometimes, simply not doable!). We like to think of eating these categories on a weekly basis to make sure your little ones are getting a well-rounded diet. Keep reading to review them all and you’ll understand why we like to say “eat the rainbow!”

group of illustrated veggies with eyes and smiles on a yellow background

#1 Dark-green 

Think: Broccoli, spinach, kale, collards, and all the other dark-green leafy vegetables. 

Dark-green vegetables are high in folate (aka Vitamin B9) that supports heart health and helps with our DNA duplication and repair. Their low glycemic index, high fiber content, and vitamin & mineral density make dark-green vegetables an important part of a healthy diet for humans of all ages!  

Looking for suggestions? Try Pear, Kiwi, Peas & Spinach Pouches with a full serving of veggies and Broccoli Curlz for some snack-time greens.

#2 Red and orange 

Think: Carrots, red bell peppers, tomatoes, and winter squashes like butternut. 

Red and orange vegetables get their color from beta carotene, a phytonutrient that converts to Vitamin A, benefitting our vision, immune system, skin health, bone health and more. It’s also an antioxidant! Many red & orange veggies also contain beneficial levels of vitamin C, vitamin K, and potassium.

Looking for suggestions? Try Carrot, Apple & Mango Pouches and Butternut Squash, Peach & Pineapple Pouches, both with a full serving of veggies combined with tasty fruits. 

#3 Beans, peas, and lentils 

Think: black beans, chickpeas, and all kinds of lentils. However, green beans and green peas are not included in this categorization. 

Oh legumes, what isn’t there to love? Packed with protein, fiber, potassium, iron, folate, and magnesium—this vegetable category is a common substitute for animal-based protein. You’ll see this category of veggies in our plant-based meals and pouches! 

Looking for suggestions? Try Sweet Potato, White Bean & Cinnamon Pouches and  Baby Burrito Bowl, both include a full serving of veggies and a variety of the 5 vegetable types. 

#4 Starchy vegetables 

Think: corn, green peas, white potatoes, and sweet potatoes. 

The primary carbohydrate in the average diet comes from starch! They typically pack in 3x the carbs of a non-starchy vegetable. Diet culture has given carbohydrates a bad rap. While they do raise glucose levels quickly, vegetable carbohydrates provide us with energy and a good source of fiber. Plus, other nutrients like B vitamins, vitamin C, and potassium.  

Looking for suggestions? Try Sweet Pea, Carrot, Corn & White Beans Pouches and Sweet Potato, Apple & Spinach Pouches, both with a full serving of veggies from multiple of the 5 veggie categories. 

#5 “Other” vegetables 

There are tons of “other” vegetables that don’t fit perfectly into any of the above categories. Think avocado, beets, cucumber, tomatillos, green beans, and summer squash.  

This colorful collection of vegetable packs in a serious variety of benefits! Avocados contain omega 3, an essential fatty acid that our body cannot produce on its own. Beets contain a ton of the nutrients our bodies need to function from manganese to iron! Green beans contain vitamin K to help make proteins needed for building bones.  

Looking for suggestions? Try Big Kid Burrito Bowl with a tomatillo sauce and a full serving of veggies in just 2 minutes and Carrot, Chickpeas, Zucchini & Pear Pouches for a full serving of veggies on the go! 

variety of sprout organics veggie pouches and a meal on a yellow background

Need a boost?

Check out the Sprout Organics Veggie Collection which features a variety of products that all contain a full serving of veggies! You’ll notice that a ton of our foods include more than one category of veggie, that’s because we know that a well-rounded diet is also a tasty one! Shop Toddler Mealz & Big Kid Mealz for a full serving of veggies in just 2 minutes. Want to introduce a specific vegetable into your kiddo’s diet? Use the search bar on our all products page.



  1. https://www.ars.usda.gov/plains-area/gfnd/gfhnrc/docs/news-2013/dark-green-leafy-vegetables/
  2. https://www.myplate.gov/eat-healthy/vegetables
  3. https://www.dietaryguidelines.gov/sites/default/files/2020-12/Dietary_Guidelines_for_Americans_2020-2025.pdf
  4. https://buyeatlivebetter.org/main_documents/factsheets/factsheet%20vegetables-dark%20green%20red%20and%20orange.pdf
  5. https://www.mayoclinic.org/healthy-lifestyle/nutrition-and-healthy-eating/multimedia/beans-and-legumes
  6. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/starchy-vs-non-starchy-vegetables
  7. https://www.diabetes.co.uk/food/starchy-vegetables.html
  8. https://www.healthline.com/nutrition/benefits-of-beets

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