We all know eating lots of fruits and veggies is important. However, our children often don’t care. Many kids are picky eaters, mine included which can be very frustrating. I was doing some research into ideas to help a very picky daycare child and really liked the “Eat Your Rainbow” approach. It’s simple and something young children can understand and help implement. “Healthy” is too abstract for a child but they can understand colours. Eat Your Rainbow means to eat fruits and vegetables of the different colours of the rainbow, trying to get a variety of colours in our diet and to try new foods. The colours are: red, orange, yellow, green, blue/purple and white/brown. There are lots of ideas on Pinterest as this is a common topic in schools.
So this is what I did with the kids.
I cut circles out of construction paper and then cut fruits and vegetables out of the flyers and the kids glued them on. Then I laminated them.
Then I found this chart and printed it off and laminated it. I use a white board marker to check off what colours they eat each day. At the end of the week I can wipe it off and start again.
Your children can also help you when you buy groceries to pick out different coloured fruits and vegetables. I love that it’s so visual and simple!
This has gone over super well with my kids. They get excited to eat each colour and will try a little bit of something they don’t like in order to get the check mark. I also like that it’s easy to implement for me too (which is very important). Foods can be added to smoothies or hidden in snacks. And it doesn’t have to be all at one meal but throughout the day, this colour at breakfast, this one at snack, another couple at lunch. There is a lot of freedom in what you make and how you serve it.
Speaking of serving, another thing we’re trying (which I’ve done occasionally in the past) is having lunch in a muffin tin. It’s cute and it helps me to give a variety of foods for them to eat. It also stops food from mixing or touching (which can be the end of the world!) and encourages a child to try a little of each section. Also it’s inexpensive compared to fancy trays ($3 each at the dollar store).
Starting from a young age to encourage healthy eating will set them up for a lifetime of good health and good food choices. But don’t make it hard. If it’s too hard you won’t stick too it. Small steps, like eating more fruits and vegetables, are keys to success.