You’ve heard the term Eat the Rainbow? It’s used to capture the idea of encouraging kids to make healthy food choices. Food literacy and likes and dislikes can begin early. When kids are small getting them to eat sometimes needs to be a bit playful. Convincing them to eat fruits and vegetables doesn’t need to be a battle.
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Tricks to Help Kids Eat Well
Kids can often be adventuresome eaters. Mine always loved fruits and vegetables. In fact, as little people they were fantastic eaters. It’s the teen years I am struggling with. They ate better as toddlers than they do now!
Very small kids sometimes get a bad reputation, as fussy eaters. But frankly, I know a lot of kids who eat better than adults do. Healthy children eat fruits and vegetables and don’t necessarily need a lot of incentives.
But, there are some times when we definitely need a few tricks or tools to help kids understand why healthy eating matters. Here are a few things we have done over the years to help kids understand why it’s important to eat the rainbow.
Buy Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
First thing always when running a home and trying to grow healthy eating habits is ease and convenience. So, have the fresh foods readily available. Keep fresh fruits and vegetables in stock. Having fresh foods available encourages everyone to sample the rainbow.
Be a Role Model
Show, Don’t Tell. Show your kids that you eat the rainbow every day and they are likely to also do the same.
Eat the Rainbow
Convince them it is a game of sorts, eating all the shades of the rainbow. Play the song if that helps them to understand the concept. This cute little Eat the Rainbow song helps talk about the vitamins and minerals in each of the colour groups of foods. Vitamin C is in Orange shades and lycopene is in tomatoes (reds.)
When my kids were small we always had the Helluva Good Dip on hand as well as hummus and red pepper dip. Now we also stock Tzatziki dip because this makes for a great and simple lunch as well. Vegetables plus dip or flatbread and dip. Easy lunch for teens. I realize flatbread is colourless but teens are a different ball game entirely.
Every Sunday, I wash fresh fruits and vegetables and keep them handy and packaged in reusable containers. I still do that even though my kids are in high school. People can generally be lazy and that’s definitely true in my house. I provide easy, convenient, washed and packaged fruits and veggies, so that my husband and the kids grab them fast, ready to go. Obviously your kids or partner could do this too.
Download the Eat the Rainbow Kid’s Chart
Use this colourful printable to help kids keep track of what they eat. For the first little while you might offer some sort of reward, if that helps. Colour in the rainbow chart and they will have eaten some pretty healthy foods for the week.
Eat in Technicolour
Kids naturally enjoy colours and songs and games too. Eat the Rainbow is an easy concept for them to get and honestly, if they get it now then they are more inclined to eat well over time.
To get this printable click on the link above and print, or grab it from my Pinterest Board for Free Printables. Enjoy!