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Encouraging Kids to Eat the Rainbow of Fruits and Vegetables

Eat the Rainbow

There are no fads or gimmicks in this diet tip. Just simple, clear guidance from nature! One of the best things you can do for your family’s dietary health is to eat a wide variety of plant foods. And what’s a great way to make sure you get the variety you need? Eat the rainbow! 

We all know that eating fruits and vegetables is good for our health but understanding why and how nature provides for our health can make the right choice a bit easier. When you eat the rainbow of fruits and vegetables, you’re doing more for your body than simply providing vitamins and minerals. 

Why eating the rainbow is important 

Yes, fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that do amazing things for growing bodies. But there is also compelling evidence that eating a wide variety of plant foods in all colors of the rainbow can help our bodies resist illness and disease. Fruits and veggies not only taste great, they make great medicine too! 

The rainbow of colors we see in fruits and vegetables come from antioxidant-rich chemicals that help protect the plant from invading bugs, bacteria, viruses, fungi, and environmental contaminants. These same plant chemicals (phytochemicals) also protect us when we eat them. 

Each one of the colors protects our bodies in different ways, so be sure to expose your family to plenty of red, orange, yellow, green, blue, and purple plant foods from fruits, vegetables, herbs, and natural spices. 

A fun and tasty way to help kids explore eating the rainbow at home 

Here’s a simple activity that’s both artistic and nutritional! 

Making Edible Insects  
  1. Cut out simple pictures of bugs from a magazine or print some from online. 
  2. Cut up some colorful veggies and fruits into various sizes and shapes. 
  3. Let your child arrange the different pieces of fruits and veggies to make an insect.   
  4. Parents can help by sitting with your child and making your own edible insect. The fun comes from seeing how many “bugs” you can make, and of course eating them too!  
What you’ll need 
  • Cutting board and knife (for adults only, or a child-safe knife for supervising older children) 
  • Plates and trays to create on 
  • Optional: hummus, easy greek yogurt dip, or your favorite dressing  
Choose a few fruits and vegetables from each category! 
  • Fresh berries (blueberries, raspberries, blackberries, strawberries) 
  • Apples (sliced thinly) 
  • Bananas (cut into rounds) 
  • Mango or papaya 
  • Bell peppers (red, orange, yellow, green) 
  • Leaf lettuce (makes great insect wings!) 
  • Celery (cut cross-sections) 
  • Carrots (cut into thin sticks and rounds) 
  • Snap peas 
Fresh herbs: 
  • Chives (cut into 2–3” lengths for antennae) 
  • Parsley (cut into small pieces) 
  • Basil (whole leaves) 
Here are some examples for inspiration! 

We turned trays of fruits and veggies into edible insects!

Use cut fruits and veggies to make so many different edible insects!

While you're crafting your critter creations, encourage your child to explore new tastes and textures by: 

  • Being the role model. Make and eat your own bug!   
  • Asking questions that encourage critical thinking.  
    • What sound does the carrot make when you bite it?  
    • How many legs do insects have?  
    • What does this vegetable or fruit taste like? 
  • Asking your child about the colors they see.  
    • How many colors are on your plate?  
    • How many colors are in a rainbow?  
    • Can you name them? 
  • Incorporating nutritional information about what their learning. 
    • What color is good for eyesight? (Orange, red, and yellow!) 
    • What vegetables or fruits are those colors? (Carrots, peppers, mangoes!) 
    • Which animals eat those vegetables? (Rabbits, herbivores, vegetarians, and so many more correct answers!)  

Want to take it a step further and grow your own rainbow? KinderCare’s Nutrition team has developed this resource to help you and your family gardening.

Have fun creating and exploring!
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