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Eating the Rainbow - Helping Kids Make Good Snack Choices

Updated on October 4, 2012

How to get kids to take responsibility for eating a rainbow every day?

Every summer my two step kids come to stay and I struggle integrating the nutrition they have at their mom's house (which I believe is almost completely frozen) with the nutritional values I'm trying to use in my own home. By the end of the summer, my children acquire tastes for commercial cereals and other hydrogenated-foods that I'm not exactly happy with and I end up feeling like I only argued with my step children rather than gotten them to enjoy fresh food.

But this summer was different...

I had a brand new strategy to get my 13 year old and 10 year old step children to start eating healthier.

A Magnetic Refrigerator Chart Was My Next Move

In order to get an allowance not only was each child required to do their daily chores, but also to eat each of the five colors of the rainbow. At first I got resistance. The kids hadn't tried even a quarter of all the fruits and vegetables I was bringing in the house.

But then they started to like them.

They got a little competitive with each other, because they could see who was ahead each day by looking at the magnetic chart.

The biggest compliment was when my 13 year old

step son asked, "How come my mom never told me about eating a rainbow?"

I Can Eat a Rainbow Board Book - And make animals out of fruits and veggies too!

This board book was intended for very small children to teach fruit and vegetable recognition (and has some very bright and colorful shapes to hang on to) but it's also a wonderful nutrition education tool for older kids too. There are some great activities for making your own animals out of fruits and veggies too! I checked it out from the library and fell in love with it and had to add it to my library.

Today I Ate a Rainbow Kit - Encouraging Kids to Eat Healthy on Their Own

This kit comes with a book about eating a healthy variety of foods in different colors, and a set of colorful magnets that you can use to keep track of the colors your kids are eating on a daily basis. I fell in love with this system, and then modified it to fit my own needs a bit better.

How do you keep everyone in your house eating a rainbow every day?

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      5 years ago

      I have to admit, I'm no longer so good at eating a rainbow myself! It was much easier when I was preparing bento lunches to eat at work/school! Perhaps I should be making a bento, even when I stay home...


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