A Summer Strategy for Eating a Rainbow

It is officially picnic time!  

And during the summer, it is the best time to take advantage of all of the yummy and colorful fruits and veggies in season.

For years I’ve been talking about the importance of Eating the Rainbow, as each color has an important nutritional aspect that supports the body.  I explain it simply to kiddoes in my book series, Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow.

I have also been involved in many “Rainbow Days” at schools (through my nonprofit, Nurture) when kids celebrate the day with colorful healthy snacks, themed clothing, and a rainbow veggie and fruit snacking table.

But what about something simple that can do any day at home? 

One of the most important things to remember when feeding kids (and adults!) is that presentation is a huge part of the experience. 

Your kids won’t try a new food?  Present it in a totally different manner and see what happens!  

Remember also that taste buds in children do not develop overnight.  Often it takes many times (often 10-20) for a child to try a food before they develop a taste for it.  

Also, remember that creativity will take you a long way there.  So how about a simple “Rainbow on a Stick” for your next family picnic?  Here’s the gist: 

You can take this concept and expand on it with all kinds of “summer treats on a stick”*.

*Note on safety:  Children should never walk or run with food on a stick.  Always remember good table manners and sit while eating!  Very young children should not have food on a stick (use your own judgment and supervise).

Here are some reasons to “take a stab” at making snacks on a stick at home with your kids this summer.  Summer snacks on a stick are:

Fun to Dip. Snacks on a stick are perfect for dipping. Whether it is a sweet yogurt dip, honey, peanut sauce, or hummus, food on a stick is meant to be dipped in a variety of flavors

Delicious either as Sweet or Savory. Fruit kabobs, veggie kabobs, pizza on a stick (a variation of Caprese bobs). . . sweet or savory taste good on a stick.

Portable. Snacks on a stick are portable and can be eaten at picnics, before a music recital, or after a sports game.

Full of Variety and Nutrition. Sticks can be stacked with a variety of fruits, veggies, and cheeses.

Artistic. You can lay out a variety of ingredients on a table, and kids can arrange ingredients into an artistic creation they can call their own!

Assembled by kids. If they have a role in making it, they are more likely to eat it.

My now 18-year old son, who helped me with the Give It a Go, Eat a Rainbow series by providing the augmented reality illustrations, has been enjoying these tips since he was a kiddo. 

Happy healthy summer snacking!

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