We all know that we should eat five portions of fruit and vegetables a day, but putting this into practice can be more challenging when you are talking about kids. Inventing cooking games for kids can be a great way to get your children involved in preparing meals and ensure they get enough fruit and vegetables. Here’s how the colours of the rainbow can inspire your children’s diet.
Variety is very important: to get a well-rounded, vitamin-packed meal we need to eat a range of different types of vegetables and fruit, rather than just one. Colour often helps us identify the nutrients contained within specific foods. Dark green vegetables – like spinach and broccoli – for example, contain high levels of iron that helps our body produce white blood cells to carry oxygen around our bodies. Eating a range of coloured foods every day can, therefore, ensure that your children get all the vitamins they need to keep their bodies healthy.
‘Eating a Rainbow’ is a great way for kids to learn about healthy eating and to engage in what they eat. Draw or print out a rainbow to stick up in your kitchen, dining room, or on your fridge. In the rainbow write or draw fruit and vegetables that are the same colour as the stripes. There are lots of online resources that can help your child identify different fruit and vegetable for each colour. If you feel like you are up for a real challenge make a daily rainbow chart and tick all the colours off every day.
Rainbow Food Ideas
Here are three different ideas for ways you and your children can complete your rainbow challenge all in one go.
A Melon Pirate Ship
You will need:
- A melon
- A banana
- Small fruits, such as strawberries, raspberries or grapes
- A napkin
- Cocktail sticks
- Slice your melon into segments – usually about an 8th of the melon is enough. This forms the main part of your boat.
- To make the sail, fold or cut your napkin into a triangle – the same shape as a sail – and weave it through a cocktail stick. Make sure that your napkin isn’t too big or too heavy as your sail will just fall off.
- Make oars by slicing your banana into semi-circles. Stick these onto the ends of cocktail sticks and then into the side of the melon boat.
- Finally, make crew members with the smaller fruits as bodies and heads – connect them together with a cocktail stick. A strawberry for a body and a blueberry for a head work particularly well!
A Fruity Sundae
This is a nice summery treat that can contain lots of delicious fruit. It is an easy activity for younger children that they can do unsupervised, and it requires little preparation on your part.
- Chop up fruit into small chunks and put them into separate bowls.
- Using a tall glass, pile up the fruit so that you can see different colours up the sides.
- Think about including other yummy ingredients like yogurt, ice cream or chocolate chips.
You could even make a rainbow sundae by putting your fruit into the glass in the same order as the stripes of a rainbow!
A Salad Face
This is a very easy savoury food activity. All you’ll need is a plate and some different chopped raw vegetables… and some imagination! Encourage your child to think about all the different things that make up a face, such as eyes, nose, lips, eyebrows, ears and hair. Ask them about what their face is doing: are they happy or sad or angry? Create a range of characters experimenting with different faces and expressions.