Tuesday, 24 April 2012

Eat a Rainbow.

My two girls could not be more different when it comes to food.  My youngest will eat anything and everything and in vast quantities, she is delightful and very cheeky concerning food.  My eldest daughter has always been fussy, she eats very little of anything & drinks even less - to the point where she has become quite ill and driven my stress levels through the roof.  My daughter does posses a great enthusiasm for many things one of which is colour.  She will also show great excitement about anything I get excited about.  My birthday/Christmas present combined this year was a new sewing machine (having worn out my old one through shear over use) when it arrived I squealed and jumped about the house like a teenage girl.  My eldest daughter joined in dancing and screaming with joy & then said "what is in the box mummy?"  When we eventually calmed down enough to get it out of the box we spent nearly an hour together trying out all the new stitches.  My daughter kept saying I want to try this one next and do another buttonhole one again.  I truly cherish this great capacity of hers for joy and enthusiasm, it is so lovely.

So I have devised a healthy eating scheme for her and hope to harness her enthusiasm to get her to eat more vegetables.  I thought I would share it here as although not strictly thrifty I know children and vegetable consumption - lack of - is a hot topic.  As a pleasant and unexpected side effect of this scheme I have found by focusing on two vegetables a week I tend to have less left overs as these can be reused in the next meal, that's kind of thrifty.

You will note we have substituted indigo for a pink layer.  My daughters favourite colour is of course pink.
Each colour has two vegetables associated with them.  My daughter is only 4 and like I say not keen on eating full stop.  These vegetables are not wildly exotic or hard to come by & peppers feature twice.

Red - Tomatoes & Red Peppers
Pink - Radishes & Borlotti Beans
Orange - Butternut Squash & Carrots
Yellow - Sweetcorn & Yellow Peppers
Green - Broccoli & Spinach
Blue - Aubergine & Black Beans & Blue Viola Flowers 
(Can you think of any even vaguely blue vegetables? I  know two of these aren't even vegetables or blue but they are as close as I can find)
Purple - Beetroot & Red Cabbage

So each week we pick two vegetables from our rainbow &eat them two different ways.  The deal is my daughter has to try at least two mouthfuls before she decides she doesn't like it.  I had considered doing a sticker chart for this project but we are doing lots of sticker charts at the moment for other things & I think it would just be over kill.  Like I say it doesn't take much to get her enthusiastic about a project.  If you would like to do a chart free vegetable stickers are available from Ella's kitchen when you "become a friend" and a friend of mine tells me the governments change for life campaign also gives out free vegetable stickers.

Each week I will keep you posted on on what vegetables my daughter has chosen and what recipes I will be trying to entice her with.


  1. Eating a rainbow of fruit and veg is not a new concept - check it out on these websites:
    - this one is quite scientific

    - this one is fun and for kids!

    And Google has many more..

    Good luck with it!

    1. Hello, yes this is a very tried and tested idea I've done lots of reading on similar sites there are loads of resources out there. I've just tailored this idea to my daughter. For older children the book "The Great Big Veg Challenge" is an excellent A-Z diary of vegetables and recipes to accompany written by a Mum with similarly picky children. Thank you for adding these sites Grethe.

  2. This is a gorgeous post Simone! Between you and the rainbow of fruit photo I saw on The Green Parent, I'm now inspired to try it out myself! Thankyou as always xxx

    1. Hope it works for you, Do report back any successes or handy tips.