I’ve had a few questions lately requesting resources for healthier eating with children. The first site that always comes to mind is Kia, Founder of Today I Ate A Rainbow. She’s managed to capture the fun of eating healthier with a magnetic rainbow chart that helps kids track how many rainbows they’ve eaten in a day. When you hear that kids need a minimum of 5 fruits and vegetables a day – it can be a little overwhelming for parents thinking how to provide those kinds of portions. But when you phrase it “how many rainbows did your child eat today?” it’s instantly fun and easy for parents & kids to wrap their mind around. A professed ‘picky eater’ Kia knows first hand how difficult it is to transform stubborn eating habits that develop with children. One thing that really stuck with me from a phone call I shared with Kia is when picky eaters are exposed to new foods, it can take up to 20 tries before they will accept it. For a non-picky eater that exposure is closer to 10. We’ve been testing the Today I Ate A Rainbow chart for months with my four children and I love how easy it is! Kia is also a like minded business owner by sticking to her vision of keeping things local by having the magnetic charts manufactured locally and with vegetable dyes. Great value in this kit and keeps eating fun for kids! I’ve learned along the way too – I had no idea raisins would count as a serving under the blue/purple rainbow. Hooray for raisins!
How does it work? There are different shaped magnets for each family member and once you compete a food group color, you place a magnet on the strip of rainbow. The helpful part of the chart is fruit/veggie suggestions are printed on the rainbow so kids can quickly see results and parents can quickly reference the chart. Ours is on the fridge and the convenience is awesome! Just by visiting the Today I Ate A Rainbow website or Fanpage will immediately bring you valuable information. The cute videos on the site of Kia and her daughter cooking together are awesome for kids to watch! Let Hannah inspire your child to try making eggplant or kale chips!
As I mentioned, Kia was a really picky eater and has some amazing tips for parents! Find tips for picky eaters here. Other helpful suggestions from Kia that my family has been putting to the test are listed below.
1) Keep Fruits and Vegetables in Sight: Stock your fridge full of washed and ready to eat fruits and veggies. Having them cut up in slices makes it even easier for your kids to reach in and grab a quick healthy snack.
2) Be a good Role Model: If you expect your child to eat vegetables, you need to be eating them, too. Children learn from their parents, so model the behavior you wish to see in your child.
3) Serve when Hungry: Serve fruits and veggies to kids when they’re hungry. If the option is either produce or nothing they will go for the food!
4) The Today I Ate A Rainbow!™ Chart is all about setting a healthy habit of eating a variety of fruits and vegetables. Keep in mind that it takes at least 21 days to form a new habit.
5) Offer fruit or vegetables for snacks. In between meals let them snack all they want on healthy fruit and vegetable slices.
6) Watch the clock. Make sure to stop all snacks about one hour before your meal. That way they’ll be hungry when they come to the table.
I can say from speaking with Kia and staying in touch via social media – you can feel her positive outlook and passion for healthy eating for the entire family! She is an incredible resource for all families and I’m super proud to have met, connected, and follow this amazing mom!