Subscribe to get a free eCookbook with my top 10 recipes + new weekly recipes!

The Things We Do For Our Kids

peas-in-a-pod-eating-the-rainbow
Try not to laugh — this is me looking pretty ridiculous in a pea pod costume. The photo was taken last week at my kids’ elementary school during Eating the Rainbow, an exciting weeklong wellness program that encourages kids to include more colorful fruits and vegetables in their diets. I wanted to share it with you in hopes of inspiring anyone who might dare to dress up to get kids excited about healthy eating at their own school.

Here’s how it worked…

Similar to spirit week, each day of the week was a different color — Monday was Orange, Tuesday was Red, Wednesday was Purple/Blue, Thursday was Green and Friday was Yellow/White. Each day, kids were encouraged to show their healthy spirit by wearing the color of the day and bringing in fruits or vegetables in that color for lunch.

To make it fun, we decorated the school with healthy eating posters (like “Spit out your gum, eat a plum!” or “Veggies rock so eat your broc!”) and handed out colored wristbands in the color of the day during lunchtime. We also dressed up in fruit and veggie costumes and handed out stickers to kids as they walked into school in the morning. They loved it!

We coordinated the colors with the school menu so kids who bought lunch could participate. Whole Foods even came in one day at lunchtime to make smoothies for the kids to sample.

Eating the Rainbow  was put on by our school’s Wellness Committee. The program was originally created by New York mom, Sharon Pesner, for her kids’ Dix Hills, NY Elementary School. It was so successful in getting kids excited about healthy eating, it has started to spread to other schools around the country. It’s a wonderful program that can be adapted and modified to work at any school. If you’d like more information on how to start a Wellness Committee or implement Eating the Rainbow at your school, feel free to email me at [email protected]

Comments

  • Hi, Jenn–I do after school child care for two picky eaters. I’ve talked to the girls’ mom about having our own Eating The Rainbow program over the summer when I am there full time. We will take one color each week. NO dressing up but I’ll be taking the girls to markets to shop for our weekly color and we will be cooking together with the girls. The older girl (8) is computer addicted so she will be given the job of researching the veggies and fruits, getting nuititional information and fun facts about where they are grown, et al. Gets everyone involved at there comfort level! Thanks for sharing this!

    - Janet Porterfield on June 11, 2013 Reply
    • Love this idea, Janet! It sounds so fun. Please come back and leave a comment to let me know how it goes :)

      - Jenn on June 11, 2013 Reply
  • Good for you all! I love the cute sayings. I am so lucky my 5 year old will actually prefer to dine on fresh cucumbers and tomatoes than eat her spaghetti or other protein. I think watching us eat the rainbow and being exposed to cooking and gardening has helped her enjoy all sorts of foods.

    - BusyWorkingMama on May 30, 2013 Reply
  • what a great idea! and you looked adorable !!

    - Marsha Blond on May 29, 2013 Reply
    • thanks, marsha…you are very kind! :)

      - Jenn on May 29, 2013 Reply
  • You are awesome, Jenn!

    - Laura on May 29, 2013 Reply
    • Thank you, Laura!

      - Jenn on May 29, 2013 Reply
  • How informative and fun! What talent you have. Not only making food, but being food!

    - Karen on May 28, 2013 Reply
    • Thank you, Karen!

      - Jenn on May 29, 2013 Reply
  • I’m thinking you look lovely in green.. Sounds like fun.

    - Susan Levings on May 28, 2013 Reply
  • You were such a trooper wearing a different fruit or veggie costume each day! The kids LOVED seeing you and the Eating the Rainbow program. The participation was amazing. Thanks for your leadership!

    - Bridget on May 28, 2013 Reply
    • Thanks, Bridget. It was a team effort…thank YOU for your help!

      - Jenn on May 29, 2013 Reply
  • Glad I got to see the costume now. So cute. You did a great job. Was a great week at school!

    - Wendy on May 28, 2013 Reply
    • Thanks, Wendy!

      - Jenn on May 29, 2013 Reply
  • Fantastic idea!! I agree Shani – great idea for a school.

    - Catherine on May 28, 2013 Reply
  • Great idea, Jen! Passing the info to some moms who are trying to get rid of donut sales and introduce healthier eating at school. You might be getting an email….

    - Shani Spiegle on May 28, 2013 Reply
  • Fantastic!!

    - Jennifer Smith on May 28, 2013 Reply

Add a Comment or Question

Hungry for More?

Subscribe to my free weekly newsletter — where I share new recipes and seasonal menus for every occasion.

Your email address will never be used for any other purpose.
Curious? See a sample newsletter.