Monday, January 10, 2011

loads of new "rainbow plates" for inspiration

When I reorganized all of the labels to make recipe searches easier I took out "kid-friendly". I did this because in my mind, unless something really spicy there's no reason it can't be "kid-friendly". But "picky eating" and "coming up with meals my kids will eat" is a question I get from friends a lot. I know I am fortunate that my two children typically eat most anything (except fish and mushrooms this week). So, I'm really not an expert in the picky field. That said, I think part of the reason they do eat a variety of foods is that I expose them to different textures, tastes and colors and don't make a big deal. A little of this and a little of that go down the hatch.

I do the same thing if we're having a playdate over (see pic above). The only difference is that I give each of the kids an empty sectioned plate, put a bunch of bowls of different things out, and let the kids make choices. Depending upon the age(s) of your kids, you can make the choices for them, or let have more of a say...

Children are supposed to have at least five servings of fruits and vegetables a day, and I am still typically plating my kid's meals for them. So, when I do this, it's helpful for me to think about it being a "rainbow plate”. And if you need a little gimmick, turn it into a game by having your children count the colors on their plate. This creates excitement and a desire for colorful foods-- including a variety of fruits and vegetables which are a natural source of color.

Here are a bunch of my kid's "rainbow plates" to give you a little inspiration. Click on this link if you want to see more "rainbow plate" ideas from past posts.

mango, soy sauce, cucumber slices and brown rice California rolls

cucumbers, apples, freeze-dried strawberries and a cheese, bell pepper and broccoli quesadilla made with whole wheat tortillas

edamame, red pepper spears, cheese & crackers, a yogurt tube and an oatmeal cookie

roasted asparagus, jicama slices, a little bit of salmon (to try), some blueberries, wheatberry salad and chicken sausages

pesto pasta (pesto + whole wheat rotini), roasted sweet potato wedges, apples, and a sloppy joe (+ cheese) on a whole wheat bun

a yogurt, an apple sauce cup, some edamame, a handful of pistachios, and a few slices of pizza (which came from the freezer, clearly this was a pantry day, not a cooking day!!)

cheese & crackers, some red pepper chunks and a banana

edamame pods, honeydew melon chunks, pineapple chunks, cucumber slices, a cheese stick and a turkey-spinach meatballs

French toast with apricot jam and fresh blueberries

turkey-spinach meatballs, sweet potato chunks and broccoli-cheese Jolie Ravioli with tomato sauce to dip them in

roasted root veggies, edamame pods, fruit salad and pork tenderloin

mango, banana and a slice of veggie frittata

chicken sausages, a few appetizers that I was bringing to book club that night, a cherry tomato ("try it, you might like it"), bananas and blueberries

sweet potatoes, watermelon, edamame, and pecan-crusted chicken with mustard dipping sauce

apples, bananas, mozzarella cheese, and whole wheat penne with homemade bolognese sauce

risotto, edamame, steamed green and wax beans, and lemon-rosemary chicken

yogurt, apples and a Vitamuffin top

banana, apple slices, cucumber slices and homemade three-cheese pizza (which they helped make that evening)

roasted potato wedges, pineapples and berries, grilled chicken and roasted zucchini

teardrop tomatoes, strawberries, letter cookies and cheese tortellini in homemade creamy tomato sauce

nectarines, carrots, raisins and homemade curried chicken salad sandwiches cut into rounds

scrambled eggs (which one child requested), arugula salad, carrots and this chicken but they decided they didn't want the basil sauce, so I tossed theirs in a combination of orange marmalade and rice wine vinegar

black beans (one of my children's fav finger foods, odd but I'll take it), strawberries, and brown rice California rolls + soy sauce

edamame, grapes, cherry tomatoes and a few of my favorite beef meatballs

roasted root vegetable hash, veggie frittata, and berry fruit salad


  1. How awesome is this post!? So many great options! love it :)

  2. i am totally inspired! thanks for sharing. i will keep you posted.


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