"Eat the Rainbow!" is a recurring theme in our classes. Many children are picky eaters
and when it comes to vegetables, some children will only eat their favorites (like carrots, broccoli, or corn). We applaud
children for eating as many vegetables and fruits as possible on a daily basis, however, we teach children that it is equally
important to eat a variety of different colored vegetables and fruits. While all vegetables
and fruits have thousands of nutrients in them (called "phytonutrients"), there
are unique phytonutrients in each colorshade family that benefit the body in different ways. So, blueberries have different
phytonutrients than tomatoes, which have different phytonutrients than bananas, etc. To get all of the nutrients our
bodies need to prevent disease and keep us healthy, it is important to eat as many different colored vegetables and fruits
as possible. To help children remember that variety is important, we provide each child in our program with an uncolored
rainbow (along with clouds representing whiteshade vegetables). Each time that a child eats a vegetable or fruit, the
child adds that color to the rainbow. Over the years, we have found that children have fun shopping with their families
so that they can find vegetables and fruits to color their rainbows.
pasta salad recipe is designed to get children to "Eat the Rainbow" and to learn how to select seasonal produce.
We have chosen only vegetables that are currently in season, which can be swapped out from month-to-month. This recipe
offers a great opportunity to visit a farmer's market to learn about what is growing locally each month, while it also allows
your child to choose the different colored vegetables and fruits that appeal to them.