The origins of Eat a Rainbow Every Day

As a Naturopath, I work with private clients helping them to address health issues using natural means, especially food and lifestyle approaches.

Over many years parents have brought children to see me for help with concerns such as eczema, frequent colds, digestive, behavior problems and fussy eating. It made me realise that there was a larger issue - children as well as their parents needed to be involved with their health care and understanding food's role in this was fundamental.

This extended to all children particularly as they began attending school as well as adults who themselves were disadvantaged in this area. It required an approach that engaged and captured imaginations and created a desire to want to eat in a healthful way. 'Eat a Rainbow Every Day' was created as a colourful, fun and wide ranging healthy eating and lifestyle program.

 

It was launched in 2007 at the first Children’s Food Festival in Oxfordshire, UK where the 'Eat a Rainbow Every Day' activity stall introduced thousands of children to the Rainbow Kingdom. They drew pictures of fruits and vegetables, placed them on the garden scene display or in a tree and learned where vegetables and fruits grew.

They were introduced to the storybook by characters integrated into a real fruit and vegetable display and made ‘rainbow wands’ from a medley of cut up pieces of fruit and vegetables, thus tasting 'a rainbow'.

 

 

In 2009 the second Children’s Food Festival saw the launch of '‘Eat a Rainbow’ the play. Written by English playwright Ron Aldridge the story was delivered with a hilarious, pantomime-like format including a villain, hero, music, magic and a memorable healthy eating message.

The popular animation workshops that ran between play performances allowed children to create their own animation images using fruits and vegetables and was led and filmed by 2 talented young animators. The results can be viewed here http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qivRbHbNB5c.

 

The ‘Eat a Rainbow Every Day’ program was first taken into the classroom as a healthy lunchbox workshop and as an after school program and in 2011 as part of Cre8us, a program that teamed schools with creative partners. This was a healthy eating initiative that took place over a school term, working with year 5’s at Windy Arbor Primary School in Birmingham, UK. The children learned about healthy eating where content crossed all the curriculums and engaged them in growing, cooking and all aspects of food preparation. The outcome of the program demonstrated that children increased their healthy eating choices, became more involved in meal preparation at home and the whole family gained benefits.

‘Eat a Rainbow Every Day’ is available in the UK and US. It offers many opportunities to engage children in healthy eating and lifestyle:

  • Storybook, interactive chart, stickers
  • Comprehensive school program
  • Talks and cooking demos for schools, parent groups, teachers and caterers
  • Rainbow events
  • Cooking classes
  • Storytelling