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Eat a Rainbow

Different fruits and vegetables contain different nutrients, so eating a variety of is essential to maintaining a healthy diet. But just because something is good for us doesn’t mean we want to eat it. Our food needs to taste good as well. That’s why this winter, elementary school students in Trenton learned about the health benefits of eating a “rainbow” of fruits and vegetables and prepared several colorful and delicious recipes.

To start, students played a game that helped them learn about the unique health benefits each different fruit or vegetable provides our bodies. Once they acquired some foundational knowledge, they spent the next few weeks learning four recipes that featured a rainbow of fruits and vegetables. We began with a “rainbow smoothie”, which included a mixture of berries, bananas, mango, and spinach, an excellent option for a healthy breakfast. The following week we moved on to lunch and prepared a Rainbow Grain Salad, that featured grated carrots, spiralized zucchini, cherry tomatoes, and red onion. We made a quick lemon vinaigrette and ate our veggie combo over quinoa. Now that students had more practice, we were ready to create a healthy dinner, Rainbow Stir Fry. This recipe highlighted even more vegetables including purple cabbage, cauliflower and yellow bell pepper. Students leaned techniques for cooking a stir- fry and how to season it by making a sauce comprised of soy sauce, orange juice, hot sauce, and ginger. We concluded our eat a rainbow series with a healthy snack, fruit salsa, which included apples, kiwi, blackberries, and strawberries, seasoned with a touch of cinnamon and lemon zest, and paired with roasted pita chips.

Most students licked their plates clean and we never had leftovers. They loved each of these recipes! Now that they know eating healthy can also be delicious, they are excited about “eating a rainbow.”

About the Grantee

Isles Inc.

Founded in 1981, Isles, Inc. is a community development and environmental organization based in Trenton, New Jersey. With a mission to foster self-reliant families and healthy, sustainable communities, we design and develop effective services that support this mission and share what we learn with others who can make a difference.