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Rainbow Lunches for Kids (and adults!)

Posted: August 7th, 2009 | Author: | Filed under: Bento, Lunches for Kids | Tags: , , , | 12 Comments »
Photo: Jewelmaker

Some of the best ways of getting kids to eat healthy food you pack in their lunch box is to make it look exciting! Try using a rainbow of foods to brighten their day. Here are some easy suggestions for rainbow colored fruits, vegetables, and other tid-bits you can use to make a fulfilling and colorful lunch for the little ones.

White: white rice, mushrooms, cauliflower, potatoes, butter beans, cheese cubes
Black: black beans, olives, black rice
Pink: pink grapefruit
Red: beets, cherries, red peppers, strawberries, tomatoes
Orange: apricots, carrots, oranges, orange peppers, peaches, pumpkin
Yellow: yellow peppers, bananas, summer squash, pineapple
Green: broccoli, green peppers, spinach, green grapes, lettuce, cucumber, peas
Blue: blueberries, blackberries
Purple: plums, grapes, eggplant, purple potatoes, purple cabbage
Brown: almonds, walnuts, chocolate chips (in small quantity!)

Don’t forget the dipping sauce – yogurt for fruits, or a simple vinaigrette for vegetables. You can either use a small separate tupperware for the sauce, or use a silicone muffin cup right in the container with the rest of the food.

But wait a second – rainbow lunches aren’t just for kids – eating a variety of different colored fruits and vegetables provides essential nutrients and enhances any diet – and let’s face it – wouldn’t it be kind of exciting to open up your own rainbow lunch after a hard morning of work?

What other tricks do you use to get your kids to eat their lunch?

Photo: Jewelmaker
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12 Comments on “Rainbow Lunches for Kids (and adults!)”

  1. 1 hrga said at 3:32 pm on October 9th, 2009:


  2. 2 heather picton said at 12:06 pm on May 13th, 2010:

    Love the idea!!!!!!!!!

  3. 3 Chariese said at 11:31 am on September 12th, 2010:

    I would love a whole book of presented healthy lunch ideas like this. One question… many servings of a complete protien per day should children be getting? My child is 5. We allways have meat at dinner only, but I have been packing his lunches with meat and letting him skip meat (unless he wants it) at dinner. Is it ok to have pack lunch without meat, or will I get negative responses from school for it?

  4. 4 Sam (The Second Lunch) said at 11:39 am on September 12th, 2010:

    Hi Chariese,

    Well I’ll just have to think about writing one! Thank you!
    The protein question is tough. I’m not a registered dietitian, but I am a health coach – and getting enough protein is really not as much as a problem as it is made out to be. (Particularly if you are eating meat at dinner). You can get protein from many sources, including beans, whole grains, quinoa, etc – although I’m not a vegetarian, most of my protein comes from non-meat sources, personally.

    I don’t think you’ll get any flack for a meat free lunch. (I rarely had meat packed for me as a child – it’s safer in a lunch box to go meat free anyway) – you can certainly get protein without meat. Nut butters are a good source (and kids tend to like them) – you could do it in a sandwich, and beans and whole grains make great kid friendly salads that hold up well in the lunch box.

  5. 5 jamie said at 10:13 pm on October 24th, 2010:

    Hi! I love this posting! Is that colored rice in the center of the dish? How did you do it?

    Thank you!

  6. 6 Comit said at 6:58 pm on January 17th, 2011:

    Omg!!!!!!!!!!!!!!that is so cute I love it !!!!!!!!!!!

  7. 7 Dager said at 6:59 pm on January 17th, 2011:


  8. 8 Cloak said at 7:01 pm on January 17th, 2011:

    What’s in the middle of the dish

  9. 9 Ludicrous Mama said at 9:25 am on March 20th, 2011:

    Chariese – The Food Pyramid has a customizer for kids 5 and under, based on age and activity level. and there’s a goal chart for kids 6-11 with daily recommendations.

  10. 10 Ludicrous Mama said at 9:27 am on March 20th, 2011:

    My daughter loves her bento meals, and when we’re home, I try and do at least one meal a week in a muffin tin (google Muffin Tin Meals.) She loves the novelty of it, and the little bits of many foods appeal to her. Plus anything with a pick in it! And because her veggies are presented just as creatively as the fruits, she eats them more often than not.

  11. 11 LunchBag: Rainbow of Nutrition | PureGoodness said at 10:36 am on July 19th, 2011:

    […] is something I want to pass on to my kids.  I found this picture and idea for lunch boxes that I’d like to put into practice this coming school […]

  12. 12 Healthy & Fun School Lunches said at 4:53 pm on October 27th, 2014:

    […] Healthy Lunch Ideas: rice, tomatoes, strawberries, carrots, oranges, cauliflower, squash, pineapple, snap peas, grapes, […]

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