Whenever I used to ask my kiddos what they want for dinner, I already knew what they were going to say: the answer was always "pasta." They even asked for it one time for breakfast. Getting my kids to branch out from their comfort zone and try anything but "arms" (that's what my 4-year-old calls pasta elbows) was such a struggle. I never wanted to force them to eat adventurously but wanted their curiosity to inspire them instead.
I read somewhere that kids need to see and try foods three or four times in order for them to feel familiar, so I decided to bombard them with an eyeful of variety. I got creative and started making rainbow meals. The idea is that each plate has a food that represents every color of the rainbow. The concept is actually great for adults too, and I found I was eating more of a variety as well. I kept their colors separate using divided plates and silicone muffin cups — all hell would break loose if their sweet potatoes touched their quinoa — but for the grown-ups, I'd mix our foods together into big colorful bowls we couldn't wait to eat.
Luckily, Mother Nature has the naturally bold-colored foods that contain all the good-for-you vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants you need, so focus on fruits, veggies, nuts, and whole grains. For some vibrant inspiration, this is the list I use to create my rainbow meals. Choose one or two foods from each color category (bonus points for mixing up textures), and get ready for a sight and flavor explosion.