The newest Rainbow Meal – Breakfast!

I have something to share with you!

At the end of last year we did 9 weeks of Rainbow Dinner(see below to links for each week).  My daughter got to choose three colors from the rainbow each week and I had to make dinner with those three colors.  Was it fun?  YES.  Was it hard?  YES.  But the goal was accomplished – she tried new foods and actually liked quite a few of them.

So when someone asked me why I stopped doing rainbow dinner, I didn’t have a good answer.  But then I realized we still did a rainbow meal – breakfast.

Breakfast is the hardest meal in our house.  We have 15 minutes to get breakfast on the table and eaten before we head off to school.  And that means frozen pancakes, mini bagels and oatmeal.  So imagine my delight when my daughter tried a smoothie sample at Central Market and LOVED IT.  Feeding off her excitement, we ran right over to Barnes & Noble, picked out a book of smoothie recipes and ran home to grab the blender.

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Smoothies can be pink, blue, yellow, even green(yes, I hide spinach in it) and she loves them all. I add a little honey or agave syrup to make it sweet(but not too sweet) and my daughter is excited about breakfast.  Breakfast has become fun and much more healthy – especially for me and my husband. (our breakfast was a cup of coffee and not much else).

So thank you to my fantastic friend who gave me the idea for rainbow dinner in the first place.  She has been doing smoothies with her kids for months…..thrilled to know this is another food success in our house!

The Final Rainbow Dinner of 2014

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Now that we have completed 8 successful weeks of Rainbow dinners, I decided change things up before the holidays to see how successful I was in introducing new foods. Rather than having my daughter choose colors, I asked her to choose the main ingredient for dinner.  I made one request  – no pasta.

She chose shrimp. Yes, SHRIMP. The one food that she would not eat for over 3 years. The one food that my husband and I love and has been missing from my kitchen for years. SHRIMP. I smiled.

For the last dinner, I chose green and white for the two other colors. I sauteed up the shrimp with salt, pepper, a little garlic and some ginger. I used bok choy and broccoli for green and then mushrooms for my white.  For me and my husband, I added a great stir fry sauce from Central Market.


I am proud to report that not only did she eat all of her shrimp and ask for more, but she ate all the broccoli and tried the mushrooms and the bok choy. There was no fighting at the table about taking a “no-thank you” bite.  Her dessert was a special black and white cookie from the local deli near our house.

I guess it is time to come up with another creative game for dinner starting next year….or do I even need one?

Rainbow Dinner – Challenge #8

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Red, Green and Purple. Rainbow Dinner #8 and rather than being super creative with food coloring, I am trying to use foods that maybe I would not ordinarily cook with for our family.

What is Rainbow Dinner? Every Monday I cook a meal that has three colors from the rainbow that my daughter chooses for me. The goal? Introduce new foods to my five-year old in the hope that she will start enjoying some new foods.

Green is one of the best colors to cook with since it is not only a common color for vegetables, but a healthy one.  Red, a little more difficult since options are mostly fruit and then purple, well, not as hard as blue but not that easy.

I was able to find purple potatoes at Whole Foods.  They were mixed with other colored, small roasting potatoes so that was perfect.  Green – Spinach.  She has never tried it and I love it in salads and sautéed with garlic.  Red – I guess rather than creating my own dish I will use something that fits into the holiday week perfectly.  A cous cous dish from the Whole Foods cold case with cranberries for the red.  Add some marinated chicken and I have a full meal!


I knew my husband would enjoy the meal so I was interested to see what my daughter thought about these new foods.  Green – spinach – “Gross”, Purple Potatoes – “they are not my thing” – (oh really?), and the cranberries – “Mom, I love cranberries!  I’ve had them before.”  As for my husband, he had never tried purple potatoes and enjoyed them.  It may have been because I smashed them and used garlic butter on top!  The good news – I guess cous cous with different colors in it can be added to the rotation!


Rainbow Dinner – Challenge #7

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Pink, blue and white. The 7th week of Rainbow Dinner and certain colors are becoming much harder to cook with for dinner.

What is Rainbow Dinner? Every Monday I cook a meal that has three colors from the rainbow that my daughter chooses for me. The goal? Introduce new foods to my five-year old in the hope that she will start enjoying some new foods.

White is usually easy – so many choices.  Potatoes, cauliflower, pasta, many options.  Pink, a bit harder.  I used food coloring on the pasta the first week, had shrimp for my pink for week 4 and now I had to come up with something new.  I wanted to serve a salad for dinner and make it on the lighter side.  What could I top it with?  Pink fruits…….?????  She likes strawberries and raspberries so that won’t work. Pomegranate seeds…PERFECT.  They are small and fun and definitely something new.  Now onto blue – the absolute hardest color to find for food.  Other than blue potatoes and blueberries, I am stuck.  But wait, she likes blueberries but maybe I can find a food she has never had that has blueberries in it.  I’m thinking, I’m thinking……..I walk up and down the aisles of the food store and it clicks.  Blueberry Blintzes.  Personally, not my favorite but a new food.  And it is blue on the inside and white on the outside.  And I can always serve some grilled chicken for my white if I “brown” the blintz too much.


Well, the pink was a hit.  From her reaction, pomegranate seeds are a winner and she ate the entire salad.  The blintzes – won’t be serving them again but she did try them.  And since I am not a fan, I guess I cannot blame her for not liking them.  BUT she did try them and that is the goal.

I think I need to figure out how to exclude blue from the rainbow…..