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Kids Prefer a Variety of Colorful Foods

Written by Vanessa Cunningham | January 24, 2012

A study that was published in the January 2012 issue of Acta Paediatrica reveals that children prefer plates with a variety of foods—seven items and six different colors, to be exact.

While reading about this “discovery,” I was automatically brought back to a photo that I recently found on Pinterest. A 2-year-old’s birthday party featured “toddler buffet” trays, which showcased a variety of finger foods perfect for tiny hands, using—gasp—ice-cube trays. I immediately fell in love with the idea and was jumping at the chance to use it myself.

Since the results of the study suggest that we should be offering our children a variety of foods at every meal, I thought it was time to whip out the “toddler buffet” trays and try it for myself.

Vegan meals that include fruits, veggies, nuts, and beans offer an abundance of color and choices for picky eaters. With dozens of potential combinations, we have a virtually limitless list of possibilities. So the next time you’re looking to expand your child’s palate, try out the “toddler buffet” tray and incorporate some new foods alongside old favorites.

What tips do you have for introducing new foods into your child’s meals? We’d love to hear, so share with us in the comments section below!

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  • Foods for Kids says:

    This is super cool idea. My daughter is very selective for food.I have noticed a couple of time, when I have different items like green pea ,water melon,orange,apple etc, she eats so well..almost everything.This ice tray arrangement is great.I am going to try this.
    Thanks Ashley

  • Roselle Dentist says:

    That is a great idea. I’ll have to recommend this to some people I know.

  • Rachel says:

    I love the idea for the ice cube tray! I am always trying to get my 16 month old son to try new foods and I have noticed that when there is more variety, he shows more interest. When there are only 2-3 food types/colors, he picks one and the rest remain uneaten. Going to give trying 6 different colors a shot!


  • Camelia says:

    ..i do act as ..i eat by myself and i am alone..after a wile my doughter will get curious and eventually try to ask me for a little taste of my did work for several times ..not allways..

  • Sarah says:

    I’ve found that giving my kids their own water bottle is a great way to keep them drinking water al day. There are some really cute stainless steel ones with their favorite characters on them. Also, mine love anything they can dip. A sandwich cut into strips and dipped in soup, fruit slices dipped in peanut butter, veggies dipped in humus, you get the idea. One of their favorites, though, is applesauce with color. Strawberry puree makes pink princess applesauce and blueberry puree makes blue Optimus Prime applesauce (a stretch, I know, but he’s 4). Also, anything on a stick. Fruits, veggies, cheese….all taste better with a toothpick.

  • chander kumar soni says:

    so nice info.

  • Kathleen says:

    One thing I like to do to get kids drinking water is having a *special cup*, one the they make and design and write their name on in any creative way they choose, this makes them want to drink water, which can be quite a chore when you’re in competition with all those sugary chemical beverages! Another fun (tricky way to get kids to eat veggies) -smoothies!! Add a cup of baby spinach to that banana strawberry “shake”. and last but not least, As this article states, kids love color, so why not slice up some carrots, pepper, celery etc, and put it in a colorful “french fry type of container” you make these with colored construction paper, put stickers on it, serve with a little cup of hummus! or go to your local 99 cents store and buy a bag of b-day party hats and use those! before you know it, they will be asking for this “junk” food can even use ice-cream cones, the little ones, those are a treat and aren’t to bad for ya if you eat them with a hearty side of veggies. ….the bottom line is; presentation counts for a lot with kids and adults, so when you serve healthy food, make it pretty and fun!

  • Ashley-P says:

    Kathleen: Feel free! Thanks for asking. :)

  • Kathleen says:

    @ Ashley Palmer, I would love to put this article up on my blog, would that be ok, if I added the link?? and give due credit of course!

  • Kathleen says:

    WHAT A GREAT IDEA!!! I think this is really fun! As a Nutritional Consultant, I’m always looking for new ways to help parents to get there kids eating right, perfect!

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