This post was sponsored by the National 4-H Council as part of an Influencer Activation for Influence Central and all opinions expressed in my post are my own.
We have more than one sweet tooth in our home and being right in the middle of a busy holiday season, it’s important I’m making an effort to balance the meals in our home. With events, cookie exchanges, baking for fun, and lots of sugary deliveries from friends we have our fair share of access to treats this month. Spending time in the kitchen together has been equally as fun if we’re making an Italian dinner or baking cookies so I’m making a conscious effort to prepare more well balanced meals with my daughters, like our Rainbow Veggies Kid Favorite Roasted Vegetables Recipe, than setting out the sprinkles. Don’t get me wrong, we love a good cookie decorating session full of sticky fingers and a big kitchen mess but it’s so important to empower my daughters to know how to make healthy decisions on their own for lifelong skills. The 4-H Food Smart Families program also helps teach how to make healthy living a part of everyday routines by providing nutrition education, cooking skills and food budgeting skills to families in need. My daughters have never wondered where there next meal is coming from but nearly 16 million children do live in food insecure homes. 4-H is helping make a difference by hoping to expand the Food Smart Families program across the entire 4-H Extension network that exists in every county across the country.
It’s been a few years since my days teaching in a preschool classroom but with a very busy toddler in our home, I haven’t lost my ability to pull out a quick song and dance to get most things accomplished during the day. Making smart food choices and encouraging healthy eating is a perfect opportunity to turn mealtime into a fun sing along with the rainbow song.
“Red, orange, yellow, green, blue, purple, the colors of the rainbow, that’s what my teacher said, hey!”
Rainbow veggies match the colors of the rainbow in the song so we had quite a few learning opportunities happening in our home this week while little sister helped prepare this kid favorite roasted vegetable recipe.
With the Arizona fall weather providing a perfect time to be outside, we’ve been spending weekends visiting local farmer’s markets and picking up fresh produce. Proper nutrition is so important for growing minds and bodies but sadly, nearly 16 million children live in households that are food insecure. Food insecure households do not have consistent access to food throughout the year. This is always troubling but especially so during the holiday season. Providing meals is a short term answer but for food insecure families, empowering children with the tools they need to make healthy living a part of their everyday lives provides long term relief. The 4-H Food Smart Families program is helping make a difference by teaching families how to plan, shop and prepare healthy meals on a budget.
I grew up participating in 4-H and my 4-H experience left me with many lifelong skills I have passed along to my own children. The Food Smart Families program is another way 4-H is continuing to work in local communities for positive impacts and differences for today’s youth.
Rainbow Veggies Recipe
- fresh produce in each color of the rainbow
- olive oil
- garlic salt
The Rainbow Veggies recipe changes every time it’s prepared in our home depending on the fresh produce we picked up from local farmer’s markets. This week we used the following:
- Red: bell pepper
- Orange: carrots
- Yellow: corn
- Green: broccoli
- Blue: cauliflower
- Purple: eggplant
The cauliflower is actually purple raw but roasted it turns more of a blue color which also turned into a fascinating science learning opportunity for my daughters. They paid extra attention to the differences in the vegetables before they were roasted and after they came out of the oven to see if they had changed colors and textures.
Prepare vegetables by slicing, dicing, etc. Each vegetable is different and preparation will vary. Lightly spread olive oil on bottom of cookie sheet. Arrange vegetables in rows separated by color in order of the rainbow pattern: red, orange, yellow, green, blue and purple. Sprinkle top with garlic salt.
Bake for 25 minutes at 425°. Allow to cool and serve warm. The colored cauliflower was new in our home and it was the first rainbow veggie little sister wanted to try. She gave it a big thumbs up and said it tasted, “blue, no wait, purple.” Regardless of the color, I was a happy mom because she was trying a new vegetable with no arguments and we had a fun afternoon of singing about the rainbow.
Since 2011, UnitedHealthcare and 4-H have partnered together to deliver healthy living programs to more than 340,000 youth and their families in 14 states.
Do you do anything special to make sure your children are eating healthy during the holiday season to balance out the sweets?