Eat The Rainbow: Color Word Sort

Eat The Rainbow Color Word Sort, Mom Explores The Smokies

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This simple color card activity for kids teaches both color words and the golden rule of healthy eating: eat the rainbow.

As parents we all want the best for our kids. When it comes to nutrition, sometimes it’s hard to know what is best. That is largely due to the fact that food guidelines and recommendations are constantly changing.

First it was thought that too much fat caused heart disease. Now, it is believed that too many white carbohydrates, like enriched white bread and white rice, cause heart disease. 10 years from now, doctors may decide that heart disease is caused by something entirely different. Only time will tell.

What can we do to be sure our kids are eating healthy here and now?

Over the years, one nutritional guideline has never wavered: eat the rainbow.

What does it mean to eat the rainbow? Eating a rainbow essentially means to eat a variety of colorful whole foods. A whole is anything that is unprocessed or minimally processed. This can include things like whole fruits, whole vegetables, meats, full-fat dairy and whole grain breads and pastas.

Each type of food provides different types of nutrients, which is why we are supposed to eat a variety. Carrots are wonderful, but you cannot live off carrots alone. Feeding your kids a variety of colors will ensure that they are getting all of the necessary vitamins, minerals, proteins, healthy fats, and carbohydrates. Most importantly, set a good example by eating a variety of colorful foods, in front of your kids.

This Color Sorting Activity will help your kids visualize what it means to eat a rainbow.

Materials: (affiliate links below)

  • printable color cards
  • card stock or printer paper
  • a variety of whole foods that you already have on hand, such as apples, strawberries, grapes, bananas, celery, lettuce, grapes, whole grain bread)


Print and cut out the color cards.

Eat The Rainbow Color Word Sort, Mom Explores The Smokies

If your child is just learning colors, you will be using the colored cards. The primary focus of this activity is color matching, not reading color words.  Because the words are printed in color, it would be impossible for you to know if your child is actually reading or just matching.

If your child already knows her colors but is working on learning to read color words, you will be using the plain black word cards. Using plain black text ensures that the child is actually reading the word. Because all of the words look the same, there is no way for the child to guess.

eat the rainbow color cards 3, mom explores the smokies

For both activities, the child will be sorting the food into the appropriate color category. This is an excellent way to introduce the concept of eating a rainbow. You can reinforce what your child has learned in this activity, by allowing her to help you plan meals and snacks using a variety of colorful foods. Happy learning!

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