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Rainbow Roll Ups
March is National Nutrition Month and Rhett and I have been celebrating by "eating the rainbow"!
This recipe is actually a great one for any day of the year but has a special festive feel for St. Patrick's Day. Rainbow Roll Ups are fun and easy to make, packed with nutrition from brightly colored vegetables, and provide a fun learning opportunity for little ones. Below you can find the recipe and a few photos of Rhett making one independently in his learning tower….with several test tastes along the way.
Ingredients (per wrap)
+ 1 large whole grain wrap
+ 2-3 Tbsp. of goat cheese and/or hummus
+ 1 small handful of baby spinach
+ 3-4 red, orange, and yellow pepper spears
+ 2-3 eggplant spears, with the skin on
Lay the wrap out and have your child spread the goat cheese and/or hummus onto it. Then have them lay the spinach leaves on top and then add the other veggies. You can help them roll it up as tight as possible and then cut it into 1.5-2" pieces. Make it a fun lunch and enjoy bite size pieces of your colorful roll up together served with a glass of golden milk as your pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.
"Kids in the Kitchen" Learning Notes
Letter recognition and letter sounds: For this recipe we focused on the letter "R" for RAINBOW and ROLL. I had a flashcard with the letter "R" on it and we talked about the sound the letter makes and then other words that start with the same sound like my son's name: RHETT, as well as RED and ROUND.
Colors: For this recipe we talked about many colors and we sang our favorite rainbow song. It is just a song I made up years ago that names all the colors of the rainbow. You could have fun making up a song with your child while putting the wrap together. I also had flashcards showcasing the various colors and paired them up with the vegetables for Rhett to notice. If your child is still learning their colors you can put colored flash cards out and point to them and the vegetable that is the same color while saying the color name a few times. This repetition is a safer learning style for young children than being put on the spot to name their colors. Young children thrive on feeling safe and secure and if we make them feel less than that they may shy away from learning. If your child knows their colors already then you can say "Can you get the red pepper for me?" and they will experience great pride in the autonomy of getting what you have asked for.
Shapes and Size: This recipe is a really fun one for teaching about/comparing shapes and sizes. Rhett and I talked about how the wrap and the end product cut pieces are both ROUND…but one was a large circle and the others became small circles.
Texture/Solid: Rhett had a blast licking the SMOOTH goat cheese off of his fingers and test tasking the CRUNCHY peppers before setting them into the wrap. If your child is a fussy eater creating a recipe like this one is a really safe environment for them to try new things. Being up at the counter in the learning tower doesn't feel like a true meal time and children are more likely to take a bite knowing that they can just set the rest down for the recipes if they don't care for it.
Numbers and Mathematical Skills: Before starting our recipe, we COUNTED the number of colors we had going into our wrap and as we added each vegetable we COUNTED the number of each type going into the wrap. For older children you can talk about addition and subtraction by adding and taking away items and even division or fractions as you cut the wrap up.
Creating/Imagination/Experimenting: This activity takes great imagination to think about creating a true rainbow of food. Children love to pretend so discussion flowed easily while we made the wrap up. You can take this time to talk about how real rainbows are made or how eating a variety of colors of food helps us to stay healthy and everything in between!