April 11, 2013 | Home >Kids in the Kitchen > Healthy Kids >Rainbow Ribbons

Rainbow Ribbons

The textures from fruits and vegetables is sometimes the only thing standing between your toddler and and a love for all things healthy! Even I sometimes have a tough time biting into a carrot that’s too big, or wanting to eat carrots that are too mushy from cooking.  Turning your veggies into ribbons, with the use of a vegetable peeler, may be a great way for kids to eat their vegetables without being turning their nose up before they even try it!

Not only is it important to find a way for our kids to enjoy veggies, it’s important for us to provide a variety of vegetables in different colors.  Each color means there is a different phytonutrient in that veggie, and all the phytonutrients play different roles in our health.  Eating the rainbow is a great way to get them all.

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

Creating ribbons from vegetables is a great assignment for the kids.  My 10 year old TJ was in charge of this one.

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

For this veggie side dish, we peeled:

  • Red peppers
  • Carrots
  • Yellow Squash
  • Asparagus
  • and shredded purple cabbage

The red peppers need to be cut open first, so you can use your peeler on the edge of a pepper, like this:

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

The asparagus takes a little practice. I watched Carla Hall do this super quickly at the festival this weekend, but for us, it took a few tries to get it right.

After all our veggies were peeled, we blanched them in some boiling water. Blanching is great!  Most vegetables keep their color, or even brighten up.  The finished veggies are not too raw, and not too cooked.

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

After only 3 minutes, we drained the vegetables and rinsed them with cold water.

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

Then, we tossed the veggies with some olive oil and parmesan. We like to keep it simple, and I’m guessing, so does your kids!

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies! Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies!

Make it a goal in your home to get a rainbow of vegetables this week! Here are some resources to keep track:

Rainbow Ribbons. Picky eaters? Try retexturing veggies! http://www.superhealthykids.com/rainbow-ribbons/

Rainbow Ribbons

Rainbow Ribbons
Serves: 5 servings
Prep Time: 15 m
Cook Time: 5 m


  • 1 medium – bell pepper, red
  • 1 medium – carrot
  • 1 medium – squash, summer
  • 1 medium – cabbage, red
  • 1 teaspoon – salt
  • 1 tablespoon – olive oil
  • 2 tablespoon – Parmesan cheese, grated


  1. Using a vegetable peeler, slice bell pepper, carrot, and squash into thin ribbons. Thinly slice cabbage.
  2. Bring a pot of water to boil. Stir in salt, then add veggies; boil for 2-3 minutes until cabbage begins to soften.
  3. Drain vegetables and rinse with cold water. Add oil, Parmesan, and additional salt to taste. Toss to coat.
  4. Eat immediately, or refrigerate until ready to serve.

Nutrition Facts

  • Nutrition per serving % daily value
  • Calories: 103 5%
  • Fat: 3 g 5%
  • Carb: 16 g 5%
  • Fiber: 4 g 16%
  • Protein: 3 g 6%
  • Sugar: 8 g
written by
Amy Roskelley

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We wanted to share this article from Huffington Post about a great nutrition website. Take a look: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/riva-greenberg/healthy-foods_b_2984715.html

You are absolutely right, it’s the textures and colors that attract the kids towards healthy and nutritious food. I love the idea of blanching the veggie ribbons instead of boiling them.

I love the post.

abigail says:

I made this for dinner tonight and it was a huge hit with my veggie-averse 6 year old! Just wanted to say thanks. He loved the rainbow, and I think the mild texture helped so much due to the thinness and the blanching. He will eat peppers and carrots but NEVER asparagus or cabbage and he ate both, readily! I’m always trying to get more veggies into him and this was perfect. So creative. Thank you so much for this recipe!

What a great idea! Fab post!

Fern says:

These look great. I think I will give it a try for myself! I like to try and incorporate as much color into my diet so I love the idea of these rainbow ribbons!

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artsyblonde says:

This was soo Yummy we had it today I saw the post like yesterday and I was like Yes must try !! I didn’t want to commit till I made it and I did and it was super easy and so Yum!!

Amy says:

Yeah! so glad you liked it Artsyblonde!

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Rita says:

Your just stripped the veggies of a lot of nutrients by boiling and rinsing peeled veggies! Steaming lightly would preserve the nutrients while keeping color and texture…

Thanks for posting this article. Here we can get a very nice tip about making our veggies more suitable for our toddlers. Cutting veggies in ribbons make the food more loving and also it will be easy to eat for toddlers.

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