By Natalie Grebe
This recipe gives teachers many opportunities to incorporate learning into snack time. While making the snack, utilize the time to review colors, discuss how the foods you chose are grown and discuss why vegetables are healthy. Have children count out ingredients and discuss textures such as crunchy and smooth. The Crunchy Rainbow Wrap could be made with preschoolers, keeping the lesson focused on colors and counting, or with older children, delving deeper into farming and how foods are grown.
The recipe provides flexibility in the required ingredients. Teachers can choose foods that are seasonal, more readily available, and substitute foods other than those suggested here.
There will be children who look at the ingredients you provide and say, “I’m not eating that!” This is a great opportunity for the teacher to encourage those children to try just one or two foods that are new to them. There are also no required amounts to be added to the wrap, so children can add what they are willing and still enjoy the experience.
1 small tortilla wrap per child
Light cream cheese
Healthy foods in a variety of colors, arranged in separate bowls on table where child can reach. For example:
RED: pepper strips, beans, sliced cherry tomatoes
ORANGE: carrot shreds, cheddar cheese
YELLOW: corn, pepper strips
GREEN: shredded lettuce, baby spinach, peas
PURPLE: radicchio, shredded cabbage
After the child chooses a tortilla wrap, have them “Paint the Sky” with the cream cheese, spreading it on the center of the wrap. Encourage them to create a rainbow on their wrap by choosing items from the bowls to place in rows on top of the cream cheese. Leave some room around the edges. Show child how to fold in the sides and roll their wrap. Cut the wrap in half and allow the child to “taste the rainbow.”
As always, follow the recommended steps to sanitize the surface where snack will be prepared and have children wash hands before and after they make their snack.
This recipe was provided by the USDA. Team Nutrition, a program provided by the USDA Food and Nutrition Service, offers a number of resources, including recipes and information for foods that children should consume to meet daily nutritional guidelines.
More information can be found by visiting their website, About Team Nutrition.