“Red and yellow and pink and green, Purple and orange and blue, I can eat a rainbow, eat a rainbow, eat a rainbow too.”
With apologies to composer Arthur Hamilton, whose original children’s song was about singing a rainbow, his lyrics bring to mind last week’s annual Rainbow Week at West Jefferson Elementary School. Students tried colorful fruits and vegetables, some that they had never eaten before.
Monday was blue and purple day, Tuesday was orange day, Wednesday was green day, Thursday was yellow and white day and Friday was red day. Think of the endless fruits and veggies possibilities — students tried blueberry parfaits, oranges, green beans, Yellow Delicious apples, strawberries and more.
Students wore the color of the day, answered riddles and created a colorful paper chain to line the school’s hallways. The colorful activities bring awareness about the superpowers of fruits and vegetables, according to health aide Chris Olsen.
“I think a lot of times, kids don’t try new fruits and vegetables,” she said, “and it’s important for them to understand that eating the rainbow is the healthy way to live.”
Because of pandemic protocols, some of the food offerings weren’t as robust as in past years, Olsen said, when students were given the opportunity to try jicama and dried apricots in addition to some of the more standard fruits and vegetables.
“Some love it,” Olsen said of the new experiences, “and some say thanks but no thanks. It makes me proud when they try something new.”
Kindergartner Bonnie Thornhill said she loved the Rainbow Week tradition, noting that she really liked fruits and vegetables, while first grader Lily Keil says she always eats a rainbow.
Indi Pineau, a fourth grader, is no stranger to the school’s Rainbow Week, understanding the benefits of eating a range of foods, including fruits and vegetables.
Second grader Lindy Mandelbaum said she loved trying new foods, and this year she tried asparagus. She thought it would be “really gross,” but it was pretty good, she added.
On St. Patrick’s Day, she tried corned beef, and while it wasn’t a fruit or vegetable, it was pretty good, too.
“You should try new fruits and vegetables,” Lindy said, “because you’ll never know if you like it, and it’s good for you, too. When you eat healthy foods, it can help you grow stronger.”