This really helped to entice our two children, Max and Chloe, to try different colours of foods.

At any meal, if they ate a food that was a certain colour they would get a smiley face. They didn’t have to eat the whole thing, they just needed to try it. The ‘other’ category on the chart was for foods that are not a common colour, like blue for blueberries or purple for red cabbage etc.

We never put pressure on them to finish their plate or to eat anything in fact. We’re trying to teach them to listen to their bodies and work out if they are hungry or not. However, kids being kids, they do also need to try new things.

We had this chart on a wall by the dining room table, painted with magnetic paint and then over-painted with blackboard paint. It worked well and as they have now mastered the rainbow, we have moved on to using it for other things (like household tasks, yay, happy mum!).

Max and Chloe would get given a prize if they completed a whole column of food colours. Green was often the last colour to obtain, as you can imagine, but this system really did work for us and it helped make mealtimes fun for picky eaters.

We always made sure the prizes they received were small items (maybe $2 Shop toys) and were never food incentives. We feel if you offer food as a reward it could lead to problems later in life like over-reliance on treat foods and/or substances like alcohol etc.