The story behind the rainbows
It all started on a park bench.
Janet Nezon, a mom of three and an educator with degrees in Nutritional Science and Health Promotion, found herself sitting on a park bench during a break at a clinical nutrition conference in New York City. After years as an academic instructor, teaching the science of nutrition, she was struck by a single yet powerful thought: "When it comes to nourishing our bodies well, the science is actually pretty simple, and there's nothing really new! People don't need more nutrition information - they need help to make sense of it all and they need a way to put the simple concepts into action. We all need to relax around food and get back to enjoying the simple pleasure of eating. The best place to start is with children; to help them cultivate a lifelong happy, healthy relationship with food and eating.”
This was the seed that sprouted into Rainbow Plate.
Since launching in 2012, Janet's seed idea has taken root and flourished. Rainbow Plate’s interactive, sensory-based food education programs have been delivered to more than 15,000 children, parents and educators in schools, child care centres, camps, health care and community organizations. The feedback has been clear and consistent: this simple, colourful and positive approach to food literacy is fun, engaging and… it works! A pilot research project conducted recently in collaboration with Ryerson University showed a statistically significant increase in kindergarten children’s willingness to try new foods and in their consumption of fruit and vegetables following their Rainbow Plate workshop experience! This research is due to be published in Spring 2019 in the Journal of Child Nutrition and Management.
The Rainbow Team
Founder, Program Director, BSc, MHSc
Janet is the Rainbow Lady behind this colourful movement.
With academic roots in nutritional science and health promotion and a long career as an educator and facilitator in a wide variety of settings, she's part mother-hen, part food education disruptor and part visionary force. She's an academic at heart and loves exploring the 'WHY' behind her fresh approach to food education. She is passionate about making a difference and determined to help create a healthier future. She’s grateful for the support and contributions of so many individuals who have helped to bring this colourful vision to life.
Rainbow Food Ambassadors
Meet the Rainbow Food Ambassadors. Their roles encompass everything from curriculum consulting to research; communications to networking; program creation and delivery to administrative and tech support, and even cheerleading! We call them Ambassadors because they each share and embrace Rainbow Plate’s vision and mission and they each contribute their own unique skills and passion. They're talented, experienced, wily, energetic and colourful. Since Rainbow Plate was launched, we’ve been fortunate to connect and work with an incredible team of remarkable people from a wide variety of backgrounds. Click the button below if you're interested in finding out how to join our Ambassador team!
What People Say
hear from parents
Since 2012, we have had the pleasure of working and connecting with hundreds of parents across Toronto. After each program we ask for their valuable feedback. Parents have astounded us with their gratitude for the Rainbow Plate Approach and its impact on their families.
Thank you so much for giving us the courage to go for it! As our girls get older and peer, social and media influences sneak in, we know they may struggle with healthy eating and body image. We want to give them the strongest base possible to have their own healthy thoughts, and your program is helping us to get there. Thank you."
---Meghan Lockington-Minns, Parent, Maurice Cody Elementary
“ I was a parent volunteer at one of the sessions you hosted for pre-school children this past week. My daughter came home that evening and looked at her sister's plate and told her she was missing colours on her plate (she started to explain to her older sister what she learned earlier in the day). That's when I knew what you taught resonated with her (and her classmates I'm sure). You've even changed the way I look at the foods on my plate :) I wish you continued success in reaching more kids & adults in rethinking what the foods on our plates mean to our health and wellness!”
---Anita, Parent, Richmond Hill Montessori School
“ I was fortunate enough to experience your rainbow extravaganza as a volunteer for my daughter's class. It was truly enjoyable even as an adult! Thank you for exposing children to "healthy options" in a world filled with much too many "unhealthy options". I was amazed that our son (now 7 years old) started eating purple cabbage when you introduced it to him 3years ago. You truly help set him on a path of trying new things in an exciting way. He was a VERY picky eater but has improved dramatically with time. Thank you for not only making a difference in our family but making an impact in these little individuals of the future."
---Roberta, Parent, Toronto Montessori School
HEAR FROM teachers
“I wanted to communicate how pleased our Toddler educators and students were with the Rainbow Plate experience at TMS School. The program was perfectly in line with the methodologies of our program; it was a seamless experience for our students. It seemed to me that you had a very captive audience!”
---Dina De Cotiis, Head of Toddler, Toronto Montessori School
“Janet's focus enabled practical discussion, strategies and ideas for our staff. She developed a positive environment, which allowed us to consider our curricular and in-class challenges in a very positive light; it was an uplifting and energizing day for us. We will be doing our best to include Janet in future professional development."
---Steve Weinberg, Head of Health and Physical Education, TanenbaumCHAT Kimel Campus
HEAR FROM health professionals
HEAR FROM camps
Download a PDF list of our current clients and testimonials.