A colourful, sensory-based approach to food literacy education in the early years

Rainbow Food Explorers Toolkit Cover Image.png

We’re thrilled to announce the launch of this rich resource, which captures all the elements of Rainbow Plate’s joyful, evidence-based approach and programs. This beautiful binder is packed with 120 pages of information, ideas, creative resources, practical tips and simple, hands-on activities to enable you to instantly bring food literacy education to life wherever you’re working with young children! 

Through the experiences in this toolkit, children will: 

• Learn to use all their senses to explore and experience a variety of different fruits and vegetables.

• Learn to use positive and creative language to describe foods.

• Enjoy discovering the wonderful sensory properties of different fruits and vegetables.

• Gain repeated exposure to a variety of fresh fruits and vegetables in a positive and pressure-free way - a strategy that has been proven to increase their willingness to eat these foods in the future!

• Learn about the ways in which food connects different aspects of the world around them, so that they can become ambassadors for a healthy and sustainable future.

A flexible and adaptable resource:

This toolkit has been designed like a “pantry” of ingredients that you can draw from, to create your ideal “recipe” for success. You can use it in the way that best suits your unique setting, and the ages, cultural background, needs and interests of your children and your community.

What You’ll find inside:

Click to download

Click to download

Background and Supporting Information

• The Rainbow Plate Approach - a peek into our colourful world and the principles behind our innovative approach to food education.

• Sensory-Based Food Education in the Early Years: What the Research Says - a summary and some academic references highlighting the evidence behind this approach and program.

• A Mindful Approach Towards Food - our philosophy regarding the use of food in the classroom, food insecurity and food waste.

Implementation Tools and Resources

• Food Safety and Practical Tips - information about classroom set up, food preparation, safety and other considerations.

• Introducing the Rainbow Food Explorer Concept and Program - some creative ideas to support you in introducing the concepts to children and creating a Rainbow Food Explorer environment in your setting.

• Tips for Promoting Positive Food Experiences - practical tips and techniques to help keep adult interactions with children positive and pressure-free.

• Parent & Caregiver Resources - templates that you can customize, copy and share, to make it easy for you to connect with and engage parents, caregivers and community members.




There’s a rainbow of 30 fruit and vegetable sensory activity cards for you! Each one supports the exploration of one type of fruit or vegetable. The cards can be removed from the binder and are printed on durable, synthetic material that you can wipe off, so you can feel relaxed about using them during food experiences! Each card contains the following sections:

  • Possible Discoveries - some possible takeaway points for this fruit or vegetable

  • Materials Required - estimated amounts for a group of 10 children

  • Sensory Exploration Activities - suggested activities designed to facilitate exploration of the fruit

    or vegetable, sorted into two categories: exploring the whole fruit or vegetable and taking it apart.

  • Questions to Support Exploration -prompts and questions to help you support your Rainbow

    Food Explorers in playful inquiry, discovery and reflection. We’ve grouped these questions by the

    senses: look, feel, smell, taste, hear

  • Building Vocabulary -a list of descriptive words specific to that fruit or vegetable. Again,

    these are organized under the different sensory categories: look, feel, smell, taste, hear

  • Fun Facts - a few interesting tidbits of information about each fruit or vegetable!

  • Extend the Exploration - suggested activities that are unique to that fruit or vegetable. They’re different on each card and typically fall into one or more of the cross-curricular categories.

Cross-Curricular and Supplementary Materials

Lots of ideas and activities to inspire you to use fruits and vegetables throughout all areas of your curriculum, to build exposure, spark enthusiasm and cultivate connections with food!


These activities are organized under the following categories:

  • Literacy/Language

  • Numeracy

  • Science

  • Real World Experiences (Including local food, food waste)

  • Music/Dramatic Play/Movement

  • Art

  • Edible Exploration

  • How to Explore Anything: Basic Sensory Exploration Techniques

  • Resources

Introductory Price: $375 CAD (applicable tax and shipping extra)

*Canadian and US orders can be processed simply by clicking the “Buy Now” button above. For other countries or large bulk orders, please email us at hello@rainbowplate.com and we’ll be happy to help you!