Our mission at Foodtree is to connect people with great food. With this in mind we’re highlighting individuals and organizations we think do a fantastic job of contributing, promoting, building, and transforming the food system. We call them Food Advocates. Would you like to participate? Fill out our interview here and we’ll follow up! Today we chat with Kia Robertson, author and creator of Today I Ate A Rainbow, which turns healthy eating into a game for parents to encourage their children to establish great eating habits!
Tell us about yourself:
I am a mom to an amazing 8yr old daughter, the wife of a fantastic husband who is also my business partner in our 3 companies and I'm a recovering picky eater!!!
I created an interactive game called Today I Ate A Rainbow for my daughter and it was so successful that I decided to turn it into a product that could help other families set healthy eating habits!
Tell us about your project/business:
We are so proud of our product Today I Ate A Rainbow, it's a game that gets kids ASKING to eat a rainbow of colorful fruits and veggies every day! Using a rainbow as a guide, this product makes it easy to understand that kids need to be eating at least 5 different colored fruits and vegetables everyday...they need to Eat A Rainbow! Each color group is packed with a unique set of vitamins, minerals and phytonutrients so growing bodies benefit the most from eating from each group.
The Rainbow Kit is an easy to understand concept for children aged 3 and up. It comes with 4 sets of tracking magnets, a laminated fridge chart, a color coded shopping list and a book called The Rainbow Bunch.
Our website is full of tips on how to get kids eating a rainbow, suggestions for picky eating, recipe ideas, insightful blog posts, our kids cooking video series called In The Rainbow Kitchen and our free downloads such as coloring sheets, certificates and our new and free Today I Tried chart that is a visual tool that it can take at least 10 exposures to a new food before it's accepted!
Hearing from happy parents and educators is always the best part of this job...I know what it's like to be a picky eater and I also know what it's like to be a parent who just wants the best for their child so it means a lot to me that our product is making a difference and helping family live healthier lives!
Has your relationship with food evolved over time? How?
Well this is going to sound rather ironic considering the company I started... but I was an extremely picky eater for most of my life...I rarely ate any vegetables and only ate a few fruits! My mom says I'd go so far as to pick the grated carrots out of carrot cake.
Becoming a mother changed all that in a hurry! I wanted to ensure that she grew up with healthy eating habits and I wanted to be a good role model for her. So I started reading everything I could get my hands on that talked about healthy eating! It has been a long and sometimes uncomfortable journey for me.
Today I eat mainly fruits and vegetables, I juice daily and we make at least 90% of our meals from scratch! I have never felt healthier, happier or stronger than I do now!
What is your earliest memory about food?
My earliest food memory would probably be when I was two years old having a picnic with my mom in our backyard on a warm sunny day eating strawberries and feeling the juice drip down my face :)
What’s most important to you when it comes to buying food – local, organic, fair trade, GMO-free, etc?
All of the above :) If I had to choose I would say that supporting local farmers is the most important to me followed closely by organics and then GMO-free foods. It is all so important and makes a difference so we do our best to buy wisely!
What is the one thing you’d like to see change about the food system?
I would like to see small organic farms getting government subsidies and support from their local communities. I think it's time we focus on our food choices and how what we choose impacts the earth, our health and our economy. Every family makes a difference when it comes to voting with our forks!
What is special about food where you live? What’s one thing you would change?
We live in an area that is full of vineyards, orchards and farms...we can walk 5 blocks to a local farm and get our eggs, organic honey and veggies. Just down the road from them is a wonderful berry farm. I especially love picking a crispy juice apple off the tree at my parents orchard!
One thing I would change...I'd love to see more organic farms in the area!
What are your favorite ingredients to use when preparing a meal?
My favorite ingredients to use would have to be garlic, olive oil, onions and lemons! One or all of those ingredients are in most of our meals!
What are your favorite foods?
My favorite foods: well I recently discovered the joys of juicing so I'm really enjoying all kinds of vegetables and fruits that way! Other than juicing I love my husband's fresh homemade bread, pretty much all fruits and I love pasta!
Other than food, what are you particularly excited about right now?
I am really excited about a new movie out called Hungry For Change, a new book called French Kids Eat Everything from Karen Le Billon (read her Food Advocate interview), and the fact that Spring is finally here and we can start planning out our garden! Oh and I am really enthralled with Pinterest :)
Tell us about a food-related project that has inspired you:
I find Jamie Oliver's Food Revolution very inspiring! We watched his tv show as a family, I like to take part in their twitter parties and I am really excited about his upcoming Food Revolution Day on May 19th!
Where can people find you both online and offline?
I'm sharing our rainbow eating message on our