Literacy in the Kitchen: End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad

My kids help in the kitchen all of the time.  Sometimes, I just step back and observe all the great literacy skills (along with math, science and social skills) they are developing as we work together on a cooking project.  I’m always so energized to think of more activities to help develop literacy in the kitchen.

Full Disclosure:  I was provided a copy of End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad for review.  All opinions and ideas expressed are my own!

We get our greatest creative cooking inspiration from books for kids.  This week we read, End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad from the Kitchen Club Kids series by Eluka Moore, Larry Puzniak and Marianne Welsh.  It’s a fun book for preschoolers who are learning about colors, counting and following directions.  The story introduces the reader to the ingredients used when making a  fruit salad.  Along the way, color words and numbers are emphasized.  The end of the book includes a recipe for rainbow fruit salad.

End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad

After enjoying End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad several times, we came up with a few literacy activities to go along with the book.  We then created a Christmas Fruit Salad perfect for this holiday season.

First, we brainstormed fruits that were red, green and white.  Brainstorming words that fit into categories is a great skill that will help with future spelling, writing and reading development.  My 3 year-old said strawberries, apples, grapes, and raspberries for red.  Kiwi, strawberry tops, grapes, and apples for green.  White was a little tougher.  I asked him to think about fruits that were white inside.  He eventually came up with bananas and apples.  We had a good conversation about other items he named that were the right color but didn’t fit into our fruit category.  Lots of thinking skills happening in this activity!  Here is the shopping list we finally settled on for our trip to the store.

Shopping list for beginning writers from

Next, we went shopping.  I gave him a list of ingredients we were going to need to make our Christmas Fruit Salad.  I included the word and picture.  As we found each ingredient, he colored in the box next to the correct ingredient on his list.  This was a great pre-writing skill to practice.

Sorting fruits before making fruit salad from

Once we got home we sorted the fruits onto color construction paper sheets that I had labeled with each color word.  We talked about the first letter and sound of each color word as we worked.

Christmas Fruit Salad- literacy and recipe ideas from

Finally, we made our fruit salad.  I wrote out a simple recipe for us to follow that included counting practice similar to the style of The End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad.  My boys helped to wash, cut, count and mix.  Here is the recipe we used.

Christmas Fruit Salad

In a bowl, mix the following:

1 green kiwi cut into 6 slices.

Add 3 handfuls of red pomegranate seeds.

2 apples are needed next.  Slice the red apple into 7 pieces.  Slice the green apple into 8 pieces.

Plop in 4 red raspberries.

Cut a banana into 9 white slices.

Add 10 red grapes.

Stir 5 times with a spoon.  Scoop evenly into the bowls and enjoy!

I was really pleased that in this season of cookies and candy, we were able to come up with a fun and healthy Christmas snack.  These activities would work well at home or in the classroom.

If you enjoy End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad, also look for Garden Safari Vegetable Soup and Feed Your Senses Homemade Bread by the same authors through Bread + Butter Publishing that will be coming out soon.

Inspired for more literacy in the kitchen fun?  Don’t miss our Family Dinner Book Club series beginning January 2014.  Join the Family Dinner Book Club Facebook page for all the updates and fun!

What books have inspired you to cook in the kitchen with kids?  I’d love to hear your comments.

About Jodie Rodriguez

Jodie Rodriguez is a mom of two young boys and an early childhood/elementary educator with over 18 years of experience. Jodie's passion is helping parents, teachers, librarians and anyone else interested in nurturing our youngest readers.


  1. Hi Jodie,
    Another great post. Your children are very lucky with the stimulating environment you are providing for their learning.
    I was interested to note the fruits you used in your Christmas fruit salad.
    In mine I use some the same and a few different:
    Red: watermelon, strawberries, cherries, raspberries, red apples
    Green: kiwi fruit, honeydew melon, green apples
    White: bananas, lychees
    Gold: mango, rockmelon, pineapple
    Your fruit salad is a treat for the eyes as well as the taste buds. I’m sure you will all enjoy it.

    • Oh Norah, I love the gold element! That will be in our next version that I’m sure we will be making again this week. My boys were eating the ingredients the whole time we were trying to get our salad mixed together!

  2. Looks delicious!

  3. Thank you so much for stopping by our FB Playful Preschool Share day. What a fantastic activity. I have shared a link back to this post here I will be making this salad with my kids this week!

  4. What a fun idea to get kids counting, learning colors, and in the kitchen! Would also be a great way to introduce them to new fruits. Thanks for sharing with us at the Foodies and Crafties Soiree!

  5. Your Christmas Fruit Salad is one of my Feature this week on the Foodies and Crafties Soiree! Thanks so much for sharing!

  6. Great idea to bring literacy into the kitchen!

    I’ve featured it this week on the Sunday Showcase: Fun ways to learn at Christmas


  1. […] Just ask Jodie, a mom of 2 little boys, an early childhood & elementary educator and the driving force behind Growing Book By Book – an incredibly creative blog that explores ideas to help nurture young readers. Seeing that Jodie has been an educator for over 18 years, she’s taught 1st, 2nd and 3rd grades, and she even worked at a children’s bookstore through college, we knew we had to get Kitchen Club Kids End of the Rainbow Fruit Salad book into her hands to see what she thought. […]

  2. […] Literacy in the Kitchen from Growing Book by Book […]

  3. […] Christmas Fruit Salad from Growing Book by Book  […]

  4. […] Literacy Christmas Salad from Growing Book by Book […]