Rainbow Foods – Have Instagram food trends go too far?

I can’t scroll through my Instagram feed lately without coming across the latest food trend – Rainbow food. There are a few variations including Unicorn food and Galaxy food, but essentially it all comes down to taking perfectly normal beige food and dressing it up with a cacophony of colour! When will it end? Rainbows belong in the sky, not in your coffee people!

Have Instagram food trends gone too far?


Now you all know I’m quite partial to a bit of colour, it makes life interesting. But when dieticians recommend eating a rainbow, I don’t think they are talking about rainbow bagels.

OK, I’m on board

I’m not opposed to the idea of all rainbow foods. Some of the fruit and veggie based salads and smoothies look super healthy and delicious. With those I’m totally on board!

Rainbow Sandwich

Yep looks delish. A posh version of the canteen salad roll that ended up pink and soggy from the beetroot juice that wasn’t drained properly. Ahh! The memories.

Rainbow Smoothie

Not sure if I have the time or inclination to wiz up 4-5 separate smoothie blends to get this stunning layered smoothie effect, but it sure looks appetizing. I usually throw everything together which ends up looking like a brownish goo, but it still tastes good, and I figure it all gets mixed up in your tummy anyway.

On the fence

The following I can give a pass to, as most of these use natural food coloring like powdered beet, or tumeric.

Rainbow Dim Sum

I know a steamed pork bun shouldn’t be mistaken for unicorn poop, but they look so damn cute, and quite delicious. I’d totally have one right now. Don’t hate me.

Unicorn Toast

I don’t think I’ll ever be 100% on board with green cream cheese, but knowing that it’s matcha powder, not mould, makes it more appealing.

Just NO!

It’s all fun and games until someone takes it too far and everything ends in tears. Pastel foods I can sort of give a pass too, but when you are serving me up unnaturally bright neon colours, that’s when enough is enough.

Rainbow Bagels

Our local bagel shop has these and sells out every time, but even the 8 year old was disappointed after one bite. She expected a flavour explosion to match the colour intensity, but it turns out rainbow bagels taste like a regular plain bagels. Give me poppy seed or garlic any day of the week.

A post shared by Megan (@travel.with.meggi) on

Rainbow Latte

I’m not a coffee drinker, but surely this is sacrilege. My Mister gets peeved when his latte is sprinkled with cocoa, I can’t imagine the look on his face if he was presented with a rainbow fleur-de-lis on his milk foam.

Rainbow Grilled Cheese

Just NO! When will this madness end?

A post shared by Shelton (@sheltonf) on

What do you think? Has the rainbow food trend gone to far, or are you totally on board?

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  • Priscilla says:

    I don’t know which is worse, a rainbow latte or a rainbow grilled cheese. I think the overboard colours are creative, so props to the food-artists, but the colours are too distracting. I want to enjoy the taste of the food without the visual noise.

  • Brigitte says:

    Wholey macaroly! Are all these tainted with GOOD things to make kids eat them or are they just “natural or (worse still) unnatural food colourings? Aren’t we trying to keep our kids away from all these nasty additives? Not my cup of tea. I’ll stick to your lovely colourful craft pieces any day! 🙂

  • Nupsi says:

    I might point out the obvious here, but instagram food pictures are mostly not exactly of real, edible food. It’s rather an industry selling wonderful pictures of, well, things looking like food, to people who blog about food. In the end, those foodbloggers also lack the time to prepare 8 different smoothies for an eyecatching picture, especiallly on a daily base.

    Also, I do not believe anyone who really lokes coffe would want to drink one that needed so much time to be decorated, it is almost certainly cold! 😉 This rainbow food is, in my opinion, just another fashionable accessory item.

    • Cintia @ My Poppet says:

      It was just my humorous take on the Instagram foodie trend culture, although sadly the craziest ones are really available for purchase. The rainbow coffee is available in a local cafe my own city of Melbourne. And the bagels from a Brooklyn bakery have a wait list with queues around the block every day. Although I’d certainly enjoy the rainbow smoothie if I could get one.

  • Erika says:

    I love vibrant rainbow food and many of my food recipes have a rainbow vibe to them.
    It’s nice to eat something that’s aesthetically pleasing. I do believe that the health aspect and flavor are the most important, so I only use natural food coloring from spices, vegetables, fruit and tea. Rainbow colored bounty bars, smoothies or tortillas? Yes please!

    • Cintia @ My Poppet says:

      I must say, your pastel bounty balls look pretty cute! Yes, I think natural colourings make it much better. Thanks for sharing your blog. I’m keen to try out some of you food and skin care recipes. x cinti

      • Erika says:

        Thank you so much Cintia, I hope you like them!

        About food coloring, I was so surprised to see that they use Yellow No1 in things such as tortilla chips! You can easily use something like turmeric, which adds health benefits, rather than some questionable chemicals.

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