It’s hard to compare anything to the serotonin boost that comes from enjoying delicious food with loved ones while basking in soft sunlight, and TikTok comes up with the perfect summer trend for this perfect picnic moment: rainbow picnics.

What is a rainbow picnic?

The rainbow picnic challenge on TikTok is a fun picnic prompt for those who want to put a creative, collaborative spin on the traditional picnic. For a rainbow picnic, each person is assigned a color of the rainbow, and that person is responsible for their share of the rainbow by bringing food in their assigned color. You can imagine how the end result may turn out: a bright and lively picnic spread that’ll be sure to attract all the photos and ooh’s and ahh’s. We eat with our eyes, after all.

How to host a rainbow picnic

So, let’s skip to the good part and get this rainbow picnic going. If you want to host your own rainbow picnic and are looking for some inspiration for how to ROYGBIV your picnic and asking yourself questions like “How do I come up with original ideas for red that’s not strawberry or watermelon?” or “What food is even indigo?” you’ve come to the right place.


For the classic picnic lovers, you can’t go wrong with summer-y fruits like strawberries, watermelon, or apples. These are all refreshing fruits that are perfect for hydration and adding that bold pop of color to your picnic spread. But if you’re looking for some more ways to sport red, you can look into vegetables like red bell peppers or cherry tomatoes. Cutting red bell peppers into strips are excellent for dipping into sauces or just a light, crunchy treat on their own. With cherry tomatoes, you can bring them as they are, or turn them into delicious salsa or a cherry tomato salad. For some decadence to the picnic spread, red velvet desserts would be a hit.


Orange may seem tricky at first because it’s right in between red and yellow, but that actually gives you some flexibility with its larger breadth (i.e. If you think it’s too yellow or too red to be orange, it should actually be a good, acceptable orange). The first ideas that come to mind involve oranges, like a pitcher of orange juice, orange juice popsicles, or an orange-flavored baked good like an orange cake. Outside of the fruit orange, you can also get various cheeses, Goldfish, and curries for a savory addition. Not to mention, red bell pepper hummus usually sports an orange hue that would be a great accompaniment to the aforementioned red bell pepper strips. Orange you glad you have all these options?


Such a sunshine-y and bright color that’ll light up your picnic spread. There’s nothing that screams summer like some lemonade with ice under the sun, and you can also create other yellow beverages by blending yellow fruits like pineapples, apricots, and bananas. Yellow is also a great color for some carbs like bread, crackers, chips, and sandwiches as well. And thanks to the bright yellow, egg dishes like deviled eggs or egg salads are also perfect for bringing some edible sunshine to your picnic.


Green may already have you thinking veggies, and that’s a good place to start for picnics! You could easily incorporate some greens by mixing up a salad with leafy greens like spinach, kale, or arugula. Guacamole, pesto, and green goddess dressing are also ways to turn some veggies into delicious pairings for bread, crackers, and chips (see above for yellow foods). You can also use spinach wraps to make delicious green entrees for your picnic.


Once we enter the blue territory, things get a little more tricky since we’re blending with the indigos and the purples. But if you’re looking for some true blues in your food, adding a sprinkle of blue spirulina powder in your smoothies, lemonades, or yogurt will give you a gorgeous shade of blue reminiscent of clear summer skies, not to mention that it’s full of antioxidants and minerals to keep you energized. In the snack aisle, you’re also sure to find some blue raspberry-flavored snacks that can bring some electric blue to your picnic.


Just as an FYI, indigo sits between blue and purple, meaning seeing it as a purplish blue or a bluish purple would be totally appropriate for all intents and purposes of the rainbow picnic challenge (we’re kind of in the orange situation here again). With that being said, some indigo foods could definitely involve some grapes: Concord grapes, grape jam, or grape juice. And this might be a controversial pitch, but I would also list blueberries under the indigo section too despite their name. These berries typically range from a deep blue to indigo color, and they’re fantastic in pies, on top of tarts, and also in sauces. For an even deeper and richer shade of indigo, blackberries are also perfect and can do everything blueberries do with a little less sour and a tad more sweet to it.


And finally, we get to purple to wrap up the rainbow. Purple cabbage is the perfect addition to your summer slaw with its delightful crunchiness and bright pop of purple. Try pairing your purple cabbage slaw with some citrus dressing for the ultimate refreshing meal. And just in time for summer picnics, figs should also be in season to star as a delicious addition to your picnic, whether it be sliced and on top of toast or mashed into a spread.