A Salad Strategy: Making Salads Fun for Kids August 17 2015, 0 Comments

Every parent knows that salads aren’t a kid favorite. But can you blame them? Anyone could get bored with lettuce and tomatoes every day. Slather it with the same heavy dressing and it’s no wonder they’re sneaking lettuce under their napkin. This month we’re featuring yummy, kid friendly salads that will have them craving their veggies (and fruit). Here are our tips for making salads a little bit more fun for everyone.

1)      Load on the fruit: Most kids will go for fruit over vegetables, and while fruit do contain more sugar, they are also rich in antioxidants and important vitamins. Berries are amazing in salads and are loaded with health-enhancing nutrients that protect against heart disease, cancer, and other health risks. Mix your traditional lettuce with blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, or goji berries. Pomegranates are also a fun addition if they’re in season.

2)      Make it cheesy: Add some shape and flavor to your salad by adding different kinds of cheese. If you have a picky eater, go for grated cheddar or Parmesan. For the more adventurous eaters, mix in different types of feta or cubed Gouda.

3)      Go nuts: If your kid will eat nuts, they add the perfect crunch to any salad. Even better, nuts are rich in vitamins, proteins, and Omega-3 fatty acids (that’s the good kind of fat). Peanuts are a popular option, and you can toast pecans or almonds to enhance their flavor.

4)      Pick a pasta: Who said salads always have to have lettuce? Use a semolina or whole grain penne instead. Make it fun by choosing a colorful pasta and letting them help you mix all the veggies in. Orzo pasta can also provide unique texture.

5)      Meet them with meat: Sometimes kids would just prefer meat over any other food group. Make their day by adding grilled chicken to a Caesar salad or cubed ham to some fresh greens. If you can’t get them to eat any green, try a light chicken or tuna salad and add dried cranberries or fresh grapes to enhance the flavor and sneak in those antioxidants.

6)      Sweeten it up: While the point of a salad is to be healthy, it doesn’t hurt to add a little something extra every now and then to surprise them. Make a fruit salad and add marshmallows or mini semi-sweet chocolate chips. Roast some nuts in the slightest amount of sugar and cinnamon for a hidden treat in any salad.