How do you get kids to eat salads?
YES, kids CAN love salad! Serving a big dinner salad doesn't have to result in tears and bribery, either. Your kids can totally learn to love salad! With some simple tips, your kid will be a salad-lover in no time!
Top Tips for Kid Friendly Salads
- Make sure there are plenty of ingredients that your kids already like. Leave out any ingredient they downright don't like - or serve it on the side for those who like it. Fruit is a great addition because kids generally already really like fruit! Read this post on how to add more fruit to your dinners.
- Chop all the ingredients into kid bite sized - its easier for them to eat if they don't have to wrestle with each piece of giant romaine.
- Serve the salad as a "salad bar" so everyone gets to add their own ingredients to their plate OR serve the salad "deconstructed" for younger kids who don't like their food mixed or touching.
- Serve the dressing on the side as a "dipping sauce". Kids LOVE to dip, so giving them a small container of the dressing will allow them to dip all the ingredients in. Its ok if they each more ranch than lettuce, because they are still learning to love salad, and ranch is a great gateway to help them do that!
- Talk about your dinner together. Discuss the textures of the ingredients - what is crunchy, what is creamy, what is juicy, etc? Discuss the flavors of the salad - what is sweet, what is salty, etc? Ask your child what their favorite part of the salad is.
Can a toddler eat salad?
Yes! A toddler can eat salad. Make sure all the ingredients are cut to the appropriate size. I would even serve this salad "deconstructed" where all the ingredients are in their own individual piles and nothing touches. This takes what could be seen as an overwhelming mix of food into ingredients they are already familiar with.
Ways to get kids involved in dinner salads:
Get the kids involved! The more involved a kid is in the preparation of a food, the more ownership they will take, the more interest they will show, and the more likely they are to want to eat it!
- Ask your kids help you find the ingredients at the store. Show them how to pick a ripe tomato, ask them to smell the mint, and get their curiosity working!
- Have your kids help you prepare the ingredients - washing and drying the produce, tearing the lettuce, cutting the softer ingredients, mixing the salad dressing.
- Invite your helpers to help you plate the salad, adding each ingredient onto everyone's plates.
How to Serve Salad to Kids:
There are two easy ways to serve salad to kids so that they will eat them.
- Deconstructed. Often, big dinner salads can seem overwhelming to kids - 50 different foods all mixed together and touching everything else? No. Way. Instead, serve the salad as little piles of each ingredient, or ingredients that go together.
- Salad Bar. Kids love choices, and they love the feeling that they are in charge. Serving your dinner salad like a salad bar, with all the ingredients laid out for them to choose between works great to get your kids to eat salad. Allowing them to choose which ingredients they want and how much of each ingredient gives them ownership of their dinner - meaning they will eat it! This is the perfect way to customize a meal so every family member i happy - without you being a short order cook!
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What tips and tricks do you use to serve salad to your kids? Leave a comment below!