Salads are a great way to get kids to eat their vegetables. If you just say the word "salad," kids may not always find them appealing. But, there are some easy ideas to get kids to eat salad and actually enjoy it. Of course, use what works best for your kid or the kid in your life.
- Make salads that are simple. Too many ingredients are overwhelming to kids. A good rule of thumb: The younger the kids, the fewer ingredients to use.
- Use ingredients that kids are familiar with, like cheese, croutons, and everyday vegetables.
- Make a home salad bar. Cut fruits and vegetables into small pieces, put them in bowls, and let the kids choose what they like. This makes it easy to add vegetables adults like without forcing the kids to eat them.
- Eat as a family or with the kids. If kids are eating alone, they are less likely to enjoy the experience. If you all eat the same salad, then it's a family event and much more enjoyable.
There's no need to shy away from green salads when serving kids. Try these:
- Wedge salad: This visually appealing salad can be made without the blue cheese dressing. Or put it on the side and let your pintsize table mate try dipping the lettuce into the dressing.
- Seven-layer salad: Iceberg lettuce is topped with celery, peas, onions, peppers, and bacon in this easy green salad recipe.
- Simple salad: Let your kid pick their three favorite vegetables. Mix them together and you have a salad.
Besides green salads, making vegetable-heavy salads for, and with, kids is a great idea. Here are some ideas:
- Carrot salad: Carrots, mayonnaise, and raisins are combined in this sweet, kid-friendly vegetable salad recipe.
- Broccoli salad: Bacon, cheese, raisins and almonds jazz up the broccoli. And the dressing is sweet and creamy.
- Cabbage salad or Serbian coleslaw: Shredded cabbage gets jazzed up with celery, carrots, parsley, and onions in a sweet vinaigrette.
While not always loaded with veggies, pasta salad is a great way to add vegetables to a safe and familiar comfort food:
- Italian pasta salad: Macaroni is tossed with marinated artichokes, red pepper, zucchini, and black olives in this colorful pasta salad recipe.
- Tuna macaroni salad: Tuna pasta salad makes a wonderful school lunch for the kids. Try it with chickpeas and black olives for a fun flavor twist.
- Greek pasta salad: All of the flavors of a Greek salad are tossed with bow-tie pasta for an easy and tasty meal.
These fruit salads are good enough for dessert or an anytime treat:
- Taffy apple salad: This is one of those salads that's more of a dessert than a side dish, but kids will love the combination of apples, peanuts, and pineapple in the creamy whipped topping dressing.
- Strawberry salad: This 3-ingredient salad is sweet, crispy and juicy - a winning combination when strawberries are in season.
- Waldorf Salad: Try classic Waldorf salad, enhanced with vanilla yogurt and fresh mint.
Like pasta salad, potato salads are a great way to add veggies to a tried and true favorite:
- Potato salad with bacon: This bacon-enhanced potato salad recipe is sure to become one of your go-to recipes for summer eating.
- Red potato salad: Up the colors by using red potatoes and any other colorful vegetables.
- Mustard potato salad: Dijon mustard adds tanginess to this kid-friendly potato salad recipe. Don't worry about the hot sauce. It's just a tiny bit, but if you really prefer bland foods, leave it out.