The possibilities with salad are endless. You can prepare them in a thousand different ways, as there are no restrictions over ingredients. The key is to keep it healthy, light, and nutritious. Salads can be consumed as the main course of a meal, a side dish, or a snack. Most kids make a face when you place a plate piled with greens before them; to be honest, many adults act the same way. Getting your child to eat a portion of the salad is hard enough, so how in the world to make them love it? Salads are universally viewed as a bland and boring green monster; change that picture and get ready to be amazed!
1. Start Small and Simple
Your kid’s salad does not need to be the same as yours or as intricate as real estate planning. The first thing to consider is the serving size; while you can merrily gobble up a pound of veggies, a small dessert bowl shall do for your child. In addition, bulky ingredients might not easily fit into a kid’s mouth, and chewing shall become a nuisance. Chop or dice the salad components into a child-friendly size, so nobody chokes on lettuce or cucumber. Your child’s preliminary salads should only include a few elements because more than a dozen things going on can be overwhelming. You can start with three ingredients and gradually move up from there.
2. Add a Protein and Carb
The most effective way of incorporating salad into your child’s diet is my mixing it with their favorite protein and carb. Pasta tends to make everything better for children and it works well with veggies. Similarly, croutons can make a salad much more appealing by obscuring the underlying items your kids hate. A hardboiled egg, strips of juicy chicken, sliced sausage, sweet corn, or any kind of beans can add flavor and aesthetic that your child would not be able to resist.
3. Be Generous with Toppings and Dressings
Do not focus too much on the nutritional value and calorie count of a salad at the beginning. Allow your child to indulge a bit and gradually adhere to the healthy lifestyle. Fun toppings and creamy dressings are likely to encourage a kid to eat salad more often. While a sophisticated vinaigrette might not impress them, the classic ranch dressing paired with their favorite kind of cheese and nuts shall do the trick. Include ingredients your child enjoys and he/she won’t mind the less desirable parts of the salad.
4. Make it Crunchy & Colorful
A salad bowl that only constitutes shades of green can easily make anyone grimace. Add some color and texture if you are aiming for your kid to like it. Seasonal fruits like strawberries, grapes, apples, pears, and mango can make a salad look a lot more inviting. Children are likely to reject food that appears limp and mushy. Fresh Iceberg lettuce, orange carrots, purple cabbage, yellow bell pepper, and black olives are a handful of ingredients to make your salad vibrant, nutritive, and rich in fiber.
5. Put on a Show
As one would expect, kids retaliate if you force them to finish their greens. Some even refuse to touch food that isn’t greasy or sugary. You and other adults in the house can persuade them by setting an example. Simply relish your salad helpings in front of them and slightly exaggerate your delight, without offering them any. When the child observes that everyone appears to be on cloud nine with the salad, they shall volunteer to try some.
John Adams is a lifestyle blogger who creates content focused on healthcare and personal well-being. He encourages readers to improve their quality of life by incorporating positive thoughts and actions. Blogging about personal opinions and life experiences makes him happy, and he is always open to constructive criticism.