Salads are a great way of getting kids to eat more vegetables and fruit, that is if you can get them to eat salad in first place! I have 2 very reluctant salad eaters so I wanted to share with you my 6 top tips to help make salads interesting for kids and hopefully get them asking for salad with every meal!
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If your child is a bit reluctant to try salad then try these ideas out to help encourage them. You never know you might end up with a top salad chef on your hands!
Top Tips To Help Make Salad Interesting For Kids
#1. Grow Your Own
This takes a bit of planning, but getting the kids to grow their own simple salad ingredients like lettuce, spring onions, beetroot, carrots, baby potatoes and herbs encourages them to try out these ingredients and create their own salad masterpieces.
You don’t need a large plot of land, most of the ingredients needed to create an interesting salad can be grown in pots. If you do have access to a poly-tunnel or greenhouse do try to grow tomatoes, cucumber, courgettes and squashes, all of which are tasty additions to make salads more interesting.
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#2. Funny Faces
Turning your salad ingredients into funny faces or animals can help make them more interesting for kids. For example:
- Use spirals of carrot or courgette for hair
- Quartered tomatoes or half boiled eggs for a mouth
- Olives for eyes
- Lettuce or avocado for ears
- A beetroot nose
These may be just the trick needed to get your child eating salads.
#3. Edible Flowers & Herbs
You could grow, buy or forage edible flowers and herbs to make your salads pretty.
Children will be intrigued by the idea of eating flowers. Just make sure to warn them that they can only eat flowers you have chosen together and that they must not pick and eat flowers when they are out and about!
And using herbs like mint and parsley and basil will spice up their salad and give them a flavour they may recognise from eating them in other forms.
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#4. Dress to Impress
A great salad dressing can make all the difference. The best usually comprise of 3 parts oil to 1 part vinegar and then you can add other things like lemon, honey, mustard, lime, tomato puree, with a pinch of salt and pepper.
I also like to make my dressings in the blender and add ingredients like ginger, garlic and apple or chilli along with the oil and vinegar.
Be sure to experiment with different oils and vinegars as there are so many flavours available these days that you can create a different dressing for every day of the year!
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#5. Add Fruit
I love adding fruit to my salads. Mango added to a salsa of cucumber, tomato, spring onions and red peppers with a sesame oil and rice wine vinegar dressing is delicious on summer evenings.
Strawberries go great with feta or goat’s cheese and try grating apples into your salad just before you serve it for a refreshing, juicy flavour with just a hint of sweetness.
#6. Add Some Crunch
From sweet corn kernels to pomegranate seeds, croutons to toasted nuts and seeds, crispy bacon pieces to celery and peppers – adding a crunch to salads not only makes them more interesting to eat but ups the vitamin levels too.
Experiment with different types of lettuce too. Some have more bite than others. And lettuce like little gem can be used as a crunchy holder for other ingredients.
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Have your say! If you have any other ideas that have worked for you to help make salads interesting for kids please share them in the comments box below.