Educating kids about food, from source to plate

Turning over a New Leaf: Salad for kids and families

Photo Credit: Self Determination Theory

We are halfway through National Salad Month and spring produce is at its peak so it’s a great opportunity to bring more salad into your families’ kitchen. We get that most children don’t find it immediately appealing-they look at it, it’s mostly green, so it can be a tough sell. Besides chopping salad ingredients up small and loading it up with “kid-friendly” toppings, here are some new and fresh ideas to not only get kids to eat salad, but to love it!
Photo Credit: Center Cut Cook
Salad in a Jar. Putting your salad ingredients in a small lidded mason jar makes it fun, easy for on-the-go or school lunches, and it does double duty as a mixing and serving bowl. Start with some dressing on the bottom, then layer it with the more solid veggies, proteins, cheese, leafy greens, and top with nuts and fruit. Shake and enjoy!
Not just green. We appreciate salads of all kinds, they don’t always have to be the leafy green ones. Take this month as an opportunity to rotate different types of salads and still pack in nutrition: bean salad, veggie salad, pasta salad, and the occasional fruit salad are still salad!
Photo Credit: Cutefetti
Shape it. Use mini cookie cutters to make fun shapes out of your veggies and fruits or make use of a spiralizer. You can even use crinkle carrots or cubed cheese that you have around (or can easily buy at the grocery store these days).
Here is a colorful set with unique shapes.
Build Recipes. Get kids involved in the process of making what they eat by creating a family or a member’s favorite salad recipe. You can make it fun by choosing ingredients with the colors of the rainbow or ones from each of the food groups. This is a great way for families to learn about each other and the textures and flavors they each like.
Here’s a list of veggies by color to help you get started.
Eat more! Make salad a regular part of your meals. If kids see you setting the example, they’ll be encouraged to make healthier choices. Salad is good any time of day. Who said salad just has to be for lunch and dinner? Having a simple side salad with my breakfast has inspired a few friends to do the same.

Throughout the month of May, we are hoping to spread the salad love, and are raising funds for our salad kit program, an integral piece of our Days of Taste program which allows students to bring their newfound food and nutrition learning home to their families. Give a salad kit to a student and their family here.