Salad is generally not number one among children’s favourite meals and is often spurned by the younger ones, much to the chagrin of many parents. But is there some way to tempt kids with this crunchy classic? The answer is YES – if it is prepared in a child-friendly way. With these salads for children, even picky vitamin “refuseniks” can be persuaded, with some patience, to eat these healthy greens.
Why do some children not like salad?
There may be a number of reasons why the younger members of the family don’t like to eat salad. Very young children, who have only recently started to eat family meals, must first train their palate. Meals with new flavours and unusual consistencies can overwhelm young gourmets. So it is a matter of remaining patient and simply continuing to offer them raw fruit and vegetables. If a child doesn’t yet have all their baby teeth, it may of course be difficult for them to chew these raw foods. In such cases, it might be an idea to initially put softer foods, such as puréed vegetables, on the menu.
However, even older children, who could easily eat salad, frequently find it difficult to try new dishes and prefer to stick with more familiar foods. The following ideas might help parents to encourage their children to eat salad.
Salads for children – it depends
I can do it on my own! Children help to prepare salads
As soon as children are more independent, they like to try out things themselves and love to take part in everything. So it is a good idea to also involve the little ones in salad making. Using a suitable knife, and under supervision, they can cut up fruit and vegetables and place them in the salad bowl. This is fun for them and of course they will need to also try out the salad they have prepared themselves.
I know what this is! Something familiar with new ingredients
Many children do not refuse outright to eat fruit and vegetables but simply only like certain types. So if they like bananas, berries or cucumber, simply add them to the salad and combine them with new ingredients. Pasta or potatoes can also complement the salad if they are favourites of the children. This results in creative variations and the youngsters will probably have the courage to try salad dishes.
Is that salad? It doesn’t always need to be in a bowl.
Do the kids turn up their noses once they see a bowl with finely chopped vegetables on the table? The salad has probably had “its cover blown” at that stage. In such cases, it may help to deviate from the norm and simply serve salad for children in a different way. A dangerous cucumber crocodile with skewered tomatoes on its back; radish mice in a nest made of raw carrots; a colourful butterfly on the plate with wings made from peppers and slices of apple – these can all be salads for children!
Not today thanks! No-pressure meals
Even if the salad was scoffed with great enthusiasm yesterday, it might be greeted with disgust at the dinner table today. All that you can do is keep calm, as eating should be enjoyable for the youngest ones. Salads are optional but not obligatory. Fruit and vegetables can be prepared in countless different ways. And adults set an important example: if they are enthusiastic salad fans, this will arouse the interest of the younger members of the family.
Have fun trying it all out together!
Your Dole Team