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3 Salads Kids Will Love

Yvonne has been an online writer for over eight years. Her articles focus on everything from world travel to crafts and recipes.

How to Make Salads Kid-Friendly

Many kids are not too keen on those green things that adults call salad. They relate more to the "garnish" part of "salad garnish" than to the "salad" part: it's something that's meant to make your plate look pretty, not something to eat. They even worry that the green stuff might touch their burger or fries and somehow contaminate them.

I have one daughter who has always wolfed down green food. Right from when she was a baby, if it was green she'd eat it. I have another who eyes most green leafy things with the suspicion described above, although she will eat broccoli stalks - but not the florets. She will not touch the bits of radicchio or endive that most UK restaurants decorate plates with, and nor does she like the humble iceberg lettuce.

But there are 2 lettuces she is willing to eat, and the reasons why reveal that what we eat is not governed by taste buds alone, but by associations we make with food.

Make the Salad Look Appealing

Kids make decisions based on more than taste alone, so presentation matters.

Kids make decisions based on more than taste alone, so presentation matters.

The first lettuce my younger daughter ate was the Cos or Romaine lettuce, and the reason she ate it was because I tore the leaves in a particular way and presented them to my girls as "angels." I'll show you how to do this later in this article. The second lettuce she is willing to eat is the Little Gem. This is a smaller version of Romaine lettuce and slightly sweeter, but the main reason my daughter was willing to try it was because of its name. Jem is a shortened version of my husband's name: Jeremy. Although only his mother ever called him that, our daughter associated the lettuces with the Dad she adores and so was happy to eat them! While not every child has such a conveniently named father, you can probably think of associations for your own children.

With a little imagination and flexibility, it's possible to come up with variations on classic salads that are more suitable for children's tastes. Some suggestions now follow.

Homemade Coleslaw That Kids Will Enjoy

Supermarket coleslaw generally does not go down well with kids (or at least not the kids I know, and come to think of it, that includes me.) It has a slightly fizzy taste, the cabbage is usually soggy, and you need a microscope to see the carrot. And kids are not nuts about raw onions. I have adapted coleslaw to make it more kid-friendly, by missing out the onion and adding in apple and extra carrot instead, so giving a slight sweetness that kids love. I also use a mixture of yogurt and mayonnaise, rather than just mayonnaise, which makes this much healthier than regular coleslaw.

Cook Time

Prep timeReady inYields

10 min

10 min

Serves 6–8 people as a side salad

salads-for-kids-kids-cook-mondays

Ingredients

  • 1 small cabbage, (weighing around 300 grams)
  • 2 carrots, peeled
  • 1 apple
  • 2 tablespoons yogurt
  • 1 dessert spoon mayonnaise
Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Place all ingredients in a bowl. Mix well.

Instructions

  1. Finely chop the cabbage.
  2. Grate the carrot.
  3. Grate the apple, keeping the skin on.
  4. Place all the above ingredients in a bowl along with the yogurt and mayonnaise.
  5. Mix well together, and then transfer to a serving bowl.

Alternative instructions

Roughly chop the vegetables, core the apple, put all into a food processer and process until finely chopped. Then add the yogurt and mayonnaise.

Good for if you are in a hurry!

She loved carrot and apple salad - though it was a bit messy at times!

She loved carrot and apple salad - though it was a bit messy at times!

Apple and Carrot Salad: A Great First Salad for Babies

This was my elder daughter's first taste of salad, and she used to wolf it down. (Except of course for the one time I proudly told my parents how well she ate it, and then she barely managed a mouthful!)

It probably appeals to babies because carrots and apples are naturally sweet.

Ingredients

This recipe makes enough for a baby and parent.

  • 1 large or 2 small carrots
  • 1 apple
  • 1 dessertspoon of yogurt
  • a drizzle of olive oil

Instructions

  1. Finely grate the carrot.
  2. Grate the apple. If your baby is fairly new to chewing, use the finest side of your grater for this too. This does tend to turn the apple to mush however, so for yourself, you may want to use the coarser side.
  3. Place in a bowl. add the yogurt and olive oil and mix well together. (Or if your baby is having mushy apple and you are not, place in 2 separate bowls!)
The salad on the left has coarsely grated apple. The one on the right has finely grated; perfect for babies, but perhaps a bit mushy for you!

The salad on the left has coarsely grated apple. The one on the right has finely grated; perfect for babies, but perhaps a bit mushy for you!

Hold the folded lettuce leaf at an angle.

Hold the folded lettuce leaf at an angle.

Tear the lettuce.

Tear the lettuce.

Open it out to make an angel!

Open it out to make an angel!

How to Make Lettuce Angels or Butterflies

These are best made with Romaine or Cos lettuce, but could also make them with Little Gem.

  1. First wash the lettuce thoroughly.
  2. Fold a lettuce leaf in half lengthways.
  3. Hold it in both hands, about 8–10 cm or 3–4 inches from the base. With your thumbs pointing diagonally, press on the crisp white middle part of the leaf and. (The tips of your thumbs should point towards the base of the leaf. This sounds complicated, but it's actually very easy.)
  4. Tear the leaf. The tear you make will create 2 wings pointing upwards, and looks like an angel. (Well you might need to use a little bit of imagination to see it as an angel, but small children usually have tons of that!)

If you do the same again, using the next bit of the leaf, the result is shaped more like a butterfly. Of course, you are then left with the top of the lettuce that's not so exciting in appearance, and guess what? You get to eat that!

Once you've done this, you can show your children how to do it and they will have fun making their own angels.

Serve the angels with halos made of cucumber slices, and with cherry tomatoes.

Lettuce Angels with Cucumber Halos!

salads-for-kids-kids-cook-mondays

© 2012 Yvonne Spence

Comments

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 20, 2012:

Ripplemaker,

Amanda Gee

vox vocis,

Thanks for your comments.

Jasmine on July 18, 2012:

I'll definitely try out this approach! Great ideas! I think babies won't mind their salad, but the older ones...we'll see!

Amanda Gee from Cameron, Missouri on July 18, 2012:

Those angels look so cute! I love it!

Michelle Simtoco from Cebu, Philippines on July 18, 2012:

Lovely hub which I will pass to the teachers! I enjoyed this very much. Love and blessings. :)

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 18, 2012:

Thanks Margie and Kelly.

Kelly Umphenour from St. Louis, MO on July 18, 2012:

That is terrrific! Tell you daughter she did a BEAUTIFUL job! I loved that video and the hub!

Up and everything! Truly awesome:)

Mmargie1966 from Gainesville, GA on July 13, 2012:

What wonderful ideas! I enjoyed the video as well. Voted up and useful!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

Hi Happyboomernurse, and thanks! This was my first video hub and being a total video novice I enlisted help - but my daughter wanted to do most of it, though I did work out the idea! My kids love making videos and I’ve learned a lot from them.

I think presentation is important for most people really - it’s so much more enjoyable to eat food that looks gorgeous and salad often does (to me at least!)

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

ishwaryaa22, yes, it is useful for picky eaters, and as you say whether they are kids or adults! I’m sorry you couldn’t see the video. Perhaps if you try a different browser you might have more luck as sometimes that has worked for me if I’d had a problem with a video. Thanks very much for your kind comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

Thanks Pamela, I hope you enjoy the coleslaw - it’s great for adults too!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

Thanks Nettlemere, you are very kind!

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

Hi vespawoolf, the angels do need a little imagination, and it sounds like you’ve got plenty! The kids loved them when they were little. Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

dinkan53, your baby will soon to able to eat the carrot and apple salad. My daughters loved it from an early age.

Thanks for your comment.

Yvonne Spence (author) from UK on July 09, 2012:

myownlife, thanks for your comment and glad you enjoyed the video!

Gail Sobotkin from South Carolina on July 07, 2012:

Loved the video that your daughter produced! Also enjoyed all the suggestions of how to present vegetables in a way that kids will be willing to taste them. As you say, a cool introduction and artistic presentation can help peak a child's curiosity enough to make them try different kinds of salads.

Voted up across the board except for funny.

Ishwaryaa Dhandapani from Chennai, India on July 04, 2012:

A helpful hub for those with children who are picky eaters. These salad options are not only for children but also for grown-ups as they are healthy, tasty and easy-to-make - except yes folding the lettuce leaves! The photos are attractive, including the photo of your cute daughter and the recipes are explained clearly. (Unfortunately, the video is not visible to me but nevertheless the rest of the hub is very good) Well-done!

Thanks for SHARING. Useful & Interesting. Voted up

Pamela Oglesby from Sunny Florida on July 03, 2012:

I think you have some very good ideas to entice children to eat healthy. I liked your coleslaw recipe. I have never used an apple before and it sounds good. The video was good also UP!

Nettlemere from Burnley, Lancashire, UK on July 02, 2012:

Can't believe you managed to make an entertaining video about coldslaw - you're very ingenious!

Vespa Woolf from Peru, South America on July 02, 2012:

Great ideas and the lettuce "angels" are too cute! Very inventive ideas to get kids to eat their veggies. Voted up and shared!

dinkan53 from India on July 02, 2012:

My kid is small to have such salads, but surely I will make him in the future. Coleslaw, great and thanks for the video demonstration.

myownlife from london on July 02, 2012:

Really a great job and useful enough, and the making procedure in video is easily grabbed up.