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How To Get Kids To Eat Salad (It CAN Be Done!)

What would it take to get YOUR kids to eat salad? A miracle? Bribes? An Act of God? Then you’re gonna want to read this…

How to get kids to eat salad – YOUR KIDS!

It can be difficult to get the kids to eat their vegetables at the best of times but how do you get kids to eat salad. For most children, salad is the cold version of vegetables: bland, healthy and… GREEN. However, salad can be a fun and interesting way to get your kids to eat more veg and also introduce some great eating habits. It is also an easy and safe dish that you can prepare together, ensuring that they are learning to cook healthy food from a young age.

The reason that salad gets such a bad press is that people are only so happy to eat lettuce leaves without any accompaniment. Slaw is often too creamy and bought from a shop shelf and there is only so much cucumber one can eat before they get bored. Salads need a reinvention and they make a great summer dish; you just have to see them in a new light. Luckily, there’s plenty of salad inspiration to be found online, whether you’re making it yourself or having one delivered.

get kids to eat salad colours

As if MY kids would eat THAT kind of salad…

Whilst you may be rolling your eyes at the thought of trying to get the kids to eat pomegranate seeds with feta cheese, it could be surprisingly easier than you think. Start with an entry level idea, such as dipping. Kids love to dip their foods and, if it’s the lack of flavour that the kids hate, try making a mild blue cheese dip and making lettuce wedges and cucumber and carrot sticks for them to dunk. Once they get used to this idea, you could chop the vegetables and put them in a bowl, and drizzle the dressing over the top. If they are familiar with the idea of dressings, they will be more open to trying new dressings on their salad. You could serve a salad with blue cheese dressing and grilled chicken for a healthy summer lunch.

Once you pass the entry level stuff, sneaking things such as orange or pomegranate into the salad will get easier as your kids will be getting used to the array of flavours in their salad. Aim for a flavour packed pomegranate and feta salad for a bright dish with lots of flavour. As they get used to the new textures, older children might like some nuts in their salad for extra crunch. 

Hands on – get kids to eat salad by getting them to HELP!

The best way to get kids interested is to make them feel involved. You could try growing salad in your garden and, even if you don’t have a garden, you could even grow them on a windowsill. Seeing the process of the seeds and small plants growing into fresh tomatoes and lettuce will be inspiring for the kids, and they will feel intrigued to try their own produce. The extra benefit of growing your own is that you will be able to control the conditions in which your veg is made, ensuring that there are no pesticides or chemicals used to help your veg to grow, so you can be safe in the knowledge that your sprogs are eating safe and healthy food. 

It can feel like a challenge to get kids to eat healthily, however, it doesn’t have to be a battle. Work out why your kids like to eat the food they do, and you’ll be able to use this to your advantage. You’ll have them eating with the adults in no time!

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Janine Mergler

Janine Mergler is a veteran Queensland teacher, graduating from QUT with a BEd majoring in Social Sciences. After many years in the classroom, Janine moved on to academia. She has proudly trained new generations of teachers in her role as a lecturer at Queensland University of Technology Faculty of Education. She has also worked in the Queensland Government as an education specialist, developing education resources and delivering community awareness programs to help families conserve water. Currently she is the owner and editor of Families Magazine, a publication specifically targeted at parents who value a quality education for children.  Janine leads a team of professionals who write about family lifestyle, early childhood, schools and education information and family-friendly events.

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