Here’s a look at basic templates for making kid-friendly salads. Pick and choose the ingredients you like! (Nutrition info will vary according to the ingredients you use.)
- Shredded Romaine lettuce, sweet corn, diced cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber (peel for younger toddlers as the skin can be tough), diced avocado, crumbled bacon, and/or diced fully cooked chicken. Ranch, Creamy Italian or other dressing
- Black or pinto beans, sweet corn, roasted sweet potatoes or carrots, diced tomato, diced avocado, shredded cheddar, sour cream, shredded chicken or beef, roasted shrimp, and/or shredded lettuce. Ranch, salsa, guacamole, or other dressing
- Pasta, diced chicken, diced (softer) salami, peas, olives, diced tomato, diced cucumber (peeled as needed), crumbled goat or feta cheese, diced mozzarella cheese, and/or hard cooked egg. Italian Dressing or Pesto
Salad with Chicken
- Shredded rotisserie chicken or diced leftover grilled chicken or chicken nuggets; shredded Romaine or baby spinach; fully cooked rice, quinoa, or couscous; crumbled goat cheese or feta or shredded cheddar cheese; diced cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack; sliced pear, shredded apple, quartered grapes or diced strawberries; dried cherries, raisins, diced apricot, or cranberries; croutons. Creamy Italian, Caesar, Ranch, or other dressing
- Choose your salad type.
- Choose a few different ingredient options, aiming for a few different food groups.
- Add dressing as desired, either mixed in or as a dip.
Try to make sure the foods are easy for the kids to eat. So shred the lettuce and make sure all proteins are soft and easy to chew.
Start with smaller portions to avoid food waste and allow seconds as requested.
Remember that it’s normal for kids to eat more of some food groups some days and less on others. It usually evens out if you look at things over a much broader period of time.
Serve dressings mixed in or on the side as a dip and don’t shy away from flavor!
Offer the kids some of a salad you make for yourself, cutting up the foods a little smaller as needed