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How to Make Kids Salad (They'll Actually Want to Eat)

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.)
Course Dinner
Cuisine American
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 0 minutes
Total Time 10 minutes
Servings 1
Calories 328kcal


Chopped Salad

  • 1/2-1 cup Shredded Romaine lettuce, sweet corn, diced cherry tomatoes, diced cucumber (peel for younger toddlers as the skin can be tough), and/or diced avocado
  • 2-4 tbsp crumbled bacon and/or diced fully cooked chicken
  • 1-2 tbsp Ranch, Creamy Italian or other dressing

Taco Salad

  • 1/4-1/2 cup Black or pinto beans
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sweet corn, roasted sweet potatoes or carrots, diced tomato, diced avocado
  • 2-4 tbsp shredded chicken, shredded beef, or roasted shrimp
  • 2-4 tbsp shredded cheddar, sour cream, and/or shredded lettuce
  • 1-2 tbsp Ranch, salsa, guacamole, or other dressing

Pasta Salad

  • 1/2-1 cup Pasta , .
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced chicken, diced (softer) salami, peas, and/or hard cooked egg
  • 1/4-1/2 cup diced tomato, diced cucumber (peeled as needed)
  • 2-4 tbsp olives, crumbled goat or feta cheese, diced mozzarella cheese
  • 1-2 tbsp Italian Dressing or Pesto

Salad with Chicken

  • 1/2-1 cup shredded Romaine or baby spinach
  • 1/4-1/2 cup Shredded rotisserie chicken or diced leftover grilled chicken or chicken nuggets
  • 1/4-1/2 cup fully cooked rice, quinoa, couscous, and/or croutons
  • 2-4 tbsp crumbled goat cheese or feta or shredded cheddar cheese; diced cheddar cheese or Monterrey Jack
  • 1/4-1/2 cup sliced pear, shredded apple, quartered grapes or diced strawberries; dried cherries, raisins, diced apricot, or cranberries
  • 1-2 tbsp 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


Calories: 328kcal | Carbohydrates: 2g | Protein: 1g | Fat: 36g | Saturated Fat: 12g | Polyunsaturated Fat: 7g | Monounsaturated Fat: 14g | Cholesterol: 32mg | Sodium: 208mg | Potassium: 67mg | Fiber: 1g | Sugar: 1g | Vitamin A: 2053IU | Vitamin C: 1mg | Calcium: 12mg | Iron: 1mg