Kids are more likely to love their veggies when they are fun to eat! For easy entertaining or fast weekday meals, nothing beats a salad. With a little planning, these fun salads provide a balanced and colorful meal. Here are our favorite ideas to help make eating your veggies much more fun!
1. Pizza salad. Take prepared, individual pizza crusts and bake in oven as directed. Monitor time to ensure crust is not overcooked. While crust is cooling, wash and chop a variety of fresh vegetables. Try bell pepper, olives, broccoli, cauliflower, radish, onion slices, tomato wedges, and other favorite veggies. Once crust is cool, place on plates and top with spinach or mixed greens. Serve chopped vegetables in bowls family style to allow individual selection and creativity. If you like, you can use pre-cut vegetables and bagged lettuce mixes to save time.
2. Trip to the zoo salad. Take a “trip” to the zoo without leaving the house! Place mixed greens on individual plates and top with assorted vegetables (mushrooms, tomatoes, etc.) for each person. Then, on a platter, arrange slices of reduced fat cheese, lean luncheon meats, and toasted whole grain bread. Provide a bowl full of small animal and plant shaped cookie cutters. Let the kids choose the slices of meat, cheese, and bread, then cut into fun shapes to top off the salad. Provide low fat dressings and serve with low-fat or fat-free milk.
3. Fabulous fruit salad. Want to make fruit part of a main course? Try mandarin orange slices or strawberries on top of spinach leaves and a raspberry vinaigrette. Or try adding apple or pear chunks, walnuts, and fat free feta cheese over mixed greens with balsamic vinegar and olive oil dressing. Feeling creative? Try mango salsa and chicken cubes with your favorite lettuce in place of traditional dressing. Serve your creations with crusty whole grain bread and a small smoothie for a refreshing meal.