With the weather being hot hot hot and being on a bit of a health kick. I decided this week that I would plan for us to have salads for tea this week. For me that is great, I absolutely love an interesting salad, my children on the other hand were not that impressed! Which got me thinking and felt like a bit of a challenge how can we make salads more interesting and encourage our children to dig in and enjoy!
For adults and older children making a salad more interesting by making it colorful, by adding different textures and presenting it nicely on our plates makes it automatically more appetizing than the limp salad leaves with some cucumber and tomatoes we can associate with a salad.
Here are some ideas; adding nuts, crumbled feta, olives, avocado, sliced cherry tomatoes, pomegranate seeds, mango plus using different salad leaves already makes it feel like a proper meal. If you like that fuller feeling why not add some strips of flatbread or pitta bread with some humous to dip!
One of my favorite salads at the moment is below; I'd love to hear your thoughts!
Chicken, Avocado & Cashew salad
Shredded gem lettuce
Cherry tomatoes, halved
To cook the chicken I dice into cubes and using some cocconut oil gently cook the chicken, season with salt and pepper and a squeeze of lemon.
For the dressing;
1 tbsp of olive oil
1 crushed garlic clove
1 tbsp lemon juice
salt & pepper
Mix all together and drizzle
The great thing about salads as there is so much you can add to it to make it different each day. Here are some of my salad ideas for the rest of the week:
Pizza Pittas with dressed leaves
Tuna, with crumbled Feta, Olives & Avocado salad
Chicken, Avocado & Cashew salad
Beetroot, Hallumi & walnut salad
Now we have some interesting salad ideas, the next stepping stone if you have children and they are not keen salad eaters is how are we going to get them to eat it! So here are my top tips that i plan to try and this week with mine, I will let you know how it goes!
For younger children; cucumber sticks and carrot sticks in a fun pattern or face with some different dips, include strips of pitta or wraps. Most children like eating with their fingers so this should be their heaven! Don't forget to include some protein; Chicken breast, Tuna, Ham or Egg or a selection!
Older Children; encourage them to try it, ask them to help you prepare the salad this will not only encourage them to try it but will teach them important knife skills and how to use a knife safely. Please make sure you only let the older children loose with a sharp knife and under supervision if they haven't used one before! (I appreciate this is common sense).
Always include something that they will eat on the table, don't ask them if they want this or that as it will lead to a flat no! I always say that if they try everything on their plate it doesn't matter if they don't like it as long as they try it and if they do they can have pudding.
Remember to add some protein as this will fill them up plus strips of pitta or flatbreads always goes down well...you could even have a go at making your own!
Please do share your top tips on how you encourage your children to try new foods, eat salads plus any delicious salad recipes that you enjoy.