Getting your child to eat healthy is tough! Getting them to eat their vegetables is one thing, but getting them to eat a whole salad is another. So why don’t kids enjoy eating salads? Here are a few barriers:
- Difficult to eat. The pieces in the salad (lettuce, tomatoes, onions, etc.) might be too big for them to eat making it to chew or swallow.
- They don’t know exactly what is in the salad. If a food item seems unfamiliar, they most likely won’t eat the item or the salad.
- Some kids are just picky. They might not like their food touching each other or just don’t like the way the salad looks.
If this sounds all too familiar, we got you covered. Here are few creative ways to not only eat salad but to enjoy it too!
- Create your own salad bar at home. This will make your kid feel empowered by giving them the opportunity to create their own meal. This also lets them choose exactly what they want in their salad which increases the probability of them not only eating it, but enjoying it!
- Serve the salad in something fun! There are a variety of ways that you can serve salad than just a boring old bowl. Try a mason jar, bread bowls, or tortilla cups.
- Add Fruit. It’s no secret that most kids are fruit lovers, why not add it to their salad? Adding strawberries, blackberries, or oranges gives the salad a pop of color and taste!
- When I Dip, You Dip, We Dip. Instead of tossing the salad in the dressing or pouring it over the top, put the dressing to the side and let them dip their salad. Kids love to dip!
- Switch it Up! A salad doesn’t mean just lettuce, cheese, and a dressing. Show them that salads come in all different shapes and flavors.
The American Heart Association recommends that children are served 4-5 servings daily of a variety of fruits and vegetables. Recommended vegetable serving sizes range from ¾ cup a day at age 1 to 3 cups for a 14-18-year-old boy.
The Children’s Hospital of Georgia’s Pediatric Heart Program offers registered dietitians as support for our patients and their families. Visit us at augustahealth.org/chog or call 706-664-0585 for more information.