With all of that “green stuff,” salad can be a tough sell for many kids. Last week we worked our way around the problem by making a tasty summer bread salad. This week we tried a different tactic with our slightly picky (OK, let’s say “selective”) 9-year-old: We put him entirely in charge of creating his own salad. The ground rules were that he could choose anything he wanted to go in his salad as long as he would eat it.
The project began with some thoughtful shopping at Trader Joe’s. Romaine lettuce? Iceberg? He picked (surprisingly) a bag with mixed baby spinach, baby kale, and baby arugula. Then he paced through the aisles, finally coming up with some white peaches, cherry tomatoes, a red onion, and an orange bell pepper.
Next we sent him out to the garden for some trimmings. He decided on chives, basil, and mint – which turned out to be a good call, because by the time he got inside and he had the smell of the herbs on his hands, he was totally enthralled: “Do you have any idea how good mint and basil smell together?”
Next we chopped and mixed it all up, while he wrote an ingredient list to remember what he put in the salad. Dressing? Well…that’s kind of the reason he doesn’t like most salads. He thinks it’s too slimy. So for his special salad he dressed it with just a spritz (or in his words, a “sprits”) of orange juice. Pretty refreshing, actually.
In a post-salad interview he broke it down for us: “I think kids want salad with something just a little bit sweet in it, like a fruit or a sweet dressing if they like dressing. Also it helps to use different kinds of greens – one kind of lettuce is too boring. And if you have mint and basil, use them. Definitely use them.”
OK, you heard it here first.
What kind of salad would your kids make if they took over?