Summer is coming. The school year is almost over (how’d that happen?), and the burn out is real. I need some easy, healthy dinners I can get on the table quickly to save me from ordering in most nights these days. Because swim suits are in our near future, a heavy diet of chips and salsa isn’t the best plan of attack. Instead, kid-friendly salads are making their way into our weekly dinner rotation.
You may doubt that your kids will eat their greens, but we have found 5 kid-friendly green salad recipes that we don’t have to cajole our children into eating. Seriously. They’ve even (gasp) asked for seconds. I like to serve these salad-bar style, where everyone can pick and choose what they like. It helps avoid the “my carrots touched my chicken” meltdown, and also makes it easier to use leftovers for lunches the next day.
Top: BBQ Chicken Salad | Damn Delicious
Related: A simple, fresh salad recipe that everyone can share—even picky eaters.
The easiest place to start when it comes to kids and salad is this Taco Cobb Salad at Lauren’s Latest. It has enough of what they love—chips, cheese, and ground beef (although you could easily sub in ground turkey, grilled chicken, steak, or even fish)—for them to overlook that scary handful of lettuce underneath. So scary.
My kids have gotten hooked on chicken pitas, mostly because I let them cut the peppers and make the tzatziki dressing themselves while I cook the chicken. So I think this Greek Pita Salad at Creme de la Crumb will be a hit, especially with those tempting pita croutons on the side. Yum.
Fruit is always a good idea at our house, so this Chicken and Fruit Salad with Blood Orange Dressing at Peanut Butter and Peppers is a favorite. You could pretty easily rummage through your fridge for whatever fruit you have on hand—mandarin oranges, strawberries, blueberries, any kind of berries—and mix it with leftover chicken or a rotisserie you picked up on your way home. But don’t skip her Blood Orange Dressing recipe. It makes a great dip on the side, too.
Related: Delicious grain salad recipes that you can make-ahead for the win.
This flavor-packed Vietnamese Shrimp Edamame Salad at A Healthy Life for Me takes fewer than 30-minutes to get from the fridge to your table, and it’s full of so many healthy ingredients. Present them like she does, where everything isn’t mixed together yet, and the kids will be much more likely to try a bite or two of these maybe-new flavors.
My picky kids really love this BBQ Chicken Salad (above & top) at Damn Delicious. Even though it’s full of veggies, it’s nothing too unfamiliar. And chicken plus BBQ sauce. This is the one that had them sneaking seconds after they swore they didn’t like salads. The leftover veggies and chicken are delicious mixed with a bowl of quinoa the next day, too. That is, if you have any leftovers.
I know that I said this was all about green salads, which presumes a base of leafy greens, but don’t give up on salads if your kids just won’t bite. Instead, just skip the leaves and add more chopped veggies. You can do that with a lot of the salads already mentioned here or look for a chopped salad recipe like this gorgeous Israeli Salad at Feasting at Home. You can add crumbled feta cheese, drained and rinsed canned chickpeas, and crushed pita chips to keep it vegetarian and give it more heft, or do as Sylvia has done and top it with grilled protein.