The only reason I am sharing this post with you today is because I couldn’t believe how such a simple idea turned into my kids eating WAY more salad than usual. Typically, if we’re having salad for dinner, I make up their plate and set it in front of them. They will usually eat it, but they don’t get excited about it…and rarely ask for seconds. A few days ago, I asked my daughter if she would like me to set up a ‘salad bar’ at home and let each person choose their own toppings. This idea absolutely appealed to her and she could not wait until dinner that night! I set everything out in a separate bowl on the kitchen table and let each kid walk down the line making their own salad (even if that meant little fingers going into each and every ingredient…). 😉 They were fairly predictable with what they chose, but there were a few surprises along the way! And I was shocked by the amounts of each veggie they added. I never would have put that many diced green peppers into one of my boys’ bowl…but he did all on his own! And then gobbled down each and every bite!
Anyway, they LOVED doing this and each kid ate two bowls of the salad they made for themselves. I offered one time to help them with their refill, but no…they were super excited to get out of their chair and make up their own bowl (for a second time). We will definitely be doing this again…and soon!!
And, of course, the ideas for salad toppings are limitless! Here are a few suggestions:
- Base: green leaf lettuce, iceberg, baby spinach
- Protein: thinly sliced deli meat, cubed pieces of ham or turkey, bacon, walnuts, pecans, almond slivers, sliced hardboiled eggs, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
- Dried fruit: raisins, cranberries, apples
- Veggies: peppers, carrots, cucumbers, mushrooms, tomatoes
- Optional: freshly shredded cheese or grated Parmesan
And for the salad dressing? For this dinner, I went with a very simple recipe:
- 2 T extra virgin olive oil
- 1 T apple cider vinegar
- 1 T honey
- Dash of salt
Here are some of my other salad dressings you could try: Strawberry Dressing, Apple Cider Honey Mustard Dressing, Blueberry Dressing, or Western Dressing. I would like to start experimenting with making ranch dressing again. I’ve tried a few recipes, but they’ve all been just so-so. I’ll keep you posted on that one. 😉
Note: We try to use organic ingredients as much as possible, but especially when it comes to the dirty dozen list. I didn’t specify which ingredients were organic in my above list, but if I can find organic, I usually buy that.
What do you think? Have you tried this make-your-own-salad bar concept? It was definitely a HUGE hit in our household!!
Here is the salad dressing shaker I use and love: