May is National Salad Month... Let’s Celebrate!

May 2015
By Kylie Fordham, Children’s Wellness Program intern

Salads have many different variations. They provide a great opportunity to be creative and experiment by adding foods that are delicious and beneficial for our bodies. 

What better way to get your kids involved than by allowing them to create their own salad? Try plating their greens, and then providing many different topping options for your child to experiment with. Children are more likely to eat nutritious foods when they can help prepare it. Allow them to make recommendations for vegetables, fruits, and proteins that they would like to try on their salad next time.

Tips for a delicious and nutritious salad:

  • Greens - Instead of using iceberg lettuce, try adding some different leafy greens to the base of your salad. Arugula, kale, spinach, cabbage, etc., are all great options to try.
  • Other vegetables - Tomatoes, carrots, cucumbers, and onions are all great salad toppings. Try adding some new vegetables to your salads and see how you like them. Asparagus, radishes, peas, broccoli, avocado, and mushrooms are some other things you could try. Remember, the more color you have on your plate, the healthier it is.
  • Fruits - Many people enjoy the sweetness that fruit gives to their salad. Try adding things such as blueberries, strawberries, mandarin orange slices, raspberries, or diced apples to your salad.
  • Proteins - Beans are a great option to add to any salad. They provide the body with both protein and fiber. Try using black beans, pinto beans, garbanzo beans, or any other beans you may have on hand. Lean meats, low-fat cheese, nuts, and seeds can also add protein to your salad.
  • Grains - Some people enjoy adding grains to their salad. Try adding brown rice, quinoa, or couscous to make a hearty dish.
  • Salad Dressings - Remember to be careful about the type of salad dressings that you choose. Many salad dressings are high in fat and calories, and we often tend to put a lot more on our salad than a single serving size. It is best to choose a salad dressing that is oil, vinegar, and water based. Many of the “creamy” salad dressings are high in calories and fat.

Recipe of the MonthMay - Carrot Salad

Try this crunchy cabbage and carrot slaw recipe from Whole Foods Market. It is a colorful and flavorful salad dish that your kids are sure to love.

Cabbage and Carrot Slaw

Ingredients:
• 1/3 cup white wine vinegar
• 1 tablespoon sugar (optional)
• 1 clove garlic, finely chopped
• 1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
• 1/8 teaspoon dried oregano
• 1/8 teaspoon dry mustard
• 4 cups finely shredded green and red cabbage
• 2 cups shredded carrots
• 1 cup thinly sliced green onions
• 1/2 teaspoon salt
• Ground black pepper, to taste

Directions:
In a large bowl, whisk together vinegar, sugar, garlic, cumin, oregano, and
mustard just until sugar is dissolved. Add cabbage, carrots, green onions, salt, 
and pepper and toss gently to combine. Cover and chill for at least 4 hours before serving. Enjoy!