Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes

By | August 21, 2013 | Food & Recipes

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes
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Children take pride in what they create, whether it’s a picture colored with crayons or a meal they helped prepare for themselves and their family. When encouraging healthy eating, participation is a key to success. Creating a salad bar as a family meal is an easy and fun way to allow each member of your family to have creative control over their own meal, while encouraging exploration and adventure of their taste buds. In addition, children can help in multiple ways to prepare the meal and take pride in the variety of choices they make in meal planning.

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes | Choose MyPlate USDA | The Momiverse | Article by Cheryl TallmanYour salad bar can have many ingredients, but to ensure you’re preparing a balanced meal, you can use MyPlate as your guide. It’s a simple way to think about choosing ingredients from each of the food groups including: vegetables, fruits, proteins, grains and dairy. When creating your salad bar feast, remember to:

  • Make half your plates vegetables and fruits
  • Take time to enjoy eating the meal you’ve prepared
  • Eat low-fat dairy
  • Make half your grains, whole grains
  • Choose lean proteins
  • Use a smaller plate to help with portion control

Themed Salad Bars

Creating a theme for your salad bar makes healthy eating fun! It also encourages your children to try new flavors and foods, while allowing them to explore at their own pace.

Once you’ve chosen a theme for your salad bar, select foods from the list of ingredients in each column listed in the tables below. We suggest four vegetables, two fruits, one protein, one grain, one dairy and one to two salad dressings (store-bought or homemade). Place the foods on the table in bowls or small plates. At meal time, each person can choose different foods to build their own personal salad.

Enjoy a wonderful and healthy family meal!

Asian

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes | Asian | The Momiverse | Article by Cheryl Tallman

Sesame Ginger Dressing

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. Sesame oil
  • 2 Tbsp. Soy sauce
  • ¼ cup. Rice vinegar
  • 2 tsp. Fresh ginger, minced
  • 2 Tbsp. Brown sugar

Directions

Combine all ingredients in an air-tight container. Cover and shake well.

Mediterranean

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes | Mediterranean | The Momiverse | Article by Cheryl Tallman

Lemon Dressing

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Olive oil
  • 1 Tbsp. White wine vinegar
  • 3 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • 1 Garlic clove, minced or crushed
  • Pinch of salt & pepper

Directions

Combine all ingredients in an air-tight container. Cover and shake well.

Creamy Dill Dressing

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Plain yogurt
  • ½ cup Mayonnaise
  • 1 Tbsp. Chives or scallions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Fresh dill, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp. Lemon juice
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

Directions

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.

Mexican

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes | Mexican | The Momiverse | Article by Cheryl Tallman

Cilantro Lime Dressing

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Cilantro
  • ½ cup Canola oil
  • ¼ cup Lime juice
  • 1 Garlic clove
  • 2 tsp. Sugar
  • 1 tsp. Salt

Directions

Place all ingredients in a blender and whirl until smooth.

Tip: Use store-bought salsa for your Mexican themed salad bar

Fruit & Nut

Create a salad bar for kids: MyPlate themes | Fruits and Nuts | The Momiverse | Article by Cheryl Tallman

Yogurt Dressing

Ingredients

  • ½ cup Vanilla yogurt
  • 1 Tbsp. Honey
  • Dash of cinnamon or nutmeg
  • ¼ cup milk

Directions

Place all ingredients in a bowl and mix well until smooth and creamy. Chill until ready to serve.


How do you get your kids involved in healthy eating?

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Cheryl Tallman

Cheryl Moellenbeck Tallman is the Founder and CEO of Fresh Baby. Since Starting Fresh Baby in 2002, Cheryl Tallman has been honored with many prestigious awards, and is a US Department of Agriculture National Nutrition Education Strategic Partner. As the head of product and content development for her company, Cheryl develops innovative products and authors materials that inspire parents to raise healthier children. She serves as both a parenting and cooking expert for many high-profile online communities. Cheryl's ultimate vision is to make the task of raising a healthy eater easier for all parents.

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