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Three Easy Jar Salads to Try With Kids

Posted by David 01/31/18 0 Comment(s) Toddler-Approved Recipes,Kids in the Kitchen,

3 EASY JAR SALADS TO TRY WITH KIDS
Post by Lunches + Littles

 

Getting our little ones to eat up a variety of foods - especially veggies, can often time be difficult. And, when most kids hear the word salad, they want to run as far away as possible. But sometimes, simple changes in presentation can change everything when it comes to getting our kids to eat even the healthy stuff...
 

A couple of weeks ago while I was in the middle of prepping some salad jars for my husband and I, my oldest (almost 5 years) asked if he could help. He was so excited about all the different foods (and colors!) that he saw out on the counter, and he wanted to be a part of it. His intrigue, turned into wanting to help prep, and furthermore him wanting to try some of the new things he saw. For example, hearts of palm – something he had never tried before. He didn’t love it, but he was exposed to it and tried it, and I consider that a win any day.
 

His excitement over the colorful jars made me think about other salads (or even meals) we could make using lots of color and jars. The presentation is fun and intriguing, and the changes are simple, but in my experience - a little can go a long way when it comes to changing little one’s attitudes around foods.

 

JAR 1: VEGGIE RAINBOW SALAD

This was the one that started it all... At least for my son. This salad is delicious for adults and kids alike. And, if there is an item in the lineup that your little ones are not keen on, that’s totally okay. With this salad, you can pretty much make any kind of swap you would like. As I mentioned above, my son didn’t like the hearts of palm, so I may try subbing something else in their place next time. The important thing with this one is to get your little ones trying out different foods and eating a more regular salad (less traditional salad recipes will be covered in Jars 2 and 3).


WHAT YOU NEED (for 2 salad jars):
1/2 cup red onion (chopped), 3/4 cup chickpeas (rinsed and drained), 1-2 small bell peppers (sliced), 3/4 cup hearts of palm (sliced), 1/2 cup cherry tomatoes (halved or quartered), 3/4 cup cooked quinoa, leaf lettuce as desired and crumbled feta cheese (as much or as little as you would like!) FOR THE DRESSING: 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tsp Dijon mustard, 1/4 tsp black pepper and 1/8 tsp kosher salt. – If you really like dressing on your salads, or just want a little extra, feel free to double the dressing ingredients to make a more generous amount.

 

HOW YOU MAKE THEM:
1. Start off by making your dressing. Combine olive oil, vinegar, mustard, pepper, and salt in a mason jar. Cover tightly and shake several times until ingredients are well-combined and mixture has the look and consistency of a dressing.
2. Divide dressing between two mason jars. Next, divide onion between the two. Then, repeat with chickpeas, peppers, hearts of palm, tomatoes, and quinoa (or whatever else you want to add).
3. Then, press lettuce down into your jars to cover ingredients and secure lids on top of jars.
4. If you are enjoying immediately, simply shake jar to distribute dressing, then open jar, top with feta cheese and eat up. *If making ahead of time, please note that this salad can be refrigerated for up to one full day. When ready to eat, shake jar to distribute dressing before serving. Top with crumbled feta (you will store on the side). Enjoy straight from the jar or transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

JAR 2: ITALIAN SAUSAGE + PASTA SALAD

This may not be a traditional salad, but it’s still is a fun way to introduce some veggies and goodness to your little ones in a presentation that many while find more appealing than a plate and spoon. And again, it is an easy one to make ahead of time for a lunch on the go, or just a quick (and fun!) weeknight dinner.
 

WHAT YOU NEED (for 2 salad jars):
2-3 Italian sausages, 1 and 1/2 cups pasta of choice (I used mini farfalle), 3/4 cups cherry tomatoes (halved), 1 small cucumber (thin sliced), 1/2 red pepper (sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces), 1 small yellow pepper (again, sliced or cut into bite-sized pieces), 1/3 cup black olives (sliced), and a small handful of scallions (chopped). FOR THE DRESSING: 3 tbsp olive oil, 1 tbsp white wine vinegar, 1 tbsp fresh parsley (chopped), 1/2 tbsp lemon juice, 1 garlic clove (minced), 1/2 tsp dried basil, 1/8 tsp crushed red pepper flakes and a pinch of dried oregano. Salt and pepper to taste.


HOW YOU MAKE THEM:
1. Start off by making your dressing. Combine olive oil, vinegar, parsley, lemon juice, garlic, basil, red pepper and oregano in a mason jar. Cover tightly and shake several times until ingredients are well- combined and mixture has the look and consistency of a dressing. Salt and pepper to taste, then set aside.
2. Next, cook sausages per package instructions. Once fully cooked and cooled, cut them into bite-sized pieces and set aside.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta per package instructions, then drain and run under cold water. Set aside.
4. Prep (chop, slice, etc.) all other salad ingredients and get your jars ready to layer things up!
5. Divide dressing between two mason jars. Next, divide pasta and sausage and layer in jars. Repeat with tomatoes, cucumber, peppers, olives, and scallions. Once done, secure lids on top of jars.
6. If you are enjoying immediately, shake jar to distribute dressing. *If making ahead of time, please note that this salad can be refrigerated for up to one full day. When ready to eat, shake jar to distribute dressing before serving. Enjoy straight from the jar or transfer to a bowl and enjoy!

JAR 3: TACO DINNER SALAD
Whether you make and serve these jars up for lunch or dinner – if your kids love tacos, they will likely love seeing them served up in this new and fun way. And, if tacos are less loved by your little one(s), perhaps this change in presentation will help this meal get a bit more love. These were by far, our kid’s favorite jar of these three, and they don’t particularly even love tacos. So, for your next “Taco Tuesday” dinner, give these a try!

And, be sure to get your little one(s) right up to the corner to help with these Taco Dinner Salads, or any of the other recipes you make, by using their Original Learning Tower or Limited Edition Learning Tower (Original Learning Tower in Natural shown here).

 

WHAT YOU NEED (for 2 salad jars):
This one doesn’t have an exact recipe like the others. People do tacos all different ways – cheese, no cheese, sour cream, corn, avocado, tomatoes, ground beef, ground turkey, some even do vegan tacos with quinoa, etc. So, for this fun take on a tasty dinner, just do what you normally would do when you make tacos. We kept it really simple, as our little ones are still just warming up to tacos. So, we used ground beef, iceberg lettuce, corn, cherry tomatoes, and sour cream. Oh, and salsa. Our kids love salsa. In hindsight, these would also be great with some corn chips on top too!

 

HOW YOU MAKE THEM:
1. Layer taco ingredients in jars as you see fit. We did salsa on the bottom, followed by lettuce, corn, ground beef, tomatoes, a little more corn and lettuce, shredded cheddar, and a dollop of sour cream to top things off.
2. Enjoy immediately or make the morning of the day you wish to eat them up. Our little ones were fascinated with these! So much more fun for them than traditional tacos. Major win at our table!

Kids love color and of course, tasty food. But they also love a bit of fun too (we all do, right!?). Presentation can go so far when getting littles to eat. These fun jar salads are all so colorful and fun and will likely excite your kiddos like they did mine to enjoy something fresh and healthy. Give these salads a try and remember - real food really can be fun!

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Lunches + Littles focuses on quick, healthy and fun meal options for little ones. One of the goals of Lunches + Littles is to share practical tips and tricks on how to make meals fun, all the while keeping things simple. A lover of colorful plates, and an advocate for getting kids in the kitchen, Lunches + Littles is also a great resource for parents of picky eaters, parents looking for healthy family and toddler recipes and those mamas (dads too!) who are short on time. A mantra of sorts: Making meals fun doesn’t have to be hard! With 3 little ones (4 years old and under) it can’t be! Follow @lunchesandlittles for more great recipes, meal ideas and fun food!

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