At what age do kids start eating salad? This is something that I frequently ponder since some kind of salad undoubtedly graces our table every day always bringing with it with the false hope that tonight might be the night that Fig falls in love with leafy greens.
There are many reasons why, I believe, most salads and 2 year olds don’t mix well. One of which may be that the assortment of vegetables is too much from a mechanical perspective ( think little mouths and big crunchy vegetables). Secondly, with most salads, there is a lot going on. Between the lettuce, the accompanying vegetables and the dressing, it can be too much for little folks. I’m sure there are countless other reasons, but whatever they may be, my little boy has yet to venture into the world of salads.
I’ve presented Fig with many, many salads and to his credit, he’s tried to eat it. After pulling a leaf up to his mouth, cautiously tasting it, he looks up at me with little doey eyes and says ” All done!” and triumphantly pushes his plate away. This is baby code for yeah mom, this isn’t really my style.
So a few nights ago, I was searching through my kitchen, trying to whip up a salad for the pasta we were having, and an idea came about. Why not make a salad that’s sweet and crunchy with a dressing that appeals to the littlest mouths among us. Today, I give you Shaved Fennel and Apple Salad with a Rosemary Honey Dressing that meets just those requirements.
- 1 fennel bulb ( shaved or minced, whatever your preference)
- 1 medium Pink Lady ( though any apple will do)
- 5 leaves of crisp Romaine Lettuce, diced finely.
- 1/4 a cup of Walnuts, chopped
- 5-7 springs of rosemary leaf
- 1 teaspoon of honey ( local honey is far better tasting than supermarket. We used a local wildflower variety)
- 1/3 of a lemon’s juice
- 1 clove of garlic
- teaspoon of olive oil
- salt to taste
1) Simply cut up the fennel, apples, and romaine. I chose to chop the romaine very, very finely and cubed the apples. The fennel I shaved, but chop them up in a way you think best for your kids. Toss in the walnuts.
2) To make the dressing, dice up the clove of garlic and add to a mortar and pestle. Grind up the garlic with salt and rosemary until everything is well blended into a fine paste. Then add the honey and lemon juice. Stir well. Add to salad and toss.
On this night, Fig ate salad. Though, I’m sure if he was asked, he would say he didn’t have salad. In fact, he got apples and honey with his pasta.