“You guys aren’t really into salad, are you?” My cousin looked dismayed. She was going to Hampshire College and we were living in South Hadley. She loved coming over for dinner but was disappointed by the lack of raw greens.
It’s not that I didn’t like salad back then. I did. I just hated making salads. It felt like it took forever to wash the spinach, dry the spinach, tear the spinach up … crinkle the spinach, shake the spinach, dance with the spinach, and do all the other things you’re supposed to do to the spinach. And that was just for the spinach. Then there were the cucumbers, carrots, peppers, apple, tomato, artichoke hearts, green beans, and all the other veggies to chop or grate or peel or what have you.
Ten years later, I’ve become something of a salad addict. I still don’t love making salads. They still feel like a lot of work. But I like eating salad so much that the hassle feels worth it. I especially enjoy leftover salad for breakfast. It’s too bad Hannah lives 344 miles away now, since we try to serve a salad at every dinner.
Right. Check. Good. Salad on the table. Mother eats salad. But what about the kids? How do you get them to eat their leafy greens?
When the kids were little I would play “Don’t Eat My Broccoli.” Put a piece of broccoli on the side of your plate and explain it’s your very special most delicious broccoli and ask them to please keep it safe for you while you get a glass of water. “No matter what, don’t eat my broccoli.” Lo and behold, when you return to the table, the broccoli has disappeared into the small child’s stomach.
Now that the kids (and I) are older, we have a rule: you have to eat your age in salad.
Etani eats seven pieces. Athena eats nine. Hesperus eats eleven. (Actually Hesperus is so grown up that she usually just heaps a bunch on her plate without bothering to count.)
Athena asks “Why don’t YOU have to eat YOUR age in salad?”
See all these gray hairs kid? I can’t count that high.
Do you love salad or choke it down? Have a favorite salad you like to make? And what are your tricks to get the kids to eat salad?