Simple Summer Salads Kids Will Like to Eat

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With Summer just around the corner and temperatures rising, I crave simpler meals that give us more time to play and less work to do in the kitchen.  

This is where salads come in, and not just traditional leafy green salads (though those are tasty, too), but salads that include fruit, whole grains, and healthy fats for a dish that is nourishing as it is delicious.

For many kids, vegetables can be hard to eat, so putting a twist on a typical salad can make it more enjoyable and fun to eat - for you and your kiddos!

The great thing about these salads is that they can be prepared ahead of time and stored until you’re ready to eat them, which makes them perfect for parties, barbeques, and all your favorite summer events.

Get your kids involved in the kitchen by letting them take over some of the prep work, like washing produce, slicing fruit, and stirring up ingredients.

Check out three of my favorite summer salads that are simple to put together and that your kids will actually like to eat:

Fruity Grain Salad

Ingredients

For Salad:

  • I cup cooked pearled barley or farro (whole grain)

  • 2 apples, cored and chopped (Honeycrisp or Pink Lady)

  • 3 cups grapes (red or green) halved

  • ½ cup dried cranberries

  • ½ cup chopped walnuts

  • ⅔ cups chopped dates

For Dressing:

  • 1 cup Vanilla Greek Yogurt

  • ¼ cup brown sugar

  • ¼ tsp vanilla

  • ¼ tsp sea salt

  • ¾ tsp cinnamon

  • 2 tbsps water

Directions

  1. In a large bowl, combine salad ingredients and stir to incorporate everything together.

  2. In a smaller bowl, add ingredients for dressing and stir to mix thoroughly.

  3. Pour dressing over salad mixture and stir to combine (can add more or less dressing according to likeness).

  4. Serve and enjoy or store and refrigerate to eat later!

Mediterranean Chickpea Salad 

Ingredients

  • 2-14 oz cans chickpeas, drained and rinsed

  • 1.5 lbs tomatoes, chopped into bite-sized pieces

  • 1.5 lbs cucumbers, chopped into bite-sized pieces

  • ½ medium red onion, thinly chopped

  • 3 medium avocados, diced

  • ½ fresh herbs (parsley, cilantro, and/or dill), finely chopped

  • 3 tbsp olive oil

  • 1 large lemon, juiced

  • 1 ½ tsp sea salt

  • Ground pepper to taste

Directions

  1. Add all ingredients to a large bowl and stir gently to combine.

  2. Serve and enjoy or store and refrigerate to eat later!

Kid Friendly Pesto Pasta Salad

Ingredients

  • 1 - 20-ounce package spinach-filled tortellini

  • ⅓ cup basil pesto sauce

  • ⅓ cup olive oil

  • 3 cups fresh cherry tomatoes, sliced

  • 2 cups mini fresh mozzarella balls

  • ½ cup chopped fresh basil

  • 6 oz. salami, chopped (optional)

Directions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook tortellini according to package instructions, al dente. Drain and set aside.

  2. In a mixing bowl, whisk together basil pesto sauce and olive oil until well combined.

  3. Add tomatoes, mozzarella, basil and tortellini to bowl and toss to coat with dressing. Stir in salami if desired

  4. Serve and enjoy or store and refrigerate!

What are your favorite summer salads that your family enjoys?