Fun fact: the salad bar at our flagship store in Austin, TX serves over 10,000 pounds of food every week! Why is it so popular? Because you can pick your own fresh and seasonal ingredients and there’s a lot of variety to please everyone. Kids especially love to choose their favorite toppings and craft a bowl of goodness that’s uniquely theirs.
Get inspired by Whole Kids Foundation’s Salad Bar Nation campaign challenge to eat a salad every day and throw a salad bar party! Without a lot of time or expense, you can create a fresh, healthy and tasty meal to please folks of all ages. We’ll show you how in four easy steps!
Set Your Stage:
A big bowl of mixed greens is a great way to start any salad, but include smaller bowls of peppery arugula or a sweet, nutty bowl of mache greens to add variety. Some kids are a little finicky when it comes to leafy greens, so include a small bowl of crunchy chopped romaine or some cooked spiral pasta or orzo to add fun and texture.
Follow the Rainbow:
Kids love making a rainbow on their plates, and you’ll love the nutrient boost they get from all that variety. Prep an assortment of colorful vegetables like julienned red pepper, sliced tomatoes, raw broccoli or cauliflower florets, carrots, sliced avocado, red onion, beets, green peas, cucumber, cherry tomatoes, black olives and radishes. Arrange on a platter or in small bowls to encourage sampling. Helpful tip: many food processors have attachments that will slice veggies effortlessly. Get inspired by our recipes for Rainbow Kale Slaw and Brazilian Cobb Salad!
Dress It Up:
Have a couple dressings prepared before everyone arrives. Try homemade recipes so you can control how much salt, sugar and oil goes into them. Here’s a simple technique for Healthy Homemade Salad Dressing. You can also add unique flavors like No-Oil Balsamic, or Vegan Caesar, or a Green Goddess Dressing. Accent with flavorful vinegars like red wine or umeboshi plum. Let kids (with help from the adults!) explore making their own dressings by putting out a small blender or lidded jars to mix vinegars and oils.
Top It Off:
Your guests may want a protein to go on top of their salads – but this doesn’t have to dominate the salad or break the bank. By providing simply grilled chicken breast, tofu or salmon, or little bowls of plant-based proteins like quinoa, garbanzo beans or black beans, you end up with a lot of fully satisfied healthy eaters.
Follow these simple steps, and your salad bar party can be a great success with minimal stress on your time or pocketbook. Create a wonderful dinner that everyone can dig into and help kids learn what they love!
Tell us, what’s on your favorite salad? What do your kids love at the salad bar?