3 kid-friendly salad ideas

Kinderling News & Features

We love a salad any old time but they are particularly inviting in spring and summer. Warmer weather tends to bring about lighter meals and a craving for fresh flavours and crunchy texture.

These days you can find inspiration for salads that reach far beyond the iceberg lettuce. The inclusion of quinoa, rice, nuts and other seasonal fruits and vegetables can make for some pretty special salads that can transform a meal acting as a side, or even replace the traditional ‘main’ meal completely. 

Why kids often love salads

  • They can help prepare them. Choosing the veggies, peeling or copping, we know that kids are more likely to try foods that they have helped to prepare.
  • They are “serve yourself” and many children love having fun with food and enjoying it together as a family.
  • Encourage fussy eaters by growing your own salad ingredients to use. Small pots of herbs on a sunny balcony, or a full-blown veggie patch with all the trimmings.
  • You can create a pick ‘n’ mix rainbow salad bar to encourage the kids to make a delicious salad they will want to eat. 
  • Salads don’t have to be simply vegetables. Try to make them well balanced and aim to include something your child loves e.g meat, chicken, nuts, eggs, rice, croutons, fruit, or cheese.  

Listen to One Handed Cooks on Kinderling Conversation:

Watermelon fruit salad ‘pizza’ 

  • Yield: 1 small pizza  
  • Prep time: 5 minutes
  • Ready in: 5 minutes   

Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Egg Free, Vegetarian 


  • ½ watermelon
  • ¼ cup blueberries
  • 1 banana
  • ½ cup strawberries
  • 1 kiwi fruit
  • ½ cup finely sliced rockmelon
  • ¼ cup natural yoghurt
  • 3 tbsp dried coconut


  1.  Slice the watermelon into 8 equal triangles to make a ‘pizza’ shape.
  2. Prepare the fruit and slice into to small pieces to use as toppings.
  3. Top your pizza slices with fruit, sprinkle over the coconut and drizzle the yoghurt on top.
  4. Serve to the kids, much to their delight. 

Brown rice salad 

  • Yield: 4 cups   
  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Cook time: 30 minutes
  • Ready in: 40 minutes 

Freezable, Egg Free, Vegetarian, Wheat Free, Gluten Free, Dairy Free  


  • 1 cup brown rice
  • 3-4 shallots, chopped
  • ½ cup currents
  • ½ cup red capsicum, diced
  • 1-2 celery sticks, diced
  • 100g cashews
  • 4 tbsp sunflower seeds        


  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 2 tbsp reduced salt soy sauce or tamari
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice
  • ½ garlic clove, crushed 


  1. Cook the brown rice according to packet instructions. Once the rice is cooked and while it is hot, stir through the shallots, currants, red capsicum and celery.
  2. Lightly toast the cashews and sunflower seeds for 2-3 minutes in a frying pan over medium heat. Add the cashews, seeds and parsley to the salad, stir to combine. Cover and place in the fridge to cool.
  3. Place the dressing ingredients in a small bowl and mix well to combine. Half an hour before serving stir the dressing through the salad, then serve.

Note: You can use as much or as little of the dressing as you like.

Carrot, apple & fennel coleslaw 

Serves: 4-6

  • Prep time: 10 minutes
  • Ready in: 10 minutes

Gluten Free, Wheat Free, Vegetarian 


  • 2 carrots
  • 1 apple
  • ½ a medium fennel bulb
  • 1 small red onion, peeled,
  • small handful of parsley leaves, finely chopped
  • juice of 1 lemon
  • 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 heaped tsp of Dijon mustard
  • pepper to taste 


  1. Finely slice the carrots, apple, fennel and onion, or alternatively use a food processor to slice the fennel and onion and julienne the carrots and apple, and place in a large bowl.
  2. Place the lemon juice, mayonnaise and Dijon mustard in a small bowl and mix to combine.
  3. Add the dressing to the coleslaw along with the parsley and stir to combine.
  4. Serve straight away, alongside grilled meat, chicken or fish, or place in the fridge until ready to use.

Storage: store in the fridge and use within a day to prevent the vegetables going too soft. 

For more amazing recipes for kids, head to onehandedcooks.com.au