Gemma’s trick on how to get your kids to eat salad


Gemma JohnsonWell, my kids are fussy, fussy, fussy but I never give up trying to introduce them to new flavours and healthy foods.

Food is such a massive subject in our house, with the kids demanding food at every opportunity. If I had a pound for every time my kids asked for a snack I’d be richer than Richard Branson!

Below are just some of the items I have managed to get them to eat – you’ll be surprised at some of them.

  • Black olives
  • Sundried tomatoes
  • Pasta sauce made from crème fraiche, feta cheese and red peppers
  • Salad leaves
  • Pasta sauce made with tomatoes, anchovies, capers and tuna
  • Frittata
  • Tilapia fish with a creole (mildly spicy) sauce
  • Chicken curry made with yoghurt, fresh mint, garlic, ginger & fresh coriander
  • Homemade roasted tomato soup
  • Chorizo in a red wine reduction with garlic and parsley
  • Honey sesame chicken bites
  • Cheesy, coriander, cumin mashed potato balls

Yep, you read that right! I can’t say they eat it all the time but I have managed to get them to try things and turn their little button noses up less and less.

It’s all about the story you tell and getting them to either help you prepare it or letting them taste something fresh from the pan (after it’s been blown on of course!)

So, how have I managed to get Spaghetti Legs and Afro Baby to eat salad – and not just any salad but salad leaves with a balsamic, honey and olive oil dressing!?

Well, one evening, they stayed up just that little bit later than usual. I had cooked my husband and myself a steak, chips, roasted tomatoes and salad. Now Afro Baby especially can always be found hovering around anyone with food and she is pretty daring when trying new things if it’s from mummy or daddy’s plate and she feels like she’s missing out…

But how did I get five year-old ‘fussy eater’ Spaghetti Legs to devour my salad and love it ever since?

My stealth tactic explained:

dinosaur dinnerI got him to collect all his dinosaur toys and line them up on the dining table. I got his dinosaur book and opened it to the page where the dinosaurs eat leaves, we then took it in turns to feed the dinosaurs and ourselves. Once he had tasted the dressing there was no going back!

I now have two salad-eating children who even ask for it! The dinosaurs? Well, they weren’t very impressed with my cooking and have kept their jaws clamped firmly shut ever since!

Remember: it’s all about the dressing and the game, make the dressing slightly sweet with honey and they’ll love it. Make the game engaging and fun and they’ll love it even more.