If they make it, they might eat it...Salad!
Makayla was watching YouTube cake tutorials one night. I have no idea how she stumbled on those a few months back, but she LOVES to watch elaborate cakes being made whenever she is allowed to have a few minutes on the iPad. While I would love if she watched healthier or more educational channels, I also see value in the imagination and skill involved in creating themed cakes, like one of Maks favorite cake decorators, Rosanna Pansino of Nerdy Nummies. Makayla also picks up on their hosting skills along with their explanations and demonstrations, so as a Mom who spends time on TV and producers commercials, I can appreciate the teachings here.
So when my daughter came to me and said "Mommy I want to make a video" I was already thinking of how to nicely turn her down on the sugar-centric theme...until she said "can we make a salad for a video". That stopped me in my tracks. I ask her all the time if she wants to try my salads and I always get a "no thanks, but thanks for asking" (she figures if she is perky and polite in her rejection I might not "make her" try a bite. I am on to her clever tactics though! But this time she truly wanted to make a salad. I was skeptical the salad was all for show and not for eating, but again, she surprised me. Because she got to select the ingredient, talk about them, cut them, sprinkle them and mix them, she was more than happy to taste test her final masterpiece. I know sometimes we want to rush to get a meal on the table, but in order to really teach kids good habits, slowing down and making them active participants is really the key! Kids want to be independent and try mastering new skills important for life, so let them take price in the kitchen with their meals too!
Makayla's Favorite Salad:
1 large Carrot, peeled and "hi-ya" chopped (meaning makayla takes a lettuce knife and wacks the carrot)
Organic Mexican blend cheese
Salad Mix (lettuce, radish, cabbage, carrots - she picked out the radish)
Red and yellow peppers, chopped
Buttermilk Ranch dressing (without soy!) we use Cindys Kitchen because is is low carb, full-fat from sunflower oil instead of canola or soy (kids need healthy fats for hormone production and brain function and the fats helps them absorb fat soluble vitamins from the veggies). It is also sugar-free, non-GMO and gluten-free
Optional: For protein we sometimes add hard-boiled eggs, gluten-free "crunchy" chicken, or ham. And sometimes we make a protein shake to wash down the veggies instead.