The month of May is National Salad Month! Tossing a quick salad for dinner or lunch can be an easy and creative way to encourage healthy eating habits and get all the components of a balanced meal. Celebrate May by turning over a new leaf and incorporating a variety of salads into your diet!
Salads are simple, yet tasty meals that are high in nutrients such as Vitamin A, Vitamin C, fiber, and folate. These nutrients are important in promoting good vision, supporting immune function, and acting as antioxidants to help fight chronic diseases.
Below are some tips on how you can encourage yourself and your family to eat a colorful palette of salads.
- Welcome ownership and creativity from the whole family. Let children build their own salad with toppings of their choice. When you let them make their own salad, they are more likely to enjoy and even try new ingredients! From apples and pears to carrots and cucumbers, kids can put their favorite fruits and vegetables into their salad to make it a meal they will love.
- Include a protein to make it a filling, nutrient-rich meal. Protein sources - such as chicken, edamame, tofu, chickpeas, turkey, eggs, and beans - are an important addition to upgrade your salad to a complete entrée.
- Add some crunch to your salad! Include crunchy toppings like sunflower seeds, almonds, or walnuts to provide a different texture. Nuts and seeds offer heart-healthy fats into our diet!
- Incorporate different varieties of greens. There are several types of leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and red lettuce to choose from. To overcome the bitterness of certain greens, try creating a salad mixture that includes an even combination of familiar lettuce and dark, leafy greens. If needed, add a dressing to help balance the flavors.
- Choose dressings that have healthy oils. Olive oil and avocado oil are both great examples of healthier salad dressings when compared to creamy-based options. Healthy oils can help your body absorb nutrients from the salad. You can even try making your own salad dressing at home with oil and vinegar!
When we think of salad, we typically think of a traditional green salad full of different types of lettuces. However, it is important to note that you can switch up your salad base to create a whole new recipe! This can include grilled vegetables, whole wheat pasta, quinoa, and fruit.
From sweet and tangy to rich and savory, there are several types of salads to choose from. Mix and match your favorite salad bases and toppings to find your favorite salad! There’s something for everyone!
To learn more about National Salad Month, visit https://dressings-sauces.org/salad-a-day/