The Joy of Salad


The quick answer:  Eat a big salad, with lots of dark leafy greens, daily.  It’s the easiest way to get your vegetables and very affordable.


The Magic of Salad

Most people eat about 15 servings of food a day, traditionally divided between three meals and a couple of snacks.  Nothing wrong with that.  (A serving fits in the palm of your hand, about ½ C for most folks, less for kids.)

Of those daily servings, the Dietary Guidelines for Americans say we should get 4-5 of vegetables.  A lot of what’s in the Guidelines is nonsense, but this is good advice.  The problem is Americans average just one daily serving if you throw out French fries (and you should).  So here is one of the most critical issues in nutrition—eating enough vegetables. 

Here’s the solution—put a green salad in the center of your plate at lunch or dinner.  Depending on the size of the salad, you can get 2-4 servings.  How easy is that?  Making salad is pretty easy for the cook too and that’s a good thing.

A salad is any mixture of greens served with a dressing, though it’s good to include a variety of colorful vegetables.  Back in the day when fats were out of favor I ate salads without the dressing.  That wasn’t so good because lots of nutrients are fat-soluble so having a little fat makes them bio-available.  (Vitamins K, A, D, and E are all fat-soluble.)  There was a lot of wisdom in that old olive oil-and-vinegar salad dressing.

 Dark Greens

I bet half of our vegetable intake is dark leafy greens.  They’re rich in vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants.  Dark greens are also full of omega-3 fat, folate and carotenoids.  Dark greens contain the stuff of life and you can buy them year around for around $1.00/Lb. That’s less than half the price of less-healthy processed foods. 

The bagged, prepared greens in the produce section of the store make salads even easier.  Our family likes Brooke’s Broccoli Salad.

I think this might be the easiest Healthy Change:

Please comment:  Share your favorite salad recipes.  Tell what salads your children love. 

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  • Response
    Response: bestessays
    Salad is the good food to take when you feel light hunger. It contains all the healthy and nutrients stuff in them, which can make you fit and slim. This thing is the best to remove your fats and remove the chubby effects on your body.
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Reader Comments (5)

This goal a year ago really pushed me to add salads to our menus--I never really cared for them before and figured we ate lots of other veggies so we could skip it. Now, we have a salad most nights and the husband confesses he misses them when we don't! The secret for the kids and for me was to add fruit to the typical green salad. Apple chunks and cut strawberries are our favorites, but mango, clementines, or grapes (just to name a few!) add instant kid-appeal. Throw in a handful of nuts or goat cheese, and our kids learned to happily gobble up spinach and kale (at least as a salad). Now we can serve just-veggies green salads and have all the kids eat them.

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterAli

I love fruit in salad, too. When I add fruit I do a simple dressing with raw apple cider vinegar, olive oil and honey. I tend to not feel like salads in the winter so we don't eat them as much; I'm trusting in the seasonal eating idea.

My six-year-old won't touch salad, but last night (for St. Patty's day) I added finely chopped cooked spinach to our mashed potatoes and he loved it. I'll definitely be doing that again!

March 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsey

Yum salads. My kids are getting better at eating salads. I believe it is because they have to eat a little every time we have salad. I see them eat more veggies on their own now. It's awesome.

March 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTori

I do try to include salads frequently in my family's diet. I love to see my 5-year-old son dig into a salad without complaint (it's not every time he is served one though). In the winter when I am not in the mood for salad, I like to add spinach, kale, or collared greens to our soups.

March 22, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLindsay

Last week at our monthly Costco run, I picked up a rotisserie chicken. The kids all cheered when they asked what was for dinner and I told them salad! We enjoyed big plates of dark greens topped with a little bit of chopped chicken, strawberries, and cheese. My kids have learned to enjoy salad by my offering it to them repeatedly and not making a big deal of them eating it. And fruit helps, too, like the others have mentioned! :)

March 23, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMindy

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