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Toddler-Approved Veggies: Grated Carrot Salad

As promised, I’m sharing a few of BabyC’s current favorite veggie recipes this week. We talked kale chips on Monday, and today we’re on to carrots.

Karen Le Billon, author of French Kids Eat Everything, posted a French version of this grated carrot salad recipe on her blog a couple of weeks ago. I still haven’t gotten around to reading more than the first chapter (which she’s giving away for free on her blog and which I thought was fabulous) of her book, but I follow her blog with interest. If there’s one area that French parents really are superior to American parents, it is in how they feed their kids.

Here’s the quick version of Karen’s carrot salad recipe, but check out her page for more details:

Ingredients:

  • 8 large carrots
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Juice of one orange
  • Juice of half a lemon
  • One small bunch flat leaf parsley
  • Optional: a dash of Dijon mustard
  • Pinch of salt

Instructions:

  1. Mix dressing by combining olive oil, juices, mustard, and salt.
  2. Grate carrots as finely as possible.
  3. Mince parsley.
  4. Mix carrots, dressing, and parsley. Serve slightly chilled or at room temperature.

I did not pay close enough attention to Karen’s directions when I made this, and I just used the regular large grate side of my box grater for the carrots. Karen says that the salad is best when the carrots are grated very finely, so I will try a smaller grate next time around. Regardless, BabyC loved this salad and ate it by the handful.

I have also had good luck with grated carrots mixed with raisins, sunflower seeds, and whatever prepared vinaigrette I have in the fridge.

While we’re talking French food, I have learned a few other good tips from Karen’s blog:

  • The French style of eating meals in multiple courses is good for everyone, including the kids. Starting with a vegetable course – before you bring out the bread, pasta, or cheese – improves the chances that kids will dig the veggies. Multiple courses slow down the meal, giving everyone a chance to tune in to their signals of satiety before shoveling in more food.
  • Take the time to set the table nicely. This makes a great job for a preschool-aged kid, too (BabyC isn’t quite there yet). Adding a table cloth and some nice napkins makes mealtime more festive and fun and maybe encourages kids to be more tidy at the table.

How often do we eat multiple courses from a tablecloth-dressed table? Honestly – hardly ever. But I like these ideas, and I’m working to implement them, slowly. We do often start a meal with a plate of veggies. And last week I started giving BabyC her own cloth napkin to use at mealtime. She loves dabbing at her mouth after each bite and tidying up her little spills on the table. I can now imagine that the day when I don’t have to wipe down BabyC, her chair, and the table, after each meal may actually come.

15 Comments
  1. Great recipe! That day will come. My kids can now clean up the table themselves, clear it, and load the dishwasher. It happens!

    Like

    August 9, 2012
    • Oh, that is so nice to hear. Husband is gone this week, so it is just the two of us at every meal, and I am amazed at what a mess we (mostly she) can make at the table and in the kitchen for one simple little meal.

      Like

      August 9, 2012
  2. I have fond memories of a grated carrot, grated apple, raisin and mayonnaise salad my mom made us when we were kids. I’ve tried grated carrots with my Little Guy. They just end up on the floor. He’s such a stinker! But maybe the older kids would eat this. I certainly would. Thanks for sharing!
    P.S. Did you know kale chips are going for upwards of $7 at the local farmers’ markets and at Whole Foods? Insane. But considering how difficult it is to get them right (at least for me), I can see why people pay that much.
    I’m excited to see your next toddler food post 🙂

    Like

    August 9, 2012
    • Your mom’s salad sounds great. But then, I love mayo… I’ll have add that to my list of carrot salad variations. BabyC gets grated carrots everywhere, too. I wonder if using a really fine grate would help with the messy factor. And have you tried my kale chips recipe yet? I’ve used that protocol several times and gotten consistent results (this after several burnt batches).

      Like

      August 9, 2012
      • It will be the next one I try 🙂

        Like

        August 9, 2012
  3. Yum! Can’t wait to try this 🙂 …excited for the next post too! Love the idea of courses too – giving the veggies first is a great strategy. I’ve also seen first hand how letting kids see where their veggies come from can really motivate them to “try” new foods. My toddler loves eating green beans when she picks them from our garden, or eating cucumbers from her friend Eliot’s garden. Although, this still doesn’t work with the dreaded tomatoes 😉

    Like

    August 9, 2012
    • If only our garden would produce a little more! It isn’t doing much this summer. I think we’ll have some broccoli soon, but the cat peed on the lettuce – a lot:( BabyC does like helping me harvest bits of herbs for our cooking. She loves to smell them! And she likes going to the farmers market and helping me choose veggies. Anyway, I totally agree – farming is really fun, and the closer kids get to the farm, the more interested in good food they’ll be.

      Like

      August 9, 2012
  4. Loved this post. A subject that is always one mummies want to learn more about.

    Like

    August 9, 2012
  5. mamaturtlemiller #

    That sounds great! I love homemade baby/toddler food recipes.

    Like

    August 9, 2012
  6. I can now imagine that the day when I don’t have to wipe down BabyC, her chair, and the table, after each meal may actually come.
    What about the floor and the walls? Apparently BlueEyes (13 mo) is in a phase where if he is done eating he’ll let you know by throwing everything off the table…. Also, I love your ideas for veggie recipes and will try a couple soon, since the only thing BlueEyes will eat lately are peas and dry pasta (and lots of fruits, so I’m not too worried). Thanks!

    Like

    August 13, 2012
  7. Dorit #

    so, we made this salad and Fred and I loved it. Daniel didn’t try it. He preferred corn straight off the ear and granola.

    Like

    August 21, 2012
  8. Dorit #

    Today Daniel also ate the carrot salad and liked it. I do cut the dressing in half, which is how my men prefer it. Thank you!

    Like

    August 30, 2012
  9. Love this post, very informative!!!! will definitely be following!

    Like

    December 27, 2013

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