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:
- 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
- Mix dressing by combining olive oil, juices, mustard, and salt.
- Grate carrots as finely as possible.
- Mince parsley.
- 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.
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.