Taste Testing: Salad

If you’re a picky eater, or if you’re trying to get your picky eater friends to be more adventurous, this blog series is for you!  As a dietetics major, I know that I have to kick my picky eating habit out the door, which I’ve been wanting to do for a while now!  I want to help fellow picky eaters while doing so.  If you are a little nervous about trying new things, know that I’m a little nervous as well so you aren’t alone!  My goal is to try to find ways around your absolute worst fears about certain foods.

I don’t know about any of the rest of you, but I can’t stand the texture of certain foods. Example: the crunch of iceberg lettuce and romaine.  I don’t know why but it creeps me out.  My solution?  Swap your lettuce and romaine for some spinach.  My roommate, and fellow picky eater, tried it first and I thought she was crazy when she said it wasn’t as crunchy, and you’re probably thinking the same thing about me right now.  But believe me, I wouldn’t lie about this!  It really doesn’t have the same awkward texture as lettuce and romaine, nor does it have as strong of a taste to me.  I will say though that some people do find it to be a smidge bitter; however, it’s worth a shot!

Take it from a picky eater and try this one out!  Use spinach as the base for your salad; not only is there less crunch, but a general rule of thumb for greens is the darker it is the more nutrients it has!  Then add a few of your favorite vegetables to eat.  I personally love to add carrots, but I also have friends who will add broccoli or corn!  Next add some fruit; it can be fresh or dried.  I love to add dried cranberries!  Other people I know add dried apricots or fresh mandarin orange slices, and I have even heard of putting strawberries in salad as well!  To get some calcium, add some cheese!  Feta, bleu cheese, parmesan and cheddar are all common for salads.  If you don’t like any of those, add your favorite!  Another fun thing to add to salads is sunflower seeds!  According to the American Dietetic Association, an ounce of sunflower seeds contains half of the recommended daily allowance of Vitamin E.  Last but not least, the dressing. Don’t forget that a little bit goes a long way!  If all you can taste is the dressing, then there’s a problem.  A typical serving size on the back of salad dressing bottles is two tablespoons.

The most important thing about salad is to make it your own! You don’t need every “typical” ingredient to make a good-for-you salad, but it is good to try something new in it every once in a while! But for now, ease into the idea of salad with your favorite fruits and vegetables! Be creative!

Happy Eating!

– Kirsten


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