Coming up with tasty, real food veggie side dishes that are pleasing to all six people in my family can be a challenge, but this Sweet & Sour Carrot Salad is one recipe that everyone will eat.
Today, I’m talking about the struggle in getting my kids to eat more veggies, and I’m sharing this delicious carrot salad recipe with you as well. It’s a perfect summer side dish to most meals, and it’ll make a great contribution to any summer pot-luck too.
The Veggie Struggle Is Real
It seems that I’m constantly struggling to get my kids to eat more veggies. Do you feel that way too, mama?
It’s not like my kids don’t like veggies because they do. It’s just that there are some veggies they like less than others. Sometimes, they may like a veggie raw but not cooked. Other times, they may eat a certain vegetable when it’s mixed with other foods, but they won’t eat it if it’s on its own.
So, yes. The veggie struggle is real!
One thing I’ve come to know is that if I want to get my kids to eat more veggies, I need to find veggie recipes that actually taste good. And it’s more than simply tasting good, mind you, because what tastes good to my husband and I rarely tastes good to my kids.
Experiementing With Recipes
Over the past year, I’ve been trying to make 2-3 veggie side dishes to go along with each main dish we have. Now, before you close this blog post because you think that’s impossible, let me explain because it’s not as hard as it may sound.
Once or twice a week, I try to plan meals that have a main dish and sides as opposed to a simple one-pot dish. For these meals, I try to make 2-3 small, quick-fix veggie sides to go with it. One reason is because it’s good practice to fill half your plate with veggies (if not more). Next, I’m big on protein, but I’m not big on eating a ton of meat. With that said, I try to keep meat portions reasonable which means no one is filling up on meat. Veggies are necessary to bulk up the meal. Lastly, in an effort to cut back on bread (since wheat is becoming so processed these days) veggies are also filling in here as well.
Now, not only does having a few different veggie options give my kids choices when it comes to deciding which veggies to eat, but it helps me to learn which recipes they like and don’t like. And, for the veggies they aren’t fans of, it allows me to experiement with new recipes in order to find ways to make them more tasty for my kids.
My ultimate goal is to help my kids love vegetables by making them taste good and to help them get used to a wide variety of veggies. However, this takes time. Doing this 2-3 times a week isn’t too overwhelming for me, but if it feels overwhelming to you, simply do it once a week and see how it goes.
Speaking of experimentation, one veggie we’ve been experimenting with lately is carrots.
My Kid’s Love-Hate Relationship With Carrots
You see, I have two kids who love to eat raw carrots, but if they find them in their food, they’ll pick them out because they “taste gross.”
What?! Let me see if I can get this straight. They taste “yummy” when they’re raw, but they “taste gross” when they’re cooked. Humm. I just don’t get it, but perhaps I too felt this way about certain vegetables when I was seven. I’ll have to ask my mom.
Anyway, I recently came across a sweet and sour carrot salad recipe from Mireille Guiliano’s, French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook, and I thought I’d try it with my kids to see what they thought.
This carrot salad recipe is quick and easy to make which is great for busy nights. It’s also sweeter than it is sour, and it masks the flavor of carrots quite a bit. Plus, it has a nice crunch to it thanks to the nuts. The recipe below will make about 2 cups of carrot salad. If you want to make a smaller amount, simply cut the ingredients amounts in half.
Sweet & Sour Carrot Salad
From the French Women Don’t Get Fat Cookbook by Mireille Guiliano
- 1 pound of carrots – grated
- 1 apple – peeled and grated
- 1 orange (or 2 tangerines) – juiced
- 1/2 lemon – juiced
- pinch of cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon raw honey
- 3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1/3 cup walnuts – chopped
- salt and pepper to taste
- Grate carrots and apples and juice citrus fruits.
- Combine citrus juices with cinnamon, honey, and olive oil. Whisk to combine. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Place carrots, apple, and walnuts in a bowl. Drizzle with sweet and sour dressing. Toss gently to combine, and serve.
The few times I’ve tried this recipe as a side, everyone in my family has eaten it and says it tastes good. However, one of my carrot picky kids only eats what he has to while the other one goes back for seconds and thirds. Ultimately, I’ve decided that this recipe is a keeper since it’s one way to get my kids to eat more carrots.[yumprint-recipe id=’36’]