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Rainbow Salad


I can honestly (and shamefully) say, this is the first red cabbage I have ever bought!  It was just so beautiful sitting on the shelf next to the dull green cabbage I was there to get.   I couldn’t help myself.

So for dinner last night, we were searching the cupboards in order to include as many different colors in this salad as we could.  I had the kids help with this, so they had a bit of ownership in the dish.

Here is what we came up with.

  • red cabbage
  • green cabbage
  • mandarin oranges
  • blueberries
  • shredded carrots
  • Craisins

Then I added a coleslaw dressing and let it chill in the fridge for a few hours to penetrate.

Excuse me?

What’s that you say

Beautiful salad, but my kids won’t touch it?  I

Every night for dinner we either have a salad, a side of cooked vegetables, or for the children’s sake; the veggies are pulled out of the casserole/ stir fry/ whatever one pot meal, we are having and separated on their plates.

With the whole meal on their plates (the vegetables being the star) we do not make a fuss. We do not force them to clean their plates. They are welcome to seconds of the other portions of the dinner, even if their vegetables are not all gone.  My hope is they will learn what a balanced plate looks like, by seeing it every night!

My secret weapon!  PATIENCE!  It took NINE YEARS for Nathan to finally say he liked salad!  NINE YEARS!!  So, the awful truth of it all is: there is no magic formula except boring old patience and persistence while consistently offer vegetables to your kids.

And here is Nate, enjoying his Rainbow Salad, FINALLY!


Natalie Monson

I'm a registered dietitian, mom of 4, avid lover of food and strong promoter of healthy habits. Here you will find lots of delicious recipes full of fruits and veggies, tips for getting your kids to eat better and become intuitive eaters and lots of resources for feeding your family.

Learn More about Natalie

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Maria- definitely crunchier.. I did like it that way.
Erica, yes you can! I thought it was super filling.
I regretted the coleslaw dressing with the same thought… should have used poppyseed dressing, YUM

Mmm…. That looks DElish!!! I would definitely add spinach. Strawberries would also be good.

My 5-year-old loves salad (without the dressing!). He has since he could eat solids. He’ll take a huge helping, eat it all, and then ask for more again and again!!! Makes this mommy proud! 🙂

We may just try this one. YUM!

Mine wouldn’t eat that salad, but neither would I – not a big fan of salads with both fruits and veggies mixed. (Am I the only one?) I would love that with the fruit on the side, though! And my kids might just go for that too. I haven’t ever put red cabbage in a salad actually…should do that.

Love my red cabbage sauteed with some teriyaki and sesame seeds though. We can eat a whole bowl of that for lunch!

i was thinking baby spinach too– definitely needs a deep green color, but otherwise beautiful, healthful, and delicious! i like cilantro in my coleslaw, so that might be good too!

That looks really good. Luckily my kids are pretty open to trying almost any vegetable. Right now my daughter’s favorite is asparagus.

Amy- I am so overwhelmed reading your blog… HOLY COW! I love it!! Let me just tell you I think you are amazing! Keep the posts coming!

I bought a pretty cabbage once, and it was last year, and I let it rot in the fridge because I had no idea what to do with it. My parents never cooked with it. You’d think I’d have a recipe or something before buying it.

Char- Lucky girl, Asparagus? Smart kid!
Gina- I have a recipe that I’m trying today. I’ll give it to you if it turns out. It looks great!
Wendy: Thanks so much Wendy! It truly helps when I hear comments like yours to keep blogging.

My 6 year old loves salad but I remember when she was 3 or 4 she had a really hard time with the soft spinach leaves. For some reason, the crunchy lettuce is easier to chew for little mouths, but the soft spinach takes more of a grinding action. By the time she was 5 or 6 it wasn’t an issue anymore.

Here’s an idea you can share. I use the leaf of cabbage as a taco shell… Well it wasn’t a taco but it had a delightful chicken salad in it and we held it like a taco! One child holds it like a taco and eats it that way and they other just uses it like a bowl. I am sneaky though.. The cabbage was in the chicken salad too.