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Salad Jars {Teen Lunch Solutions}


Healthy eating comes down to being prepared!  Prep these salad jars on Sunday, and eat them all week!

Hi! I’m Hadassah! I am a rising high school senior and I live in Maryland with my parents and three siblings.  In school, my favorite subjects are American Sign Language and math. In my spare time, I enjoy running, basketball, tennis and cooking.  My love of cooking began when I was 8 years old; my favorite recipe to make is gnocchi from scratch with an Alfredo sauce. I am so excited to be a part of the team and to be blogging about cooking and nutrition for Super Healthy Kids!

Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time!

Greens are a super food that is important to start including in your families’ meals every single day!

Whole romaine lettuce leaves

Spinach, Kale and salad greens

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So whether you have always loved salads, or are starting to eat them for the first time, this recipe for salad in a jar is a great way to take your salads to go. Another great thing about salads in a jar is that you can involve your kids in making them too – and kids are more likely to eat veggies when they choose them!  To involve them, you can lay out a variety of dressings, cut up vegetables and proteins along with lettuce and have them choose their favorites to put in their salads.

When you start to get bored, change up the vegetables or the shape in which you cut them. Cut your peppers into rings instead of slices. Let your kids cut shapes out of thinly sliced cucumbers using cookie cutters.  Make sure to change lettuce and vegetable types every so often to keep the salads exciting.

Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time!

The assembly instructions are simple, but a great way to involve the kids:

  • Step 1: Pour in dressing
  • Step 2: Choose vegetables and add them to your jar. The heavier/harder vegetables (carrots, peppers, broccoli etc.) should go in first.
  • Step 3: If you want to add a protein like chicken or fish, add them after the vegetables
  • Step 4: Add your leafy greens and seal tightly
  • Step 5: To maximize freshness, I like to take any “toppings” (nuts, raisins, croutons) in a bag with me and add them to my salad when I am ready to eat it.
  • I have found that putting the dressing at the bottom only works well in mason jars, but you can also use regular containers and bring the dressing in a separate, small container.
  • Turn the jar over approximately five minutes before you are ready to eat  to allow the  dressing can mix in. Enjoy!

 (Print)Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time!

Some of my favorite combinations include:

  • Romaine lettuce, grilled or broiled  chicken, cucumber, red cabbage, slivered almonds, scallions, red peppers, Caesar dressing
  • Mixed greens, chickpeas, red pepper,  red cabbage, feta cheese, avocado, hearts of palm, pecans, Italian dressing
  • Romaine lettuce, tuna (canned or fresh) cucumber, green olives , peas,  tomatoes, red  onions, cheddar cheese, croutons, walnuts, as well as Italian dressing


Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time!

The three below, from left to right include:

  • Spinach Salad= Strawberries, blueberries, spinach, feta cheese, sliced almonds and poppyseed dressing! (FAVORITE!)
  • Vegetable Salad: Cherry tomatoes, peppers, green leaf lettuce, cheese, croutons, and ranch.
  • Taco Salad: Black beans, shredded lettuce, tomatoes, cheese, green leaf lettuce, tortilla chips and ranch.
Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time!

What combinations do you like?

FOOD - Salad Jars. Be prepared! We love this simple way to have a healthy lunch ready to eat, any time! https://www.superhealthykids.com/salad-jars-teen-lunch-solutions/

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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How many days in advance can these be made? If I made some on Sunday night, when would they need to be eaten by? THANKS!

Toni–NO, you never want to air-tite seal these. Veggies need air! Plus, if you add things like beans, they give off gasses of their own, which can burst the jar if you try to make it air-tight. A mason jar lid and band is fine, but keep them lightly covered in the fridge, and then screw them down tight enough so the dressing won’t leak out when you take it with you.

@Missy and @Pam- I only keep them about 4 days, no longer. If you have the lettuce on the top, it helps to stay fresher. The lettuce on the bottom gets wilted and gross.
@Toni, I just use the mason jar lid, so it is air tight.

I am told by my friends who have food saver machines with the vacuum hose attachment that if you vacuum seal the jars they will last as long as 3 weeks, stored in the fridge. I have not personally tried this, so I can’t guarantee it… but it’s worth a shot!

Hi I have experimented with jar salads and I found that by putting your proteins in between your dressing and lettuce help to keep it fresh. From bottom to top: dressing, protein, greens and other dry veggies. It stays good for about a week if stored/ layered correctly and sealed.

Also be sure to search up expiration dates for cooked protein. Meats usually don’t last more then 3 days after cooked.

My daughter’s school doesn’t allow glass containers at lunch (for safety reasons) – any suggestions for an alternative way to package these?

I’m so surprised Jennifer! There are so many new, super strong and durable glass containers!
Anyway, yes, I would send it in any tupperware. We send salads to school all the time in regular lunch boxes.

What do you take to school to dump the salad into when you are ready to eat it? It is hard to pack bowls or plates. Do you eat it right out of the jar?