Happy Valentine’s Day! There’s no healthier way to celebrate than with this Kale, Beet, and Strawberry Valentine’s Day Salad!
How do you get kids to love healthy food?
As I worked on this recipe, something really interesting happened. My four-year-old went from having a somewhat extreme aversion to beets to actually liking them. This made me think – did we not eat beets because my son didn’t like them, or was it really the other way around? Now that both of my kids are totally cool with beets in their salad, it seems to me that it was probably the latter.
The first several times I made this salad, my son insisted I remove the beets from his plate. If he asked politely, I’d take them away. Then, one day, I gave him a plate of salad, and I left the room for just a moment. When I came back, he said, “Guess what, Mom? I like beets.”
It’s frustrating to make food that your kids won’t eat, I get it. But they will never learn to love those foods if they aren’t given the opportunity. Is it really that big a deal whether or not my kid likes beets? No, not really. But now is the time to help him develop his food preferences. It’s also the time to allow him to recognize that he feels better when he eats healthy food. And, to me, that is a big deal.
A Healthy Valentine’s Day
There are so many ways to celebrate Valentine’s Day that don’t involve tons of sugary treats, which is why I wanted to share this Kale, Beet, and Strawberry Valentine’s Day Salad recipe. It’s fun and it exposes kids to three incredibly nutritious foods – kale, beets, and strawberries. Cutting out the hearts is a little tricky, so this part is best done by an adult, but my kids loved helping me toss all these ingredients together.
You could add the beet and strawberry “scraps” to the salad, but I chose to set them aside. I like the way this salad looks with just the heart-shaped pieces, and the scraps make a great snack or side dish.
I could eat this salad everyday, heart shapes or not. The orange juice and maple syrup give the beets a delicious flavor, and the kale and strawberries are really tasty with just a little olive oil and salt. I know all you adults are going to love it, and I think it’s even going to entice a lot of young eaters.
There are lots of ways you could modify this salad by adding cheese, nuts, your favorite dressing, etc. I’d love to hear what delicious ingredients you added!
I hope you enjoy this Kale, Beet, and Strawberry Valentine’s Day Salad. If you try it, please leave a comment and let me know how it goes!
And, if you’re looking for more healthy Valentine’s Day recipes, check out my recent roundup of over 20+ Healthy Valentine’s Day Recipes.
Kale, Beet, and Strawberrry Valentine's Day Salad
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper.
Peel and thinly slice the beets (1/8 inch or thinner). Use a small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts. Toss the beet hearts and remaining "scraps" into a medium bowl. Pour in one tablespoon olive oil, one tablespoon maple syrup, and one tablespoon orange juice. Toss to coat evenly.
Evenly place the beet pieces on the prepared baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes or until they are easily pierced with a fork.
While the beets are cooking, wash, dry, and cut the kale into bite-sized pieces. Place in a medium bowl and toss with with one tablespoon olive oil.
Remove the beets from the oven and spoon onto a plate. Spread the kale on the parchment paper and bake for 6 minutes. If you prefer it crispier, return it to the oven for a few more minutes.
While the kale is baking, wash and cut the strawberries in half lengthwise. Use the small heart-shaped cookie cutter to cut out hearts. Set aside.
When done, remove the kale from the oven. Add the beet hearts and strawberry hearts. Toss with an additional tablespoon of oil and salt to taste.
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