Inside: Have you ever made a spinach salad with your kids or grandkids? This is the best spinach salad for kids/grandkids of all ages—especially for teens wanting to stay healthy and well. The salad dressing is chock full of important ingredients—even down to the poppy seeds which actually help to make kids smarter! Gather your kids or grandkids in the kitchen and get making this delicious, nutritious salad! Don’t forget the tips at the end.
Best Spinach Salad to Make with Kids & Grandkids!
If you want your kids and grandkids to love cooking and baking in the kitchen—start out with something easy. A healthy salad is always a great choice! This recipe, Best Spinach Salad, was given to me by a good friend in the 1990s. It’s an easy, fun recipe for your kids or grandkids to make. Plus, it’s bursting with nutritious ingredients and tastes amazing!
Discuss the nutrition and kitchen tips below as well as the Q&A section with your children, grandkids, and teens.
The Best Spinach Salad
- 1 bunch spinach
- 1 head red leaf lettuce
- 1-pound mushrooms
- 1 red onion
- 1 ½ cups vegetable oil
- ½ cup red wine vinegar
- ¾ cup of sugar
- 1 tsp. dry mustard
- ½ tsp. salt
- ¼ tsp. pepper
- 1 Tablespoon poppy seeds
- 1-pound bacon
- ¾ cup grated swiss cheese
- 3 coarsely chopped Roma tomatoes
- Wash and spin dry the spinach and lettuce. Layer on paper towels and refrigerate
- Slice the mushrooms and put them into a quart jar
- Thinly slice the red onion and put it in the jar with the mushrooms
- Mix the following ingredients together: oil, vinegar, sugar, mustard, salt, pepper, and poppy seeds. Pour over the mushrooms and red onion in the jar. Refrigerate until ready to assemble
- Fry the bacon and crumble it into small pieces
- Grate the Swiss cheese
- Mix the spinach, lettuce, bacon, tomatoes, and swiss cheese together
- Pour the dressing over all and mix thoroughly
- NOTE: You may not need all the dressing; pour and mix slowly until everything is lightly coated. Save any remainder salad dressing for another day
1/2 cup feta cheese
1 cup fresh strawberries
A lot of kids balk at eating veggies. One way to make it easier is to get your kids cooking and baking in the kitchen. And, when you are busy in the kitchen, casually drop information about how good the ingredients are to stay healthy and well. Here are some tips you can share with your kids and grandkids (particularly teens) about some of the ingredients found in this salad.
Healthy Tip #1: The Nutritional Value of Spinach: Kid’s Bones, Brains & Vision
Everyone knows that spinach is good for you and will make you stronger (think Popeye). In fact, spinach is so good for you that it’s considered one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet.
It’s loaded with all kinds of vitamins and even vitamin K—which helps to build strong bones. Vitamin K contains a compound called osteocalcin that helps to anchor the calcium molecule inside the bones. If you can’t get calcium inside the bones, it doesn’t help your bones!
Spinach also contains vitamin C and beta-carotene which helps protect and build your child’s brain. Want to protect your child’s vision and eye health? Serve them spinach! There are many ways to eat it—cooked or raw (like in the salad). Either way packs a powerful punch of nutrition for your kids!
Healthy Tip #2: Measuring Mushrooms
When a recipe calls for mushrooms, teach your kids that there are several ways to measure mushrooms. Some recipes (like this one) will want you to measure in ounces or pounds. If so, when you take your kids/grandkids to the grocery store, show them the packages of mushrooms and read the label—does it say 8 oz.? That would be a ½ pound. And 16 oz. would be a pound.
If you are buying mushrooms singly, then show your kids/grandkids how to weigh them on the scales provided.
Some recipes will give the measurements in cups. They may ask for sliced mushrooms or chopped mushrooms. Show your kids/grandkids how to first slice or chop the mushrooms before measuring.
Healthy Tip #3: What’s Red Wine Vinegar?
Red wine vinegar is often found in salad dressing recipes.
Red wine vinegar helps with digestion by making the stomach more acidic which helps with heartburn. Did you know that in order for you to digest your meal you need a certain level of acid in your stomach? Red wine vinegar will help.
It also helps to lower blood sugar (a big advantage); it helps your body to absorb minerals; and like coconut oil is anti-microbial (kills microbes found in food like e-coli)
Healthy Tip #4: The Benefits of Those Itty-Bitty Poppy Seeds
Have you ever seen a recipe that calls for poppy seeds and you ignore it and treat it as an optional ingredient? Don’t! Those teeny black seeds from the opium poppy can pack an amazing nutritional punch!
Poppy Seeds Makes Kids Smarter!
Poppy seeds can make your kids smarter! They improve cognitive function or how kids learn. Why? There is a lot of iron in poppy seeds which causes an increase in hemoglobin production and blood flow. When you have good oxygen flow and iron in the brain, kids are smarter because they can think and process information better.
Get a Better Sleep with Poppy Seeds
And, poppy seeds can help your kids (and you) sleep better. They are loaded with magnesium, the calming mineral, which helps with the quality and quantity of sleep. Poppy seeds also regulate your metabolism to help reduce sleep disorders and insomnia.
Pass the poppy seeds!
4 Books for Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen
Here are some books about spinach for all the ages of your kids. As mentioned above–spinach is a nutrient-dense vegetable that helps to make this salad a must-eat for your family.
Sylvia’s Spinach by Katherine Pryor
Easy Spinach Cookbook by Chef Maggie Chow
Top 50 Most Delicious Spinach Recipes by Julie Hatfield
Sneaky Spinach by Alexis Schulze
Try the salad, learn the tips and you and your kids are on your way to making a delicious, nutritious salad—one that is perfect for any time of the year.
Want to remember this post? Post, “Best Spinach Salad: Healthy Smart Kids in the Kitchen” to your favorite Pinterest Board!
What main dish goes with spinach?
A raw spinach salad goes perfect when paired with pasta and will appeal to the pickiest of eaters. Add a piece of meat such as chicken or fish and you have a well-balanced, nutritious meal.
Are spinach salads good for you?
Spinach is one of the most nutrient-dense foods on the planet. It is high in chlorophyll (the pigment that gives spinach its green color). It helps with skin, particularly acne, is anti-aging, energy-boosting builds the blood and may fight cancer. Spinach contains vitamin K which helps to build strong bones. This vitamin contains a compound called osteocalcin that helps anchor the calcium molecule inside the bones Spinach contains vitamin C and beta-carotene which protects your child’s brain, vision, and eye health.
What meat goes with spinach salad?
Spinach is a versatile veggie and goes with any kind of meat dish–chicken, beef, fish, or pork.
How many calories is a spinach salad?
This green leafy vegetable is high in nutrients and low in calories. One cup of raw spinach is 7 calories or 23 calories per 100g. However, to determine the calories in an entire spinach salad, you have to look at all the other ingredients.
I’m such a fan of spinach salad and this recipe sounds absolutely amazing! But truly, can any recipe with a pound of bacon taste bad??? The addition of swiss cheese, one of my all-time favorites, has my tastebuds going crazy. I already pinned the recipe and can’t wait to try it. Thanks, Sharlene!
Sharlene Habermeyer says
Yes, I know–what can be bad with bacon in it? However, it’s actually an “option” ingredient for those who don’t like meat in salads. I love the Swiss cheese in this recipe–adds a nice tangy taste!
Yum, Yumm, YUMMY! Thank you for sharing your expertise in salad-making!
Sharlene Habermeyer says
You’re welcome! Hope you enjoy this salad!
Thank you for the recipe and information! I’m going to share this with my grands. Great Blog! I love using spinach in my salads.
Sharlene Habermeyer says
I love spinach in my salads, too! Love the crunch and the texture! Your grandkids will love this recipe–especially the girls who are interested in staying healthy. Thanks for sharing!