The Summer Salad Pleasing to Even the Pickiest of Eaters

Seriously - try this one!

A delicious way to get greens into even the most hesitant of eaters.

First things first, a disclaimer: I'm not a foodie or a culinary wunderkind. I'm just a mom of a picky eater. And as picky eaters go, kids with special needs like autism to be even more restricted and ritualistic about food than your average kid. 

Because of sensory issues, some will only eat foods of a certain colour or texture or food group. For instance my son is so sensitive to smells that he will leave the room if I am eating something he finds aversive, even if it's not noticeably smelly to me. 

And I remember a stressful time a few years ago when he swore off pretty much all starches (rice, pasta, potatoes). He was also a maverick at sniffing out anything green. For a while I had taken to hiding green veg in sauces. Every time I set down the plate, I held my breath. And sure enough, by some sixth sense my son would freak out over the most minute, barely-visible-to-the-naked-eye speck of green.

So when I say this salad is revolutionary, I'm dead serious. Because, in my house at least, it was. A perfectly ordinary evening and my son, who had hitherto never touched a salad leaf of any kind, expressed curiosity at the giant bowl on the table.

He'd spied a strawberry and some cherry tomatoes. I casually asked if he'd like to try some. He nodded.

Then he speared a bite, baby leaf and all. 

I braced the edge of the table. HE'S EATING SPINACH!!! I thought, complete with the gratuitous exclamations, and reached for the camera. I had to capture the moment because no one who knew him would believe me.

Then he asked for more. The piece de resistance is the strawberry and the sweet tang of the simple honey-mustard dressing...

May this salad bring you one of those Kodak (er, iPhone) moments, too.


triple washed organic baby spinach
organic strawberries, washed and diced
spring onion, washed and diced
cherry tomatoes, washed and halved
avocado, diced (optional)
cucumber, washed and diced (optional)


2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 tbsp red wine vinegar
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1/2 tbsp runny honey
juice 1/2 lime (optional)


 Combine all salad ingredients in a bowl.

 Combine dressing ingredients in bowl and whisk until desired consistency. For creamier dressing, add 1/2 tbsp mayonnaise. Pour dressing over salad and toss until well coated.


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As an established parenting writer and a trusted voice within the autism community, Julie M Green is a freelance writer and featured blogger at Huffington Post and Yummy Mummy Club. Her articles have appeared in a variety of publications, including Today's Parent, Globe and Mail and Parents Canada. ​She lives in Toronto with her Irish hubby, a crazy bulldog, and an amazing 8-year-old son with autism.