Healthy, Kid-Friendly Meal: Quick Chicken Salad Boats

August 20, 2010

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

In my experiences with kids (and adults), cutting food up small for a salad makes it more fun and interesting to eat. This meal was a crazy success for my 4 year old — in part because of the food, but probably even more because of the delivery.

When I got home the other evening, we didn’t anything prepared. So I rummaged through my refrigerator and found the following:

3 grilled chicken legs (left over from the previous evening) 
1 fresh zucchini 
1 carrot 
1 handful of grape tomatoes 
1/2 purple onion 
Romaine lettuce

In just a few minutes, I washed and diced all but the lettuce. I then tossed it with a little barbecue  sauce, a teaspoon of sugar, a splash of balsamic vinegar, a splash of olive oil, salt and pepper to taste and a sprinkle of garlic powder. It’s a tasty little salad, with the barbecue flavor that my son loves. And using prepared sauces makes food prep so much easier. Really, this can be made with any fresh veggies — I try to keep veggies on hand and experiment. 

But the winning moment here wasn’t the salad, it was the delivery.

We occasionally make lettuce wraps with turkey or other items. I decided to do that with this chicken salad. We called them chicken boats — filling individual leaves of lettuce with a big tablespoon of the salad and then sailing the boats into our mouths. It made for a fun evening for Henry, and the joy of watching your kid gobble down a healthy meal never gets old.