Eating healthy meals is a goal that we all have. Did you know that the recommended servings of fruits & vegetables per day is 7-13? My family eats healthy for the most part, but there is NO way that we are each getting in that many servings per day. Especially with kiddos in the house!
Last winter I gave you tips on how to host a Freezer Meal Swap, and this year I am going to give you a meal planning idea that will help you include multiple servings of fruits and vegetables! Are you ready to hear about it?
I learned about Salad in a Jar Party from my friends at Juice Plus, and I fell in love with it! If you are looking for a way to plan ahead for the week, a reason to get your family involved in meal prep, or an excuse to invite some friends over, Salad In A Jar will be exactly what you need!
5 Steps to a “Salad In a Jar Party”
1. Invite Friends and Plan Ingredients: Have each person bring 5 Mason jars or airtight containers, a bag of salad greens, and a salad topping or 2. Be creative and think outside of the box. The neat thing is that you will get to try ingredients that you may not normally serve on a salad!
2. Involve Your Kids: This is a great opportunity to get them in the kitchen! Whether you decide to go family style, play date style, or even a moms night out, have the kids pick an ingredient to add to the table. Encourage them to choose a new one that they have never tried. They can even help by preparing the ingredient that they have chosen. Wash. Chop (with a child-safe knife of course). Place into a bowl.
Kids are more likely to try new foods if they are involved in making them. There may be hope for those green peppers after all. That is something to get excited about!
3. Salad Bar Set Up: Arrange the jars in one area as the starting point. The kitchen table works best for the toppings, as it provides a nice flow for everyone to work around. The salad greens work best on the counter, as it will be the final stop in your salad assembling. It is so exciting to see such a colorful and healthy spread!
4. Stuff Jars: This is the fun part! Start with one jar and fill it about ½ way with salad toppings. You can put your salad dressing in the jar before the toppings, but we chose to add that part prior to eating. Next, assemble your jar starting with the crunchy, thicker vegetables first, then softer veggies, grains and nuts before you top it off with salad greens. Twist the top on, and stick it in the fridge. Salads will stay fresh for 5-7days!
5. Add Ins: You may decide to add ingredients when it is time to serve your salad, or you may decide to utilize the convenience of that jar, and eat it from there. Ingredients that are best to add later include meat, seafood, eggs, avocado and fresh fruit.
Now that you have 5 beautiful salads for the week, you can decide exactly how you are going to devour them. Being a busy mom, it is truly a great option to grab one when you have a day full of activities. Just make sure to pack a fork! Anything that can keep me away from a drive-thru is a WIN.
The beauty of this meal option is that you can adapt it to fit any size group. One thing to note if you do this with a large group, make sure that everyone claims a topping with their RSVP so that you don’t end up with a table full of carrots!
I hope that you have been inspired to try something new! Add a few items to your grocery list, and use items in your fridge or pantry and you should be all set. Be sure to let me know how you like Salad In A Jar. Enjoy!