Maple Vinaigrette


Makes 1 1/2 cups

As many parents know, serving a salad to kids can be like mixing oil and vinegar: They just don't go together without some coaxing. But with a creative approach, the right ingredients and a mild, smooth dressing, even the pickiest eaters can learn to love salad.

Getting kids involved in the preparation is key. At the store, make salad selection a game. Ask little helpers to spot differences between romaine and Boston lettuce or choose the "best" bag of baby carrots. At home, even young children can slosh lettuce leaves in a bowl of water and place them in a colander. And what kid doesn't get a kick out of a salad spinner?

Enlist small hands to tear leaves, crumble cheese and peel cucumbers. Then ask pint-sized chefs to pick a few healthy extras—grapes, dried fruit and nuts are faves—and let them toss 'em in with the greens.

As for kid-friendly dressings, it's all about having a touch of sweetness in the mix. Our three recipes avoid refined sugars (a pitfall of bottled dressings), relying instead on juice, maple syrup and honey. Plus, they make great dips—another way to get kids to eat their veggies.

  • TABLESPOONServings


  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 2 Tbs. balsamic vinegar
  • 1 Tbs. maple syrup
  • 2 to 2 1/2 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • 2 tsp. chopped fresh basil
  • 1 tsp. lemon juice
  • 1/2 tsp. salt


  1. Whisk all ingredients together.

Nutrition Information

  • Serving Size: Makes 1 1/2 cups
  • Calories: 91
  • Carbohydrate Content: 2 g
  • Fat Content: 9 g
  • Saturated Fat Content: 1 g
  • Sodium Content: 26 mg
  • Sugar Content: 2 g