Before I had kids it never occurred to me to serve them different food from adults. In those days I was addicted to Caesar Salad and made it every time my friends came for dinner with their children. Without exception, they were astonished when their kids (who swore never to eat a salad) ate it up happily, even sometimes asking for seconds. Think about it: Caesar salad has the perfect salt/cheese/crisp/crunch combination that most kids like. Can’t get your kids to eat salad? Try making homemade Caesar salad with our Caesar salad dressing recipe. If you must, you can leave out the anchovies – but we think you should leave them in.
We hear from a lot of parents that their kids would never eat salad, much less even try it. Now more than half way through The Picky Eater Project, I challenge parents Christine Zanchi and Fran Nostrame to make and eat a Caesar with their twin 4-year old boys.
And don’t forget the croutons! Kids love making these. Plus croutons are a great way to use up stale bread. Or turn it into a complete meal by adding grilled chicken, salmon, steak or shrimp. Try adding roasted chickpeas for added crunch. Whatever you do, let kids build their own salad and watch them go.
Sharp knife (adult needed)
4-5 cups 1/2-inch cubes of day-old bread (any kind is fine)
2 tablespoons olive, canola, or vegetable oil
1-2 garlic cloves, peeled and minced or chopped
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, Romano, or Asiago cheese (if you like)
- Turn the oven on and set it to 350 degrees.
- Put the bread, oil, garlic, salt, and cheese, if you like, in the bowl and toss to combine.
- Dump the bread onto the baking sheet and spread the cubes out evenly.
- Carefully put the baking sheet in the oven and bake until just golden, 15-20 minutes. Set aside to cool completely.
- Serve right away, or put in a zipper lock bag and freeze up to 2 weeks.