During the summer, grilled chicken salad is one of our favorite go-to meals, especially on busy nights. Not only does grilling give us a chance to eat on our patio (which is one of The Goose’s favorite things to do), it also doesn’t heat up the house and it gives us a chance to pick fresh vegetables from our gardens. (We have a large family garden and The Goose has his own garden, too.) Take it from me – If you’ve never had a chance to eat a fresh picked cucumber, you are really missing out.
Because I’m such a picky eater, I’ve worked really hard to make sure that The Goose doesn’t follow in my footsteps. When he was a baby, and first began eating solid foods, I made all of his baby food at home. I began introducing him to a wide variety of fruits and vegetables (like mango, kiwi, cauliflower, peas and avocado) – all foods that I would never, ever have tried eating as a child (or as an adult, for that matter). Thankfully, all of my efforts paid off. Nowadays, The Goose is a big veggie eater. He loves fresh vegetables like tomatoes, cucumbers, carrots, and even eats raw green beans right out of the garden! He is also a fan of broccoli, corn, and sugar snap peas.
When The Goose was in preschool, he’d often request salads for lunch and dinner, and I’d always oblige. But something happened last year when, out of the blue, The Goose decided that he no longer liked lettuce. I’d set a bowl of salad in front of him and watch as he picked out the bacon bits, tomatoes and pieces of cheese, leaving the lettuce untouched. I was crushed. After all, salad had always been one of our favorite things to eat. And (I swear) just the week before he’d requested salad for lunch!
The problem was that my husband and I really enjoyed salads, even if The Goose didn’t. And there was no way I was going to make two different meals for dinner, so making salad for the grown-ups and a separate meal for The Goose was out of the question. Thankfully, I came up with a solution that made everyone happy. The veggie plate.
What is a veggie plate?
A veggie plate is basically a deconstructed salad, minus the lettuce. I’ll pile up some tomatoes, sliced cucumbers, baby carrots, fresh picked green beans, croutons, bacon bits, shredded cheese, diced chicken and a ranch dressing dipper. He methodically eats each vegetable, one at a time, usually using just his hands (which I think is another reason why he loves veggie plate so much!).
I laugh thinking about how, when I was a kid, if my mom would’ve set down an entire plate full of vegetables and told me that was my dinner I would’ve started crying. But The Goose LOVES having a veggie plate dinner. He loves it so much, in fact, that he asks for it at least twice a week. Best of all, I love feeding him a veggie plate because he gets at least five servings of fresh vegetables at one sitting! What other meal does that?