There are a glittering array of lettuces in a multitude of reds and greens. We have been munching on these lovely raw leaves for 6,000 years – you can even find them in Egyptian hieroglyphs. Lettuces are 95% water and so are generally eaten raw and fresh. They are the perfect foundation to almost any salad and will add flavour, depth and crunch to most sandwiches and burgers.
Lettuce is a source of vitamins A, C and K as well as folate.
Lettuce is best when served as fresh as possible, so try to buy lettuces that don’t show brown spots or heavy signs of wilting.
To prep and store lettuce, wash it thoroughly and dry completely with a salad spinner or a clean tea towel. Then wrap in a paper towel and place in a bag or container.
For a quick and simple lettuce salad: Wash and cut the lettuce and mix with your favourite fresh veggies. To make the dressing mix 3 parts olive oil with one part vinegar (balsamic, apple cider or white wine vinegars all work), add a pinch of salt and ground pepper, mix it up. Only drizzle over the lettuce just before serving to avoid it going soggy.
At Its Best:
May - November
Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with lettuce:
Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
If You Like Lettuce…Try
Does your child enjoy lettuce? That’s great! Lettuce is usually crunchy, watery and fairly sweet, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!
The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.
The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.
But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Design a menu
Come up with a silly name or story for a dish
Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks
Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process
The Wonderful World of Veg
Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…