Salad Bites for Picky Kids

I have a problem, a very cute, green-eyed, freckle-faced, blond-haired little picky eater problem. My Middle Little is a picky eater. I would like to get more veggies in him. When asked his favorite veggies he answered with, “asparagus and carrots.” That’s pretty much it, and if you count corn as a vegetable, he’ll eat corn. I tried these Salad Bites out on him with his favorite Ranch Dressing for dipping. It was like pulling teeth as I managed to get one in him. He liked them but said that he could only eat one in his lunch box because they were filling. Right. I will take anything I can get with that kid. Thank goodness he is cute.

jumbo pasta shells hold your favorite chopped salads

To get these to school with my kiddos, I layered each Salad Bite on a large paper cupcake liner and dropped two down into a pint size Mason jar along with a small portion cup of Ranch Dressing on top.

The concept here is to get more of my chidren’s favorite veggies in them as well as trying some new ones too. Kids love finger food and they love to dip. Eventually they will find veggie filled salads on a plate with a fork and knife and not blink an eye. Maybe.  Let’s see if it works because the best laid plans with kids…is no plan at all.  No real recipe with this one other than tossing together your children’s favorite salad ingredients and stuffing them inside cooked jumbo pasta shells.  Make as many as you like.

1.  Be sure to chop all your salad bits into small pieces, a fine dice works well.
2.  Always cut your lettuce with a plastic salad knife so that the lettuce does not brown as quickly.
3.  Be sure all ingredients are very dry so that your salads remain crisp and fresh.
4.  I am going to store these in Mason Jars for up to 3 days in the refrigerator.
5.  Interview your kids about their favorite salad ingredients and have fun making these with them. Your pickiest eater may eat a few, or one.

UPDATE: The kids gave these a thumbs up, even Mr. Picky ate both of his, and next time he wants bacon added. The Teen thought they were weird in a cool kind of way and wants his next time with Italian Dressing. Little Miss Loved them too, then again she is such a good eater, but she was wow’d with how fun they were for her little fingers.  All their classmates were intrigued as well.  It’s a win! Good luck, I hope these will help get some salad and veggies into your pickies.

Speaking of Kids… here is a little project I worked on for {{}}. {{Eight Quick and Easy Halloween Treats}} which are all very cute ideas to sit down and do with the little ones.  The Brain Dip would have been a hoot back when I was teaching Biology and those little Pudding Cups are so EASY and adorable. Keep it Simple Sister! KISS.

Don’t forget about my Blendtec Blender and Twister Jar giveaway!


  1. Kim
    Posted October 4, 2012 at 1:54 PM | Permalink

    This is a great idea! My girls will only eat raw vegetables, never cooked, with no dressing or dip. And my youngest loves plain noodles, so this is perfect for her. Thanks for sharing!

  2. Posted October 4, 2012 at 2:17 PM | Permalink

    Love it! I would have never thought about using a jumbo pasta shell for that!

  3. Posted October 4, 2012 at 8:24 PM | Permalink

    Do you sleep at night? You never stop thinking of new ways to serve food.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted October 4, 2012 at 9:08 PM | Permalink

      These kids keep me on my toes!

  4. Posted October 10, 2012 at 10:23 PM | Permalink

    Hmmm, I think I would like this more than the kids….

  5. Posted November 19, 2012 at 11:46 PM | Permalink

    I just stumbled upon your website for the first time tonight via pinterest and I am SO excited. I even emailed everyone at work asking if they have mason jars sitting around they want to get rid of. I am pouring over your recipes and I will be asking for both a blender and a food processor for Christmas. These large shells you made here, where do I get those in the grocery store? Is this something in the freezer section that I get and cook? Yes I am that person, I have no idea. I only cook in a crockpot or microwave currently.

    • Robin Sue
      Posted November 20, 2012 at 9:06 AM | Permalink

      The large shells are found in the dried pasta section with all the regular pastas, it may be on the bottom shelf. Have fun!

  6. Kat
    Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:02 AM | Permalink

    Corn is not a vegetable, it is a grain. You can not “count” it “as a vegetable”

    • Robin Sue
      Posted March 13, 2013 at 10:21 AM | Permalink

      And a tomato is a fruit as well as a cucumber.

  7. Treasure
    Posted April 6, 2013 at 10:11 AM | Permalink

    I have a huge box of large shells in my pantry that I continue to stare at. I know I could stuff them, but pasta is so overdone in this house. This is perfect! Plus it may get the oldest boy one to eat something other than meat and more meat. The girl child will love love love this!!

  8. SomethingNiceToSay
    Posted July 12, 2013 at 9:52 AM | Permalink

    I always end up with a few of these large shells leftover and this is an excellent idea. My kids aren’t picky but love to show off their clever lunches. You are a treasure because I am getting a little tired of all the “bento” tricks (although the hardboiled egg molds were a good investment).

  9. Jessica
    Posted June 29, 2014 at 2:11 PM | Permalink

    The jumbo shell pasta idea is genius! I can’t wait to try it for my next lunch at work. I think I’ll put a caprese salad twist on it and put tomatoes and mozzarella in the shells and then have a pesto-like dip on the side. Yum!

  10. Posted September 1, 2014 at 5:47 PM | Permalink

    You really make it seem so easy with your presentation but I find this matter to be actually something that I
    think I would never understand. It seems too complex and extremely broad for
    me. I’m looking forward for your next post, I’ll try to get the hang of

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