You don't understand it. Your child used to devour any vegetable. Any color. Any taste. You were so proud.
Then reality struck and suddenly your darling little omnivore hated -- HATED, I say! --?? anything that even resembled a vegetable. Anything leafy and green or broccoli-like became particularly suspect. Well, welcome to the real world of parenting. We are told that eventually the kids will outgrow this frustrating stage. We are told that when they are 30 they won't still wail when presented with salad at dinner.
And we cling to those assurances for comfort.
In the meantime, we created this child-friendly (OK, maybe just friendlier) salad with no greens (except some celery, which is easily left out if even that offends your youngster's delicate sensibilities) in a perhaps foolhardy attempt to help you get something healthy into your delightful offspring.
If your kid prefers finger food, feel free to leave everything in bigger chunks so they can pick and eat each item one at a time.
BACK-TO-SCHOOL CHOPPED SALAD
Start to finish: 45 minutes (15 minutes active)
1 medium cucumber, peeled
1 pint grape tomatoes, quartered
1 small summer squash, diced
1/3 cup mayonnaise
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 teaspoon honey
Ground black pepper
3 stalks celery, diced
1 yellow or orange bell pepper, cored and diced
Slice the cucumber in half lengthwise, then use a spoon to scrape out and discard the seeds from each half. Cut each half in half lengthwise again, then chop the lengths into 1/4-inch-thick chunks.
In a large colander set over the sink or a bowl, mix together the cucumber, tomatoes and squash. Sprinkle liberally with salt, then toss again so the salt is evenly distributed. Set aside for 30 minutes. After 30 minutes, pat the vegetable mixture dry, spreading it out on paper towels.
In a medium bowl, combine the mayonnaise with the vinegar, honey and a hefty pinch of pepper. Add the vegetables, along with the celery and bell pepper. Stir well.
Nutrition information per serving: 120 calories; 80 calories from fat (67 percent of total calories); 9 g fat (1.5 g saturated; 0 g trans fats); 5 mg cholesterol; 270 mg sodium; 9 g carbohydrate; 2 g fiber; 5 g sugar; 2 g protein. Alison Ladman, Associated Press