Get started with these fresh ingredients:
1 cup butter or Bibb lettuce
1/3 cup slivered carrots or your kid's favorite chopped vegetable
4 strawberries, sliced
1 stick reduced-fat swirled string cheese, sliced
1/4 cup cubed low-sodium cooked ham
1/2 cup low-fat buttermilk
1/2 cup light mayonnaise
1/2 tablespoon apple-cider vinegar
Wash a pair of kiddie scissors and let your child use them to carefully cut the lettuce into small pieces. If she can't work scissors yet, ask her to tear the lettuce with her hands instead.
Find a clear container with a lid and tell your child to place the lettuce, veggies, berries, cheese, and ham inside. Put on the cover and let her gently shake the container until everything is jumbled.
Help your child pour the buttermilk, mayo, and vinegar into a medium bowl and whisk until they're combined. Ask her to cut chives with the scissors and gently stir in the pieces.
Originally published in the June 2009 issue of Parents magazine.