Color Your Plate with Salad

Eat Right

Food, Nutrition and Health Tips from the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

March12Pack more nutrition into your day with a colorful main dish or side salad. Keep basic ingredients on hand for a quick addition to any meal.

Encourage kids to eat more vegetables by setting out ingredients to make their own salad creations. Or, let them choose individual items with salad dressings as a a dip.

Mix and match ingredients by choosing one or more foods from each category below. Consider flavor, texture and color. Add a light salad dressing and enjoy!

Start with Leafy Greens

  • Arugula
  • Boston or Bibb Lettuce
  • Escarole
  • Green or Red Leaf Lettuce
  • Iceberg Lettuce
  • Mixed Greens
  • Napa Cabbage
  • Radicchio
  • Romaine
  • Spinach

Select from Vegetables, Fruits and Beans
(Chopped, diced, shredded, sliced or whole)


  • Artichoke Hearts
  • Bean Sprouts
  • Beets
  • Bell Pepper
  • Bok Choy
  • Broccoli or Cauliflower
  • Carrots
  • Celery
  • Corn
  • Cucumbers
  • Onion (Red or Sweet)
  • Peas
  • Radishes
  • Sugar Snap Peas
  • Tomatoes
  • Water Chestnuts
  • Zucchini


  • Dried Cranberries or Cherries
  • Apple
  • Blueberries
  • Grapes
  • Mandarin Oranges
  • Melon
  • Pear
  • Raisins
  • Strawberries


  • Black Beans
  • Chickpeas
  • Edamame (soy beans)
  • Kidney or Red Beans
  • Navy or White Beans

Sprinkle on Extras


  • Blue Cheese
  • Cheddar
  • Feta
  • Mozzarella
  • Parmesan


  • Almonds
  • Cashews
  • Peanuts
  • Pecans
  • Walnuts


  • Avocado
  • Bacon Bits
  • Chow Mein Noodles
  • Croutons
  • Olives
  • Sunflower Seeds

For a Main Dish Salad

  • Beef
  • Chicken
  • Ham
  • Hard-Cooked Egg
  • Salmon
  • Shrimp
  • Tofu
  • Tuna
  • Turkey

Suggested Combinations

  • Romaine, grape tomatoes, cucumber, carrots, avocado and shrimp
  • Mixed greens, chicken strips, melon, walnuts and feta cheese
  • Spinach, red onion, mandarin oranges and sliced almonds

For a referral to a registered dietitian and for additional food and nutrition information visit

EatRightThe Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics is the world’s largest organization of food and nutrition professionals. The Academy is committed to improving the nation’s health and advancing the profession of dietetics through research, education and advocacy.