Children may be more interested in eating their fruits and vegetables if they get to share them with their pet! Slice up a fruit-and-veggie salad that is healthy and safe for both kids and pets to eat.
What you’ll need:
- 1 small carrot
- 1 small apple (without stem and seeds)
- 1 small zucchini
- 1/2 cup leafy greens (spinach, kale, chard, etc.)
- 1 tablespoon plain yogurt or salad dressing (optional)
Please remember that there are some foods for humans that are not safe for animals to eat. Even introducing new foods that are safe may give your pet an upset tummy. Introduce just one new food at a time to see how your pet tolerates it. If you have questions or concerns about introducing any new food to your pet, check first with your veterinarian.
Make sure your pet (dog, cat, rabbit, guinea pig, or hamster) has tried these foods before and tolerated them well. If there are other fruits or vegetables your pet and your child prefer, feel free to make substitutions.
Have your child help you wash the apple and vegetables. Your child can also help cut the vegetables into bite-size pieces. Whether the carrots, apples, and zucchini are chopped, finely chopped, or shredded depends on what “bite-size” is for your size pet.
Also, keep in mind how much your child can eat. A typical serving size of vegetables for a young child is between 1/4 and 1/2 cup. Before serving, make sure you have appropriate portions for both pets and people. Fruits and vegetables are treats for pets and should not be a large part of their diets, so plan on a small helping of salad for your pet.
Once your vegetables are appropriately chopped, you may want to steam them lightly to make it easier for dog or cat digestive systems. Peel and chop the apple, making sure to discard all seeds and stems.
Help your child arrange a person portion of the vegetables on a plate and a pet portion in a pet dish, mixing the vegetables together or keeping them separate as he or she sees fit. Apples can be sprinkled on top or placed next to the vegetables. If desired, dress your child’s salad—but not your pet’s—with some plain yogurt or salad dressing.
Remember to clean up any of your pet’s leftover salad before it spoils. Spoiled food is not good for your pet to eat.