There are definitely some opposites that I want to make sure my girls learn …


OFF and ON


Pretty Salad | Cous Cous Salad with Strawberries, Avocado and Lime

Feminine and feminist are a set of words that I don’t want my girls to think are opposites.

On International Women’s Day (March 8), I read this article by Annabel Crabb and how she called herself a “bad feminist”.  I think “feminist” is a word that I have steered clear of because it just wasn’t “me”.   Now that I’m thinking about it, feminist it’s not actually a bad word – it just has a stigma.  Being feminine and being a feminist are not at all opposites.  There are already feminine things that my daughters genuinely enjoy (including Princess Elsa, fairies and the colour pink) and they can still be feminists – wanting women to take on powerful positions, make amazing advances in their fields and for women to have a loud, proud voice.  We live in a world where we hope anyone should be able to do anything and I hope my girls can see this more, and more as their generation matures.

Feminism is messy and imperfect, and has people you love, as well as people you can’t stand. It shares these features with humanity. – Annabel Crabb

I have nothing but gratitude to the feminists that have gone before me.  Therefore, to celebrate a bit of femininity and International Women’s Day, we made a pretty salad.

Pretty Salad Ingredients | Play with Food

Why is this salad amazing for fussy kids?

1) Peeling fresh corn, de-hulling strawberries, picking coriander leaves and feeling the bumpy skin of the avocado are great ways to involve the children and their sensory systems in the cooking process.

2) Mixing fruits and vegetables in a dish show children that they are NOT opposites!

3) Colours are amazing for engaging kids in conversation.  Talking at a meal should be about tangible things and include all people at the table.  Sometimes colours are a great starting point for these conversations. (Let alone all of the nutritional benefits of eating a rainbow.)

4) You can keep all the parts separate and have the kids serve themselves their own version of a pretty salad.   Coriander can be a strong herb – so I especially recommend keeping that separate.  Dressing is also polarising as this can influence the texture and taste – keep it off to the side too.

Pretty Salad | Cous Cous with Strawberries, Lime and Avocado by Play with Food

Without adieu… here is the recipe!


Pretty Salad
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
A pick and mix salad. Prepare the parts of this salad and serve up separately. Allow the family to pick each element to either sit on the side (as per our Play with Food class routines) or to be part of the mix.
Recipe type: Salad
Serves: 6 serves
  • Kernels from 1 cob of fresh corn, cooked & cooled
  • 2 cups of cooked whole wheat pearl cous cous (follow the packet instructions), cooled
  • 100g strawberries, chopped
  • 1 avocado, chopped
  • Zest from one fresh lime
  • 2 tbsp fresh coriander, chopped
  • Dressing:
  • Juice from 1 lime
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp apple cider vinegar
  • OR
  • just the juice from the lime with some salt and pepper to taste
  1. Make up each part of the salad
  2. Serve it so that everyone can choose ingredients that they want in the salad. For example, I served my couscous with the strawberry, lime zest, corn and avocado already mixed in. We then individually chose to add coriander and/or dressing.
  3. Note: Standard white pearl cous cous is more appetizing than whole wheat. Hence, if you are introducing this for the first time to your family opt for a version they are more likely to accept.


I’d love to know what you would keep in or add to this pretty salad in the comments!!

Cous Cous salad with Strawberries, Lime and Avocado by Play with Food

Cheeky fingers getting into the food before mummy finished taking the picture.

Happy Eating,

x Simone

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