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Counting activity and healthy snack for kids-make Number Salad! Free printable recipe cards for kids to follow.

Number Salad is a fun recipe, counting activity, pre-reading practice, and promotes following directions with the printable recipe counting cards. (We can’t pack more learning into one activity, can we?!) The best part about number salad is it is a great way for kids to feel like they are making their food, which helps ease the resistance of picky eaters at times.

Ingredients for Number Salad:

Printable recipe direction cards

Chopped nuts (or shredded coconut for those with an allergy)

Orange juice

Orange slices

Apple slices

Cheese cubes

Banana slices

Melon, chopped


Each ingredient is used in order and it corresponds with the numbered direction cards you can  print off for this recipe.

How to Make Number Salad:

1) Print out the recipe counting cards.

Click the image. That will take you to the shop where you can purchase the file of the picture cards.  Using photo paper is helpful, but regular paper will work well too. Laminate the cards for durability.

Images of the printable number salad direction cards to use with the Number Salad Snack and counting activity.

2) Place the nuts into a bowl. Place the #1 recipe direction card in front of the bowl on a table.

3) Set the orange juice container and a tablespoon down next, with the #2 card in front. If needed, you can pour some of the juice into a cup or small bowl. Set these to the right of the nuts so that the order of ingredients flows left to right. 😉

4) Peel and pull apart orange slices, place in a bowl and set the #3 card in front of it. Place these to the right of the juice.

5) Slice apples and place the slices into a bowl. Set the bowl of apples to the right of the oranges, along with the #4 card.

6) Place cheese cubes into a bowl and set card #5 in front of it. These go to the right of the apples.

7) Slice bananas and place in a bowl. Set card #6 in front. Place these to the right of the cheese cubes.

8) Cut melon (or use a melon baller), place in bowl, set #7 card in front and place to the right of the bananas.

9) Pull grapes off of bunch, place in bowl, set bowl to right of melon and the #8 direction card goes in front.

10) Set # 9 direction card to the right of the grapes and the #10 direction card to the right of that.

11) Enjoy your Number Salad snack!

My oldest (7 1/2) said, “Mom, this salad is so good all the restaurants should have it!” (He is our king picky eater, so that is a huge compliment!) The images below show our original direction cards that were hand-drawn. The printable versions are much nicer.

Set up for making Number Salad counting activity AND healthy snack for kids!

Before we started, I set up the ingredients and recipe cards. I told my children that to make the salad they look at the card, count the number of pieces of each food, and place that amount on their plates. They did really well (at 7 1/2 and 4 1/2) without needing me to guide them through each station. Your child may want you to assist them at each spot, and it is a fun way to interact and learn together.

Kids make number salad with easy to read and count recipe cards-great counting activity for kids!

This recipe was shared with me by a former colleague at a preschool where I worked before having my children. This was the first time I had a chance to make it with my children.

Making Number Salad counting activity and halethy snack for kids. The kids can make it on their own!

The cards in my pictures were actually from when I taught preschool, and in preparation for sharing this activity with you, I thought they needed an upgrade! You can hand draw your recipe cards, but it is nice and easy to use the free printable recipe cards included here for you.

Number Salad counting activity and healthy snack for kids.

Making Number Salad is a great playdate snack and activity to do with a multi-age group.  You can substitute any fruits that you like, and accommodate allergies easily, just create cards to match using construction paper and markers.

My oldest kids really enjoyed their Number Salad snack-and a lot of that was because they got to make it on their own. I think that helps so much when we are trying to teach picky eaters to eat healthy foods.

What recipes do you have at home that the kids love to help make?

 Encourage healthy eating with The Magical Plate ebook for kids!