Increase the vegetable consumption of kids with these simple and crispy kale chips – only three ingredients and ready in minutes.
Kids and vegetables – it’s a real thing. It can be incredibly frustrating to cook a side dish of nutritious food, only to have no one eat it. Don’t think just because I’m a dietitian that I don’t understand. I have kids, too. And yes, I wish my kids ate more veggies.
Getting kids to eat more vegetables can be challenging for a few reasons. First, kids tend to migrate to foods they are familiar. If you’ve never served a kale salad before, don’t expect your child to jump for joy when you sit it on the table. That salad might be the best thing you’ve tasted in years, but to a child, it’s a foreign object. It’s probably going to take more than making it to get them to try it.
Taste is another reason. There’s actually some science to support why some kids (and adults) can’t seem to develop a taste for certain vegetables. Certain ones, like Brussels sprouts, broccoli, bok choy and olives, contain a compound know as PTC. This compound is what gives certain veggies their bitter taste. According to geneticists, there is an inherited gene that allows some people to taste PTC, while others might not. And, sensitivity to that bitter compound is thought to be stronger when we are younger, too.
As adults, we understand the importance of eating a healthy diet. Kids, on the other hand, just want food that tastes good. The best thing parents can do is continue to prepare and offer different veggies. That way, the food is familiar. Make sure to model good eating habits, too. If you are not eating your vegetables, how can you expect your child to eat theirs?
It’s also important to try different preparation techniques. You might get a dirty look from offering kale salad, but kale chips – now that’s a possibility.
I’ve been making this recipe for years. My daughter used to eat these directly off of the sheet pan when she was little. They are a super easy way to get an entire bag of kale (and a ton of nutrition) into a child. Adults, too.
All you need is kale, olive oil and a pinch of salt. Give them a try, and let me know what you think!
- 9 oz. raw kale
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1/8 tsp salt
- Pre heat oven to 300 degrees F. Line 2 large baking sheets with Parchment paper or spray with cooking spray.Clean and trim kale, then pat dry. Be sure to remove and discard all the center ribs and stems from each piece, then cut or tear into pieces. Do not cut too small, as they will shrink once cooked. Put kale in a large bowl and drizzle with olive oil and salt. Using hands, massage the kale to coat all pieces with oil and salt. This will also help soften the kale.Place large pieces of kale in a single layer on baking sheet. Bake at low temperature for ~20 minutes or until kale is crunchy. Transfer to serving bowl and eat immediately.
- Make 4 servings
- Nutrition Facts: 60 Calories, 6 carbohydrates, 2 fiber, 2 protein, 4 fat, 0.5 saturated fat, 8% daily calcium, 6% daily potassium, 6% daily iron