Getting Your Kids to Eat Kale

by Wendy on February 19, 2013

Although I had heard a lot about kale lately, I was hesitant to try this unfamiliar vegetable.  Growing up we never ate kale.  How would I cook it?  And would we even like it?  But, this leafy green “superfood” has some pretty impressive health benefits!  One of the healthiest vegetables on the planet, one cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6, 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K.  With so many great recipes for kale including baked kale chips, I knew we had to try this nutrient rich overachiever!

While it may be hard to find a variety of fresh veggies this time of year, kale and other dark, leafy greens thrive in cooler weather.  To find the freshest kale, look for firm, deeply colored leaves with hardy stems.  Smaller leaves will be more tender and milder in flavor.  Kale can be stored, unwashed, in an air-tight zipped plastic bag for up to five days in the refrigerator.

At first, I was skeptical that I could make something that was so healthy taste good to my kids, but they actually loved this simple baked kale chip recipe.

Baked Kale Chips

Ingredients

1 bunch of kale

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon seasoned salt

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.

2. Remove the kale leaves from the thick stems and tear into bite size pieces. Wash kale and thoroughly dry with a salad spinner and then a towel or paper towel to remove all moisture. Drizzle kale with olive oil and sprinkle with seasoning salt.

3. Bake 10-15 minutes until the edges brown but are not burnt.

4. Serve immediately or cool completely and store in an airtight container until ready to serve.

 

Braised Chicken with Kale

Ingredients

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

4 chicken leg quarters, skinned

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup flour

5 garlic cloves, chopped

1 (16-ounce) package cut prewashed kale

1 (14.5-ounce) can no-salt-added fire-roasted diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (14.5-ounce) can fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth

1 tablespoon red wine vinegar

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 325°.

2. Heat a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add 2 teaspoons canola oil. Sprinkle the chicken with black pepper and 1/4 teaspoon salt. Place flour in a dish, and dredge chicken. Place 2 leg quarters in pan, and cook for 1 1/2 minutes on each side. Remove from pan. Repeat procedure with 2 teaspoons oil and remaining 2 leg quarters. Remove from pan.

3. Add remaining 2 teaspoons oil to pan. Add garlic; cook for 20 seconds. Add half of kale; cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining half of kale; cook 3 minutes. Stir in tomatoes and broth; bring to a boil. Return chicken to pan. Cover and bake at 325° for 1 hour and 15 minutes. Remove chicken from pan; stir in vinegar. Serve chicken over kale mixture.

 

Pasta with Sausage and Kale

Ingredients

8 ounces uncooked bow tie pasta

1/4 cup oil-packed sun-dried tomatoes

1 1/2 cups chopped onion

8 ounces hot turkey Italian sausage

6 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

1 (14-ounce) can fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth

1 (16-ounce) package fresh kale

1 (15-ounce) can cannellini beans, rinsed and drained

1/4 cup fresh Parmesan cheese

Directions

1. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid; keep warm.

2. Drain tomatoes, reserving 2 teaspoons oil; slice tomatoes.

3. Heat a large Dutch oven over medium heat. Add sliced tomatoes, reserved 2 teaspoons tomato oil, onion, and sausage to pan; cook 10 minutes or until sausage is browned, stirring to crumble. Add garlic to pan; cook 1 minute. Add seasoning, pepper, and broth to pan. Stir in kale; cover and simmer 5 minutes or until kale is tender. Stir in pasta, reserved 1 cup cooking liquid, and beans.

 

I hope these recipes will inspire you to try this nutrient rich veggie!

When introducing your kids to new foods consider these tips:

  • Try introducing only one new food at a time.
  • Pair the new food with familiar, enjoyable foods.
  • Give the new food to your child in an appealing manner.
  • Let your child see you and other family members enjoying the food!
Wendy

Wendy

Health Contributor at Creative Bioscience
My name is Wendy and I'm one of the main contributors to our blog. I'm a retired elementary school teacher who's found a new passion for all things relating to health and wellness. If you feel like your body is not in the place it should be, join the club! We're here to help get you where you want to be in a long term way, and avoiding any extreme diets in the process. We believe in natural sustainable methods to reach a state of homeostasis. We want to get our body, spirit, and soul into prime shape and really start loving ourselves! Wendy's favorite product is Raspberry Ketone 1234
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