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Thursday, May 26, 2011

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Kids Like Kale? Who Knew!

When my daughter transitioned from pureed fruits and veggies to "real" solid foods, I thought she'd gravitate towards those same foods she had given preference to—sweet potatoes, squash, apples, spinach. But when those became finger foods instead of bowls of mush she didn’t want anything to do with them.

One day while my husband was eating fast food he gave one French fry to our daughter. She loved it! The perfect finger food in her eyes. Though I was relieved she decided to eat again after a food strike it wasn't the food I'd hoped for. Another day my husband and I were eating sandwiches with chips. She sneakily grabbed a chip off my husband’s plate and before we knew it the greasy, salt-laden snack touched her lips. At that moment I knew she and her dad had one more thing in common—a love for salty snacks.

Not exactly pleased with my daughter’s food preferences, I began doing research on healthy snacks and came across kale chips. I thought this would be perfect as they can be salty and have a crispy texture, but I was nervous that they'd taste awful. There was only one way to find out. I bought a big bunch for just 98 cents at the grocery store. When I got home I washed it, clipped off all the stems, and cut the kale into small pieces. Using one of those pump sprayers for olive oil I spritzed the pieces and took my sea salt grinder then went to town. I baked them in the oven at 250 degrees for about 30 minutes and gave them a try.

Expecting a bite of bitter awfulness, I was very pleasantly surprised. I kept eating them and actually enjoyed it! The real test though would be on my daughter. She is hesitant to try new foods and when I put the green shriveled leaf in front of her she turned away. Hmmm, better wait till she is really hungry I thought. The next day she let me know she was hungry.

Acting nonchalant, I eagerly grabbed a kale chip and not only did she eat it, but after letting out a "mmm" she signed for and said "more”. Success! All foods with her though do seem to be cyclical, so I can't expect her to eat it ever y day though it was great to know that this is a green she’ll actually enjoy! I wonder how long it will take her to forget that potato chips exist.

Ann J. is a cloth diaper fanatic and mom to a 16-month-old girl with the cutest cloth diaper butt on the block!


knitsewreadlove said...

I'm so trying this! Thanks for the post! My daughter actually loves broccoli (go figure), and would eat fruit only for every meal if I'd let her. The real trick is getting any protein or iron into her (thank God for black beans!). Kale chips would be a great source or iron! (And maybe this will help me not gain QUITE as much with this pregnancy as I did with my first!) ;0)

Julia Shober said...

Oh my son LOVES kale this way. It's one of my favorite snacks, too. A few companies make some dehydrated versions with all kinds of flavors, but they are pricey.

Adam and Claire said...

THIS IS AWESOME! I am going to try it! Thank you!

PeeJumpty said...

Thanks for sharing! Mine is a picky eater, too, so I'm crossing my fingers that this will be a hit with her. :-)

Jill said...

I heard about this on tv recently and it makes me wonder how much vitamin is retained after baking?

Heidi said...

maybe I should try this to get some green veggies into my husband... :)

Carisa said...

wow how cool! I'm betting my daughter will love these - anything with a good crunch is popular around here right now. Thanks for sharing this!