How To Make Vegetables Kid Friendly

Jul 29, 2011 by    Posted under: Food, Photos

Getting kids to eat vegetables that aren’t smothered in cheese, cooked to a mush or heavily salted doesn’t have to be a constant battle. There are plenty of ways to make eating vegetables other than starchy potatoes (most often french fries at that) delicious and fun.

Having your children cook with you is a great way to show them that vegetables aren’t scary. Let them get their hands dirty and have fun making a bit of a mess. After all, if they have fun making the vegetables, they are more likely to eat them!

Here is a great way to get your kids to eat dark, leafy greens that are rich in vitamin K, vitamin C, vitamin A, manganese, iron, fiber and a whole host of other much needed nutrients for kids and adults alike. My three year old niece loves to make kale chips almost as much as she loves to eat them!

Kale Chips

I like using curly leaf kale for this recipe because it’s a milder tasting kale than some other varieties and it’s thin enough to crisp in the oven well.

1. It’s important to dry the kale leaves off well after washing them. If they are wet, they will steam and get soggy rather than bake and crisp once in the oven.

2. Have your kids tear the kale into medium, bite sized pieces.

3. Put the torn kale into a bowl and pour in enough olive oil to lightly coat them. The kids may need some help pouring the olive oil in.

4. Sprinkle in some Herbamare, or your choice of seasonings, to taste. We love Herbamare in my house. It’s a blend of organically grown celery, leek, watercress, onions, chives, parsley, garlic, basil, marjoram, rosemary, thyme, and kelp and is a delicious replacement for salt.

5. Here comes the really fun part! Have your kids reach their hands into the bowl and mix the kale, olive oil and seasoning. Children are very tactile and love to learn and experience through touch. I guarantee they will LOVE this step.

6. It’s fun to get your hands dirty!

7. Place the oiled and seasoned kale on a baking sheet. The kale will crisp better if it there is only one layer on the baking sheet.

8. The finished product – a healthy, fun and delicious snack!

9. A little hand impatient for the kale chips to cool off.

10. Hana enjoying the buffet of kale chips and chard chips.

I also experimented with making chips out of chard. Hana liked them but they were a bit stronger in green vegetable flavor. Vegetable chips are an incredibly easy and fun activity for you and your kids. I love them so much I often make them even when Hana isn’t around to help.

You can make them with pretty much any vegetable as long as they are thinly sliced and dry. Some popular vegetables in my house – butternut and buttercup squash, carrots, bok choy, sweet potatoes, kale and other leafy greens.

Learn how to make cheap and easy polenta.

Do you have a fun way to get your kids to eat vegetables?

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