Generally, my children eat well. I've been putting vegetables on their plates ever since they started solid foods. Sometimes they eat them all, sometimes they don't. Most of the time they will choose to eat the other items on their plates first and then get around to the veggies afterwards. Like most Moms, from time to time I wonder if they get enough.
Kale is one of those vegetables that's not easy to get kids to eat. First, it's green and then it's bitter. I love kale, but for a kid it's not always an easy sell. Kids certainly don't care that kale is the newest trendy veggie either. Five years ago, I never saw kale on the menu at a restaurant but now there is a kale salad at every new restaurant in New York City.
The reason why I buy kale every week isn't because it's trendy. It's because it's the most nutritious vegetable. It has a huge dose of vitamin K along with vitamins A, C, and lots of minerals like magnesium. It's one of those super nutrient dense foods that you just can't miss. Even though it's the most nutritious vegetable you can eat, leafy greens are the biggest thing missing from the dinner plates in this country. Let's change that.
So, how do I get my kids to eat Kale?
I hide it. Yes, that is really the best way to get it in their diet regularly. I may get lucky here and there and they will decide to eat my sauteed kale and onions but it's not often enough for me to rely on. Chop up some kale in the food processor and throw it in wherever you can. Some of the recipes I add it to are:
- Marinara Sauce (it looks like herbs)
- Taco filling
- Rice dishes
The list is really endless. Just adding a little bit here and there will add up. In case you are wondering how to get this done without driving yourself crazy food processing kale everyday. Here's a little trick.
- Throw half a bunch of kale in the food processor and process until it's the size of dried herbs.
- Add 2-3 tbsp. of oil (I use coconut oil)
- Process for a minute or two until it looks like pesto.
Use a 1 tbsp. measuring spoon or ice cream scoop and lay it out on a parchment paper lined cookie sheet or cutting board like this…
Then put it in the freezer for a few hours until they are hard. Take them off the sheet and put into a zip-lock bag and keep that in the freezer. Whenever you are cooking or baking you can pull out a little 1 tbsp. scoop of kale to add to your recipe. This prep process only took me about 10-15 minutes to do and it saves me tons of time later.
My children have never even noticed the addition of some kale here and there and it gives me the peace of mind knowing they are getting their greens in a little bit at a time.