Kale has become a fashionable vegetable in many areas of the country and that’s great news. Kale is loaded with vitamins A, B, and C; calcium; magnesium; iron; and a host of other minerals. It’s easy to grow in vegetable gardens as long as it has well-drained, compost-amended soil. It’s a good spring, fall, or winter crop as the flavor sweetens in cool weather.
It’s clear that kale is a great vegetable to grow, but the question is, how do you get kids to eat it? Well, you just have to get creative with your kale this fall. Here are some tips:
Grow kale. There’s nothing like having a patch of unusual kale varieties in your yard to stimulate kids’ interest. Try ‘Redbor’ kale, which turns purple in fall with the cooler weather.
Make kale fun. Kale varieties are cool and with some imagination can be fun for kids. For example, show your kids dinosaur, or lacinato, kale. Have your kids pretend they’re dinosaurs and they need to go feed on the kale trees in the garden for supper. Another variety is called ‘Starbor’ kale. Pretend your kids are on an outer space mission and ‘Starbor’ kale is the food of the travelers.
Prepare kale for kids. Raw or steamed kale will probably not be appealing for kids. But kale chips will be. Try this recipe. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F. Select thin-leaved kale varieties such as ‘Red Russian’. Have your kids tear the leaves into bite-sized pieces, removing the thicker stems and veins. Place the pieces in a bowl, drizzle the leaves with olive oil, and lightly salt. Have the kids gently massage the olive oil and salt into the leaves. Place the leaves on a cookie sheet so that they are not touching each other and bake for about 10 minutes, or until the leaves are crisp. Watch them closely because kale leaves can burn quickly. Remove, let cool, and snack away on these crunchy, tasty, nutritious chips.