I was giving a talk to a group of preschool parents last night about family mealtimes and the challenges that we all face when trying to do what’s best for our families. As I was answering one mom’s question, I made a confession. Even though I know what I am supposed to do to avoid power struggles, I still have a hard time keeping my mouth shut and letting my kids decide how much of the food (or IF!) they will eat from our family-style meal.
And then another confession easily followed…Even though I help families get their kids to try new foods and cook together, my very own kids do not like most vegetables. There, I said it. So, even in the best situation, parents can have challenges feeding children well. Even teachers do. The moral of the story is: cut yourself some slack.
There’s no “do what I say, not as I do” going on here. I cook with my kids, encourage them to help me plan meals, take them to the farmer’s market – and set the stage for them to enjoy real foods the way that I do. But they simply aren’t on board yet. Things are looking up, though. My daughter has discovered the joys of cheese sauce with broccoli, and they will both devour raw bell peppers until the cows come home…and the kale chips – oh yes, the kale chips. Thank goodness I have a generous kale plant in my garden – these are their favorites! Maybe they could be the gateway vegetable for your family, too!
For people like me who tend to eat just a few too many tortilla chips, this recipe is pure heaven. It’s hard to argue with eating too much kale!
Bunch of kale
Salt, to taste
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
- Hold the thick stem of each kale leaf with one hand. Pinch the base with the fingers of the other hand and rub them up the stem – the leaves will tear right off!
- Put the kale pieces on a baking sheet lined with a silpat (a silicone baking mat) or with parchment paper.
- Pour on a little olive oil and toss with clean hands. Sprinkle with salt (and pepper if your kids like that…)
- Make sure they are in a single layer on the baking sheet sheet.
- Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until crisp.
- Keep an eye on them in case they start to burn.