February 21st, 2011
Hello friends. I’ve got good news… good news for me. I’m on vacation! While away, I lined up contributions from a few of my favorite family food bloggers. First up, Michelle of What’s Cooking with Kids. Michelle tells a little bit about herself below, but she doesn’t say nearly enough. So let me add that Michelle is a total inspiration. A tireless advocate for healthy eating, especially in schools. An activist who really acts; in addition to writing about cooking with kids, Michelle actually does it and makes it possible for others to do the same throughout the Bay area. A cooking mama who helped launch Michelle Obama’s Chefs Move to Schools program. (Yes, at the White House!) And, above all, Michelle is an outspoken, caring and passionate friend from whom I constantly learn. You can learn from her, too, by following along on What’s Cooking with Kids.
Hello, readers of One Hungry Mama. I, too, am a big fan of this blog, and was very honored when Stacie asked if I could do a guest post while she takes a little breather with her family. Just a little bit about me – I am a mom to two kiddos and run a company called What’s Cooking with Kids, that offers cooking classes to kids. I also do talks for parent groups about family mealtimes, and encourage people to think about the environmental impact of their food choices. My first book, The Whole Family Cookbook, comes out in just 2 months! Yikes.
Now, on with the story…
I was doing a workshop with a group of preschool parents recently and we were talking about family mealtimes and the challenges that we all face at the table. When one mom asked me a question about veggies, I had to make a confession. Out loud. Wanna hear it?
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.
It’s not like I am not trying. 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 kale chips – oh yes, the kale chips.
We have taken advantage of the generous kale plant in the garden. It finally met its maker – but fortunately left a new sprout behind, which I hope will be as fruitful as its parent was. I like to think of Kale Chips as a gateway vegetable! Maybe it will be for your family too. Give them a try and let us know!
(One Hungry Mama says that you can share these with kids 10+ mos*)
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
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. 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!
3. Put the kale pieces on a baking sheet lined with a silpat (a silicone baking mat) or with parchment paper.
4. Pour on a little olive oil and toss with clean hands. Sprinkle with salt (and pepper if your kids like that…)
5. Make sure they are in a single layer on the baking sheet sheet.
6. Bake at 350 for 12-14 minutes or until crisp.
7. Keep an eye on them in case they start to burn.
*Note: Though there is nothing about these kale chips that would make them unsafe for younger eaters, I recommend them starting at 10 months since baby should be getting used to finger foods with texture by that point.