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How I Got My Kids to Eat (and Like) Kale
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Despite warnings of a global kale shortage, I honestly don’t think the leafy green is going anywhere. Sure, it’s the ‘it’ ingredient of the day, but I personally know a lot of people who still aren’t sure what to do with it and how to cook it, so other than the die-hard foodies and folks who are health conscious, I’m not sure everyone is eating kale at the rate we’re told to believe they are.

I can say with 100% honesty that my kids like kale, and like most kids they also love pizza, mac and cheese, and chocolate cake. They eat kale now because I’ve been rigorous about adding it to our meals, and though it took a while to get them on board with it, they devour it easily now.

If you’re curious, here’s how I got my kids to eat (and like) kale:


  1. When I first started buying kale regularly, I would pull the leaves from the stems and chop it so finely that it resembled parsley. We have a small backyard vegetable garden so I would add my minced kale to pretty much every dish, and when the kids asked about the green stuff I told them it was ‘just like the herbs in the garden.’ They didn’t bat an eye about that so I added it to soups, pastas, and I used it as a garnish on a variety of other dishes.
  2. Once we were eating kale (as an ‘herb’) for a while, I started replacing spinach (something my kids were always okay with) with the new leafy green. I had been using finely chopped spinach in soups, frittatas, and pasta sauces, so the swap was a natural one, and again no one seemed to mind.
  3. By this time, kale chips had become a popular thing, and naturally I assumed my boys would like them. Boy, was I wrong. They detested them. I tried seasoning them, making them crispier, making them less crispy, adding extra salt, and even grated Parmesan cheese, but there was no convincing them. Despite my kids’ disdain for the kale chip, I definitely think that’s the next natural step to getting kids to enjoy kale. Try serving it as an after school snack, or alongside a hamburger for dinner.
  4. Once the kale is fairly present at the table, it’s easy to build from there.  I started subbing kale in for salad greens, and began with one of the most family-friendly varieties: the Caesar salad. This was a great success, and as long as the leaves had some time to marinate in the dressing (30 minutes is about right) to soften them, they lapped up this salad just like the regular Caesar salads they’d been eating for years.
  5. Now I buy two large heads of kale a week and we go though both before the week is over. I make a huge pot of soup with sausage, beans, and kale each week, and a few salads seem to take care of the remainder. The boys also LOVE these turkey and kale enchiladas and this chicken and kale pizza bake.
  6. Do you serve kale regularly? Do your kids like it? What’s your favourite way to serve it?
    Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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banana bread muffins and 10 other ways to use up over-ripe bananas
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I placed a platter of banana chocolate chip muffins on the table for my son and his friends and those muffins disappeared in minutes.  I heard one kid claim they tasted ‘just like banana bread,’ hence the name of our new favourite baked banana treat.

I don’t know about you, but somehow I end up with no less then three overly ripe bananas sitting on the counter at the end of each week.  Here’s how I deal with the leftover fruit I face at the end of each week if I don’t have time to cook/bake with it:

• Toss bananas into the freezer, peel and all, and reserve for another day.
• Slice bananas into 1”-thick pieces and place on a parchment-lined baking sheet. Freeze until firm, then transfer to a ziptop baggie and store in the freezer. Use in smoothies as needed.
• Mash 2-3 bananas (or however many your favourite banana bread recipe calls for) and place them in a ziptop baggie. Store packets in the freezer—make sure they’re labeled—until you have time to make banana bread.


However, if I feel like using them up immediately, below is a list of ideas for making use of your leftover bananas in new and interesting ways:


  • Banana Bread Chocolate Chip Muffins: These aforementioned muffins (get the recipe) are perfect for tucking into the lunchbox or serving to friends at an after-school playdate.
  • Peanut Butter Chocolate Banana Ice Cream: It’s still warm in some parts of the country so this would be perfect for a healthy after-school snack.
  • Banana Pancakes: Mash 1-2 bananas and add them to your favourite pancake recipe—no ingredient alterations required.
  • Whipped Banana Birthday Cake: Do you have a birthday to bake for? This whipped banana birthday cake is the perfect for any party celebration.
  • Banana Oatmeal: Add a large dollop of mashed bananas to your morning oatmeal, stirring it into the cereal before serving.
  • Chocolate and Banana Paninis: Perfect for breakfast, lunch or an after-school snack these sweet sandwiches are sure to delight the little ones.
  • Banana Bread Scones: A healthier and fun twist on classic banana bread.

Get the full printable recipe for Banana Bread Chocolate Chip muffins.

 

Jan Scott is an event planner, food writer and the face behind the family food blog www.familybites.ca. She's also the mom of two school-aged boys, and when she's not planning a party or writing about feeding a family she can be found in her kitchen whipping up lots of yummy things for her boys to eat.
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Welcome

Welcome to the EatSavvy Blog where you’ll find great food ideas for your family. We want to help you tackle the day-to-day monotony of what’s for breakfast? Lunch? Snack time? Thanks to our amazing food editor Jannise Scott of www.familybites.ca, we’ve got some great tips in the kitchen as well. Get inspired.

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