Gwen inherited a love for vegetables from me, which I got from my mum! At this age Gwen’s really curious about the snacks grownups eat, and I wanted to introduce her to a world of healthy snacks. Kale chips are just perfect, they have the crunchiness and crispy texture of snacks yet contain so much nutrients!
There are just two ways I like to have my kale and they’re such opposites — softened in Asian-style soup or all crisped up like chips! I couldn’t wait to try kale chips with Gwen (15 months).
Healthy Kale Chip Making with Young Toddler!
The great thing is that you can engage your curious young toddler in the kale chip making process. They just can’t wait to join in! With your enthusiastic little helper, you can assign them these tasks which’ll test their fine motor skills and make them feel a part of the whole kale chip making process:
- Shred whole kale leaves (stems removed) into smaller bite sized pieces
- Toss kale pieces in a small amount of oil for a light even coating
- Lay bite sized kale leaves onto your baking tray
Gwen had a bit of difficulty tearing up the kale leaves (lol she went straight into doing this before I even instructed her), but eventually managed. She loved the tossing part 😂 This must be more fascinating than making fake salads with Melissa and Doug toy sets.
Recipe & Steps to Making Kale Chips
I referenced the recipe from Science of Mom, and made the following modifications:
- I cut out salt and rice vinegar seasonings
- I used avocado oil instead of olive oil to toss the kale leaves (personal preference, you could use olive oil if you like its taste)
Things I did which helped make the kale chips crispy:
- After washing the kale leaves and de-stemming them, fling the leaves about to get rid of as much excess water as possible.
- For the drying part, I lay the leaves on a highly absorbent clean (bath) towel. I checked to make sure the towel isn’t shedding lint and micro fibers 😂 Wouldn’t want that going into our system. I laid the kale leaves out to dry in a cool area of the house away from the windows for 3-4 hours. If you’re short on time, I read that people resort to the hairdryer or putting the leaves into the oven at very low heat (same temperature as proving yeast doughs.)
- When tossing the kale leaves I used just a small bit of oil to coat the leaves evenly so they’ll cook well, but not too much to make the leaves wet and soggy that’ll make it hard for them to crisp up
- When laying the kale leaves on the baking mat, I ensured there wasn’t any overlap in the leaves. Bunched kale leaves get steamed up in the oven causing them to be soggy
- Bite sized kale leaves were great because they could crisp up more easily as compared to baking large pieces and then breaking them up.
Health Benefits of Kale Chips
Baking retains the nutritional value of kale 🥬 making kale chips a fantastic nutrient-packed, low-calorie snack!
They’re great for supporting heart health, eyesight and boosting the immune system since they contain vitamin C, K and E plus carotenoids which the body does not make and has to be ingested through the food we eat.
Read more over <a href=“https://healthyeating.sfgate.com/benefits-eating-kale-chips-4238.html”> here.
Ways to Serve Kale Chips to Toddlers
Apart from serving them straight up, here are some creative ways to incorporate them into meals and make them tastier!
- Put the kale chips on top of rice, noodles or oat porridge (much like the Japanese furukake)
- Drizzle lemon juice on the kale chips for a refreshing citrusy taste to combat any natural bitterness of the kale
- Sprinkle toasted sesame seed on the kale chips for extra oomph and all-rounded flavor
Kale chips crumble very easily so be sure to give your child a bib before they eat, and have a vacuum cleaner nearby to tackle all the flakes that fall out.
For the record, Gwen loved having the kale chips as they were. She signed “more” when done and couldn’t get enough of that crispy texture!
Storage of Kale Chips to Keep Crisped
- Allow the kale chips to cool to room temperature before putting them in an airtight container. They should be good for 2-3 days.
- You can add some uncooked rice followed by parchment paper to the bottom of the storage container to absorb any excess moisture.
- To crisp up stored chips if they’ve gone soft, reheat in the oven at a low temperature setting for around 15 minutes
Swap kid-friendly cooking recipes with me on Instagram or over my Facebook Group for fellow parents!
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Hi! I am Yunnie. I am the newly minted mama to a little baby girl and a mum friend to everyone on this special (and many times scary) journey of motherhood. Also a graduated bride with a penchant for weddings.