How I Got My Kids to Eat Kale


…and actually like it

(repost from Medium)

Every summer, farms in our area start pushing kale onto their unsuspecting customers. They assume we know how to cook this thing that isn’t lettuce nor spinach. They assume we’re going to get our kids to eat it. I know you’ve heard of kale. It’s that super green that is really good for you (rated #1 on WebMD’s list of leafy greens) but try to tell that to your kids. It was hard enough to get them to eat quinoa.

“It’s good for you” never works to get my kids to eat something new. It typically quickly reverts to “because I said so” or “no dessert unless you finish your kale”. However, after a few years of joining a CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) with kale spilling out of my fridge, I’ve figured out some ways to get my kids to eat it and actually enjoy it.

  1. Eat by example — If you enjoy kale (or any green thing) your kids will likely follow your example.
  2. Start small — Don’t pile their plate with kale and exclaim “it’s magic lettuce! Eat all of it!” Just make it a small part of the meal and congratulate them when it’s gone.
  3. Reward with ice cream — Kids respond a lot more positively to rewarding, so follow through with that ice cream when they eat their kale.
  4. Add bacon! — Bacon makes everything better, but added to braised greens it’s extra special.
  5. Hide it — You’ve tried it sauteed or braised and they still don’t like it, then you need to hide it in soups, mac-n-cheese, smoothies, egg bakes, omelets (see recipe below). Dry it and sprinkle it on everything!
  6. Take a break —Sometimes it’s okay to not have kale for dinner and break out the frozen peas.
  7. Two words: Kale Chips — All kids love chips and kale chips are easy to make and are tasty. It does take some practice to get them just right but the Internet is full of recipes like this one: Parmesan Kale Chips
  8. National Kale Day — Yes, it’s a real thing and you can even be a Kale Hero!

I was trying to think of 10 things but could only get to 8, so please add your own tips and tricks in the comments below. Kids everywhere will be forever grateful and healthier eaters. Eat More Kale!

And now for a recipe! (the pictures show rainbow swiss chard but pretend it’s kale)

Kale and Sweet Pepper Quiche


1 dozen eggs — beaten
2 cups cheddar cheese — shredded
1 red pepper — sliced
1 yellow pepper — sliced
1 medium onion — diced
2 garlic cloves — diced
1 bunch of kale (or chard, spinach, or any greens) — chopped
1 handful of cherry or grape tomatoes
1 pie crust
2 Tbl spoons of olive oil
Salt & Pepper to taste


  1. Put the pie crust in a pie pan
  2. Beat the eggs
  3. Shred the cheese
  4. Pour eggs into pie pan
  5. Dice and slice the veggies
  6. Saute the diced veggies with olive oil and season with salt and pepper
  7. Cool veggies for about 15 minutes
  8. Put veggies into pie pan
  9. Spread cheese on top
  10. Place tomatoes on top
  11. Bake in 350 degree oven for about 1/2 hour or until golden brown
  12. Let stand for about 5 minutes
  13. Slice, serve and enjoy!

I bet you like pictures so here you go:

chard-pepper-quiche-01 chard-pepper-quiche-02 chard-pepper-quiche-03 chard-pepper-quiche-04 chard-pepper-quiche-07 chard-pepper-quiche-08  chard-pepper-quiche-06 chard-pepper-quiche-05 chard-pepper-quiche-09 chard-pepper-quiche-10  chard-pepper-quiche-11 chard-pepper-quiche-12 chard-pepper-quiche-13 chard-pepper-quiche-14

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Comments: 4

  1. KC November 13, 2013 at 1:24 pm Reply

    This looks really good, and I have never eaten kale. However, my kids don’t like tomatoes and have health issue with peppers, so I’m wondering if bacon could be put in there?

    • Nathan November 13, 2013 at 2:21 pm Reply

      Yes! Bacon makes everything better. The tomatoes are optional. You could substitute broccoli or spinach for the peppers.

  2. Cut 'N Clean Greens July 29, 2013 at 1:52 pm Reply

    Nate, this is a brilliant list! You are right on with all of them. Even though we grow kale for a living, yeah, it IS OK to take a break from it for a day or so. After all, there’s always Swiss Chard, beet greens, turnip greens, mustard greens and baby bok choy to eat on the non-kale days. :)

    We’re going to feature this on our Facebook page and link here so people can see how you made it, and your lovely photography. If you wish, come LIKE us on Facebook for more recipes and tips on super healthy greens like kale, chard, beet, mustard, turnip, collard and other green leafies.

    –Your friendly Southern California farmers at Cut ‘N Clean Greens

    • Nathan July 29, 2013 at 1:57 pm Reply

      Thanks! I’m flattered. I’ll go and check out your Facebook page. We eat all the greens!

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