Kale for Kids

My brother has developed a healthy obsession with kale and shared a delicious recipe that I knew of, but was not motivated to try. The recipe uses kale…FOR BREAKFAST! I certainly bake kale (see my blog on The Girl Who Did Not Like Vegetables), but aside from chopped and sautéed kale in an omelet for breakfast, you may be surprised to learn of another route for kale consumption that I believe kids will enjoy with encouragement and support. I am talking about a KALE SMOOTHIE. Yes, this smoothie is bright green. Yes, the color of the smoothie will remind your kids of the broccoli, spinach, cucumbers or Brussels sprouts that you present at dinnertime. Yes, you are going to have to tinker with the recipe and presentation of the smoothie, but it is worth it. This smoothie is jammed packed with nutrition and truly delicious.While I have mentioned I am not hip on the idea of deceiving kids when it comes to their nutrition by hiding broccoli in brownies or garbanzo beans in cookies, I do think deception is a splendid idea in this case. I will teach you how.

Here is the recipe:

INGREDIENTS—Serves 1-2 (depends on hunger)
• 2 Kale leaves, torn from center stem (discard stem and you can titrate up to 3-4 leaves)
• 1 Large Banana
• Milk (cow, goat, soy, almond, hemp, or enriched rice—you choose)
• Something sweet (agave or honey—try a teaspoon and move up from there)
• ½ – 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
• Ice

1.) Have an open mind.
2.) Whirl the ingredients together in a blender for five minutes until smoothie is green and kale is completely blenderized.
3.) Take a taste of it. Adjust the recipe to taste and consistency as needed which could mean another kale leaf, another half banana, more liquid or a bit more sweetness.
4.) Whirl again.
5.) Pour the smoothie in a dark glass (with a lid if possible) and provide a straw
6.) Name the smoothie. Call it something snazzy like “Super Smart Smoothie” or “Fast Pass Breakfast Splash”.
7.) Serve the kids the smoothie and you should have some too.

Be patient with yourself, your kids and this recipe. Try and try again. Over time, they just might surprise you and drink it and ultimately help you prepare it!

About Melanie Silverman

Melanie is a pediatric registered dietitian nutritionist (RD) and a board certified lactation consultant (IBCLC) working primarily in pediatric nutrition for well over 15 years. She spent seven years as a clinical dietitian at The University of Chicago Medical Center in the neonatal intensive care unit, pediatric intensive care unit, adult and pediatric burn units, and high risk pediatric follow-up clinic. She also served as an adjunct faculty member at Loyola University Chicago. Melanie has presented at state and national meetings for the American Society for Parenteral and Enteral Nutrition (ASPEN), March of Dimes, Prader-Willi California Foundation, Texas Prader-Willi Association, Oklahoma Prader Willi Syndrome Association, Foundation for Prader-Willi Research (FPWR) in the United States and Canada and the Prader-Willi Syndrome USA (PWSA). She worked hard for her Bachelor of Arts in Chemistry and Spanish from Indiana University and a Master’s degree in Clinical Nutrition from Rush-Presbyterian St. Luke’s Medical Center. A member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics, California Dietetic Association, Pediatric Nutrition Practice Group, Women’s Health Group, Nutrition Entrepreneurs and an active member of the International Lactation Consultant Association.