picky eaters and kale chips

We’re not quite sure how or when it happened, but we have officially entered the picky eater phase of parental life.

And it suuuuuuucks.

Six months ago, we were reveling in how much our kids loved roasted vegetables. It’s a big reason why we decided to sign up for a crop share delivery — we were eating a ton of veggies, and we had the opportunity for those veggies to be sourced from a local farmer. And delivered straight to our doorstep. (SOLD!)

Throughout the winter and spring months, we subsisted on an ample diet of squashes, root vegetables, spuds, carrots, and brussel sprouts. It was perfect, really, because it coincided with Arleigh’s introduction to solid foods. We thought we had won the good eater lottery! We even planted a jungle of squash and zucchini plants in our garden in anticipation of their appetites.

But then bread happened. And pizza happened. And homemade french fries happened.

And now here we are, in picky eater land. And doing everything the experts recommend for this situation: not making a big deal out of it, offering dessert on the plate with their meal, letting them listen to their bodies…all of the counterintuitive measures.

It’s hard to relinquish control when their food preferences at any given moment mirror the rollercoaster of emotions existing inside our preschooler. One moment, they love broccoli and parsnips. The next, they are treating carrots like a disease and throwing them on the floor. (If you didn’t catch our previous chaos and pork chops post, it gives a small glimpse into the continued insanity surrounding our family dinners, especially when our children refuse the food on their plates.)

Some nights, we are lucky if Arleigh eats a protein and Lilia eats something other than watermelon. And somehow — according to the “experts” — we just have to be okay with that.

(Update: we are still not okay with it.)

So we have started getting creative, trying to hide vegetables in every dish. Blend carrots and sweet potatoes in with the pasta sauce. Pulverize turnips and squash in the meatloaf. (And if that doesn’t work, wrap the meatloaf in a tortilla and call it a burrito.) Bake broccoli into the quiche. Go all-in on carrot breakfast cookies and “healthfully” modified zucchini muffins.

The one thing that has yet to consistently fail us, though, is kale chips. (Yes, kale chips, of all things…)

Perhaps it’s because they have “chips” in the name? Or maybe it’s because they are both salty and crunchy? We honestly don’t care about the reasons as long as they continue to accept them as a reasonable substitute for cheerios and goldfish.

In the meantime, rest assured that we know this phase of life won’t last forever… We just hope it doesn’t last much longer!

Kale Chips

The best thing about kale chips is that they are SO EASY to make. The key is just getting your hands on as much as possible, because the chips will disappear before you know it.

  • Fresh kale (as much as you can get)
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Trim the kale leaves from the stalks and cut/rip into pieces.
  • Arrange the kale pieces in a single layer on a large microwave-safe plate.
  • Drizzle with olive oil and salt. Bonus points for herbs like dill.
  • Microwave for 5 to 8 minutes depending on your microwave. (If they’re not crunchy yet, it probably hasn’t been long enough.)
  • Let set 2 minutes before serving. The plate can be hot, so be careful.

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