Steamed “Pickled” Organic Kale

Steamed greens are an immediate ewwwww for most kids.  So, how do you get your child to eat this leafy powerhouse? You have to make it relatable in some comfortable and known way. Replicate a texture, flavour or appearance of something that your child likes.

Like many kids, my son loves pickles, so I took the flavour element sour and used lemon and apple cider vinegar to give him the pucker-sour taste he loves. He describes all sour foods as tasting like pickles so when I introduced kale to him I said it tastes kind of like pickles. He also recently started enjoying avocado and cucumber sushi rolls. He calls the Nori, sushi paper so I described eating kale also like eating sushi paper.

I also introduced kale to him on this day unannounced without any pressure.  The pressure is a big one here. Most kids don’t want to disappoint their parents, so make it an easy yes for them without any uncomfortable reactions. There’s been many times in the past where I’ve asked him and he’s said no, and I’ve had to let it go, but today, he said yes and he ate it without any struggle.

But, before you get overly excited, let me define what I mean by he ate the kale. I like to call this the dipping stage. He chewed and ate the first bite and then he sucked the “pickled” juice off each leaf and ate the stems, which he describes as the crunchy part. This is the first stage of trying a new food and I am totally okay with it – children need to start somewhere with a new food and every effort and stage should be celebrated.

Remember this may not be an overnight change – it is a journey. Your child will be watching how you react to their like or dislike of kale. Make your reactions one of trust and encouragement. It’s OK if they don’t like it today.

Steamed “Pickled” Organic Kale


-1 bunch of organic curly kale

-1 organic lemon

-1tbsp of expeller-pressed avocado oil

-1tbsp of apple cider vinegar

-pinch of sea salt


1)    Cut and wash kale

2)    Add to a pot with a small amount of water

3)    Steam kale for 3-4 minutes. Kale should be bright green (do not overcook)

4)    Strain kale from pot

5)    Add lemon juice on kale

6)    Cut into small pieces for your child. Add avocado oil, apple cider vinegar and a pinch of sea salt.

Why Kale?

My son is in JK and with a ridiculous amount of germs floating around his classroom I am always searching for foods to build a strong wall against them – and kale is a superstar in this area. With an abundance of antioxidants (vitamin C & A) kale helps to keep your child’s immune system strong and their cells healthy. The rich source of calcium also contributes to strong bones and teeth.

Nutrition Side Note:
  • Always combine kale with a healthy oil to absorb more fat soluble vitamins A K & E
  • Avoid dairy during a meal or snack with kale as the oxalate compounds get in the way of calcium absorption
The Polka Dot Thought…KALE

Tell your kids this info before or after they try kale:

– Kale can give you superpowers against germs!

– Kale makes your bones strong.

– There is a type of kale called Dinosaur Kale


Bump to Baby

Check out Miranda’s Bump to Baby Nutrition Segments by clicking here.
  1. Emily says:

    Would this be an appropriate food/snack for a 1 year old? Daniela has been eating solid foods on her own since 11 1/2 months.

    • Miranda Malisani Admin Team says:

      Kale is a bit hard to chew when steamed. Try blending it into a recipe you already make. Kale chips is also a good starting place as it’s a bit easier to eat for small kids.

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