Kale Chips

Making healthy snack choices is huge in our  school age classrooms. Miss G. and I polled the class on some of their favorite snacks. Not surprisingly, chips were a recurring favorite.

“Did you know you can make chips from fruits and vegetables, and they too can be healthy snacks?!”

We were met with groans and eye rolls. In our courtyard that we all walk past every single day grows a pot of kale. I told the students that we would be making kale chips as a class and they assured me no one would be consuming them.

Picking Kale in RCN's Sensory Garden with school age children
We picked up our soon to be snack and headed down the hall.

Harvesting the Kale in RCN's School Age Classroom
We grabbed some scissors and trimmed up our beautiful leafy greens. We cut off the stems and sliced the remaining leaves into manageable bite sized pieces. The kids noticed there was “purple kale and green kale,” or Red Russian and Curly. We discussed the differences in appearance and how that may come into play with taste. Most were convinced the purple would taste better.

Preparing the Kale at RCN's School Age Program
One of our students washed the kale with water in our sink, then we laid it to dry on papertowels. After we blotted it dry the students measured out vegetable oil and tossed the kale in our big red bowl with a little salt.

Pulling Kale Chips out of the oven
We then laid the kale on baking sheets to be baked in our oven and consumed at snack time. Everyone was feeling a bit skeptical until one brave student  took the plunge and tried the kale first.

It usually only takes one student to try something new for the rest to join in.

Trying Kale Chips for the first time

Every one of our students (and teachers and aides) tried the kale chips and many asked for seconds. We agreed this is a food we should grow in our garden this spring, which brought up many questions about growing food. I’m excited to tackle those questions and get these kids asking to grow and prepare food themselves.