Kale Chips for Babies & Toddlers

kale chips on a white surface

Kale chips are the easiest thing to make and many babies and toddlers love them! They can be colorful, crispy, and easily adapted to meet your family’s preferences for flavor and taste. Keep them simple with olive oil and a pinch of salt (yes, a little is okay, more here on sodium for babies)—or add any spice or seasoning that you like. Citrus zest, nutritional yeast, sesame seeds and hot spices like cayenne pepper and chili powder. . . there are so many flavors to try. The important step is to cook kale chips at a low temperature so that the leaves get crisp, but not brown. You want them to keep that beautiful color!

Babies can be introduced to kale and kale chips as soon as they are ready for solids, which is generally around 6 months old, though you may find that the flecks of the chips can cause a fair amount of coughing and for some, gagging. We don’t feel this is any reason to hold off from introducing this fun, crunchy food, but it would be wise to have a drink nearby when serving them. If your babe is struggling with kale chips, try our kale-onion omelet for babies.

Low-and-Slow Kale Chips

a white bowl full of kale chips

Ingredients

  • 1 large bunch kale
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon seasoning of choice (citrus zest, nutritional yeast, etc.)

Directions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275 degrees Fahrenheit / 120 degrees Celsius. Line two large sheet trays with parchment paper.
  2. Wash and dry the kale. The kale needs to be truly dry—use a salad spinner or blot with a towel.
  3. Tear the leaves from the stems. The shape doesn’t matter but generally bigger pieces will be better for babies to self-feed.
  4. Compost the stems or reserve for another meal. Add the leaves to a mixing bowl along with the oil.
  5. Coat the leaves with the oil, getting every crevice so that they crisp up in the oven. Using your hands makes this step easier. Wear rubber gloves if you like, or don’t… the oil moisturizes your hands!
  6. Lay the leaves in a single layer on the sheet tray. Sprinkle with your seasoning of choice.
  7. Place in the oven. Bake until the leaves are crispy, but still colorful, about 35 minutes.
  8. Store in an air-tight container at room temperature for up to 3 days.

Mess Warning: Babies and toddlers love to crush and smash kale chips. This is great sensory play and texture exposure for them so get out the camera and be prepared for a serious mess!

Kalani, 9 months, eats kale chips for the first time.
Adie & Max, 12 months, try kale chips for the first time.
Julian, 12 months, smashes and obliterates kale chips. While it results in some wasted food, the sensory learning experience is valuable.
Adie, 22 mos, eats kale chips.

Adie, 22 months

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