All the mums were quite excited to try this often talked about ‘super food’ and the tamariki, as always, were keen to get involved in some cooking. Noah (4) really enjoyed the sensation of running his hands thru the slimy oil coated leaves, and spent quite a while ensuring they were well covered.

Whilst the kale chips were in the oven, we decided to roast some chickpeas as well. We each tried one before roasting them, and talked about how it tasted and its texture. We wondered if they would taste and feel different after they had been roasted. Cooking appeals to different children for different reasons, for some it’s the process, the end result, enjoying the different tastes, smells or textures. Some enjoy the maths and science involved in following a recipe, measuring the ingredients, then transforming them into something new.

We set the timer for our kale chips and roasted chickpeas, then needed to wait for our kai to be ready. Our tamariki were eager to try them, asking if they were “Ready yet??”. Once our kai was cooked and cooled, everyone on session had the opportunity to taste them. Nearly everyone gave them a try and most loved this new crunchy snack.

They are now eagerly awaiting the kale we planted in our vege garden to be ready so we can make kale chips again. Increasingly on session we are noticing that the kids are more likely to try kai that they have helped choose and prepare, or see other kids enjoying. Cooking food from scratch, that they are then able to try and enjoy, gives them the confidence to try more new foods. Our tamariki have been eagerly keeping an eye on how big the carrots are getting, keen to pull them out. I am not sure that any will survive long enough to use in cooking, nor any peas or beans as the kids have been gobbling those straight from the garden the minute they are big enough to pick!

Carrie Harman (Pakuranga-rahihi Playcentre )

Kale Chips Recipe

Prep time: 15 minutes

Cook time: 25 minutes


  • Fresh kale leaves
  • Enough extra virgin olive oil or melted coconut oil to coat the kale leaves but without drenching them.
  • Optional extras for seasoning: 1.5 tbsp yeast, 1 tsp garlic powder, 3/4 tsp chilli powder, 1/2 tsp onion powder, 1/2 tsp smoked paprika, 1/4 tsp fine grain sea salt or pink Himalayan sea salt, 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
  2. Line a large baking tray with baking paper (or grease lightly).
  3. Remove leaves from the stems of the kale and roughly tear it up into large pieces.
  4. Wash and spin (or pat) the leaves until thoroughly dry.
  5. Place kale leaves into a large bowl.
  6. Sprinkle with oil and massage in until well coated.
  7. Optional: Sprinkle on the spices/seasonings, toss to combine.
  8. Spread out the kale onto the prepared baking tray into a single layer, being sure not to overcrowd the kale.
  9. Bake for 10 minutes, rotate the pan, and bake for another 12-15 minutes more until the kale begins to firm up. It is normal for the kale to look shrunken.
  10. Cool the kale on the sheet for 3 minutes to allow them to crisp a little more, and cool slightly.

Best enjoyed immediately!