Feeding Greens to a Picky Eater: The Steak Strategy

(Image credit: Anne Wolfe Postic)

“If you liked it, then you would have put a steak on it.” Go ahead. Channel Beyonce and sing while you read this.

Kale, chard, spinach, and the like are super foods. I’ve tried to get my children to eat them in a hundred different ways. Heck, it took me a while to learn to love them, and I would still prefer a large plate of fries smothered in pimento cheese, but you have to grow up sometime.

Kale juice, even with the addition of pineapple, was not a hit with my crew of three boys. Navy bean and kale stew, with a smattering of sausage, was acceptable, but did not inspire requests for seconds. Spinach quesadillas and chard enchiladas, on the other hand, are well received, especially if I add a little sausage or bacon.

Conscious of our budget and our health, I often season a meal with meat, rather than making it the main event. We don’t eat a lot of meat and fish, so steak night is a Big Deal. Recently, we brought home a gorgeous beef tenderloin from our local farmers’ market. In the kitchen, the stunning piece of beef was unveiled with reverence, and sliced into individual filets. On the big day, the children periodically chanted, “Steak night! Steak night!”

Knowing that large quantities of greens cook down into small portions, I bought two enormous bunches of kale and one of chard for our family of five. After chopping them into small pieces, I sautéed them with a little crumbled gorgonzola, adding a splash of cream and a sprinkle of pepper to make delicious creamed greens. The children were so awed by the steaks, they barely noticed the bed of healthy goodness below, which they consumed happily, hoping to taste the last bit of steak. And that is the steak (not to mention gorgonzola) strategy to getting kids to eat their greens.

How do you make greens more appealing? The older I get, the more I actually like them, but that took some time!

(Image: Anne Postic)