Kale is has quickly moved up the list of "super foods" and is making its way into produce drawers everywhere. Should your family be eating kale? If yes, how will you get your kids (and your reluctant spouse) to embrace this powerhouse veggie?

Benefits of Kale

Kale isn't called the "Queen of Greens" just for its pretty leaves. This green packs a ton of nutrition into every serving. Check out these nutrition facts from WebMd:

One cup of kale contains 36 calories, 5 grams of fiber, and 15% of the daily requirement of calcium and vitamin B6 (pyridoxine), 40% of magnesium, 180% of vitamin A, 200% of vitamin C, and 1,020% of vitamin K. It is also a good source of minerals copper, potassium, iron, manganese, and phosphorus.

And according to NutriBullet, kale contains more iron than beef, and more calcium than milk, making it an excellent choice for vegetarians and vegans. It is an excellent antioxidant and anti-inflammatory, while being low in calories and carbs. With all this goodness, it's a no-brainer to include kale in your meal planning!

Cooking With Kale

Kale does have a rather strong flavor, and tends to be tough when eaten raw, so it's important to explore other ways to prepare it. Here are some of the easiest (and tastiest!) ways to introduce kale to your family:

1. Kale chips

Simply tear pieces of kale away from the stems, toss with oilive oil, and bake for 20 minutes at 325 degrees F. Be careful not to over cook! You can experiment with different seasonings — sea salt, garlic salt, pepper flakes — or toss with parmesan for extra flavor.

2. Sauteed kale

Lightly sauteeing kale in olive oil helps to soften the leaves. A splash of lemon juice will help to neutralize any bitterness. Lightly cooked kale is wonderful eaten on its own, but is also delicious eaten as a warm salad when tossed with other sliced vegetables.

3. Raw kale

The secret to eating raw kale salads is massage! Simply toss your kale with a bit of olive oil and lemon, and really work the liquid into the leaves. Massaging the kale helps to breakdown the structure, resulting in a great salad green.

4. Kale and grains

Toss kale into pasta or grain dishes for added flavor, color, and nutrition. Try substituting kale in any recipe that calls for spinach!

5. Kale smoothies

A handful of kale blended with fruits and almond milk makes for a powerhouse smoothie! You may want to blend a little longer than usual to ensure that the kale breaks down sufficiently. Add a little at a time to help your kids get accustomed to the taste.

Adding kale to your menu will give your family a boost in nutrition and flavor. All hail kale!

Have a favorite kale recipe? Share it below, and we'll include the link on Parenting Squad's Feeding the Family Pinterest board!