Adventures in Drool: The glories of kale and potty training

Kale chips can boost your family's nutrition and provide a healthy alternative to fried potato chips. BY RACHEL SWICK MAVITY
May 27, 2013

I hope the title didn't throw you off, or get you excited, it is a myth that eating kale helps with potty training. I think it may be a myth I just made up.

Either way, this weekend I experimented with some large, leafy kale and my family loved it! OK, when I say my family, I mean my husband tolerated it, my parents had a good attitude about it and Droolface bolted it down as fast as he could.

If my toddler will eat kale, yours will too.

Last week, I got a bunch of kale in my Washington Green Grocer box. I wanted to try it a number of ways to see how we liked it best.

First I used it in a smoothies with flaxseed, honey and frozen mangos and peaches. Yum!

The next night I turned it into a salad with tomatoes, red onion, baby spinach and balsamic vinagrette. I enjoyed it. I chopped the kale up into bite-sized pieces after washing it really well with water. I find having bite-sized pieces makes the salad more enjoyable for everyone.

For my final trick, I took my well-washed kale and cut it into chip sizes, tossed it with about a tablespoon of olive oil, some salt and pepper, and baked it into kale chips. This was a total hit with Droolface!

Bake the kale chips in a single layer on a sheet pan at 350 degrees for 15-20 minutes. Some of the leaves can get a bit brown, but mostly they remain dark green.

I am not sure if Droolface thought they were actual chips or if he realized they were something else, but either way, the boy certainly got his fill of kale at dinner.

Health benefits of kale include:

“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.

Kale’s health benefits are primarily linked to the high concentration and excellent source of antioxidant vitamins A, C, and K -- and sulphur-containing phytonutrients.

Carotenoids and flavonoids are the specific types of antioxidants associated with many of the anti-cancer health benefits. Kale is also rich in the eye-health promoting lutein and zeaxanthin compounds.

Beyond antioxidants, the fiber content of cruciferous kale binds bile acids and helps lower blood cholesterol levels and reduce the risk of heart disease, especially when kale is cooked instead of raw.

It also lends a hand in cancer protection and lowered cholesterol.”

Source: WebMD.

Want some more delicious kale recipes, go to Food52.


One potty for the future!

Droolface loves to read books with us, and so last month I got two books (maybe three) about going to the potty. I figured if he knew about the potty, he might get interested in using it.

So we often read these books. He especially loves “Potty” by Leslie Patricelli. Just yesterday, I must have read that book 30 times. This is on top of the 30 times my husband read it to him. As my mom says, he is likely getting something new out of the book each time we read it.

He started out going in the potty before his bath. It became a little ritual. Then, all of a sudden, last night, he decides he wants to go potty before bed. What a great idea!

So we are now on the path to potty training. I cart the little green potty with us, and remind him to ask to use it. We shall see how it goes. Entering June, Droolface will be turning 2, and I am just amazed at the strides he is making.

Isn't growing up just wonderful to behold!


My tips for potty training:

1 – Educate. Talk about the potty. Have the potty around. Read books about the potty. Show the little one how you go to the potty.

2 – Wait. Let the little one make the first move. If he's ready, he will let you know.

3 – Act. Once he's taken the first step, it's time to move forward. Each day he should go to the potty more and more. Make sure to remind him to ask to go to the potty. Develop it into a ritual. He says potty, you take him and help him. Let him flush the pee down the toilet. And, always finish the ritual with hand-washing.

  • Real Parents. Real Food. Real Fun.

    Welcome to Adventures in Drool! Talking about green living, getting rid of plastics and toxic chemicals in our homes and raising happy kids on a budget. Join the conversation ( and don't forget to Like us on Facebook!

    Rachel Swick Mavity, author of the blog, lives with a reformed drooler (Droolface), who at age 3 loves to get muddy, drink homemade smoothies, giggle and flirt with old ladies. Her current drooler (Birdy) enjoys spitting up on work clothes and leaving drool trails as a way of showing her love.

    Mavity previously worked as a journalist for seven years at newspapers from Pennsylvania to Maryland and Delaware. In Sussex County she worked for several newspapers, including the Cape Gazette. She lives in Lewes with her husband, Ryan Mavity, their son, "Droolface," and daughter, "Birdy."