My parents have a small garden with mostly tomatoes and peppers, but they also grew some Swiss chard this year. We thought it would be fun to involve my older nephew in the harvesting and cooking of the Swiss chard, since kids are more likely to try new vegetables when they have helped to pick them out and prepare them.
My Mom did the cutting while my nephew held the leaves.
He took the job of washing the leaves very seriously, for a not-quite-3 year old.
At this point, he lost interest in the project and had to go to swim lessons anyway. I cut the stems from the Swiss chard, and cooked them in a pan with a bit of olive oil, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Then I added the torn leaves, and cooked it for a few minutes more. We ended up with a gorgeous bowl of Swiss chard to have with dinner. It doesn’t get more local than this!
The rest of us really enjoyed this, but my nephew didn’t end up taking one bite of the Swiss chard. And that’s OK, because it often takes several exposures for kids to try new food. We’ll try again soon!