I have Mr. Sweet Potato Chip to thank for cracking the code on getting my kids to like sweet potatoes! I have been baffled as to why my kids don’t go crazy for this very kid-friendly food, especially when served as a fry. Why had I never thought to serve them sweet potato chips before? And isn’t that just it? How do we know?
I can serve my daughter something on Monday. She’ll fall madly in love with it and ask for it all week. I’ll go to the store on Friday to stock up only to be told the following Monday that she doesn’t like it anymore. Seriously. Last week, I decided to make sweet potato chips to go with some lentil burgers I made. I didn’t really think much about it, except that I had wanted to give Mr. Sweet Potato another try and thought serving it up a little differently might shake things up a bit. My kids aren’t big fans of sweet potatoes. They don’t even like sweet potato fries. I have no idea what is wrong with them!
For the chips, I went for a sweet and smoky flavor profile, kind of barbecue flavor inspired, using smoked paprika and brown sugar. I baked one batch in the oven and fried another in canola oil to see which came out better. Surprisingly, they were equally flavorful so I’d opt with the baked next time and save the calories!
My son hesitantly tried one and replied, “Wow, these are actually pretty good.” My eldest daughter agreed, and she and my son both tried to convince my younger daughter to give them a try: “They are kinda good.” While it wasn’t a rave review, I was thrilled that they were eating a different vegetable, something that I worry about all the time. Will they only eat carrots and cucumbers forever?!!
While eating up some leftover chips the next day, I realized that these sweet potato chips were the exact same thing as their fry counterparts except for the shape. I really hadn’t done anything that differently to them than what I do when I make sweet potato fries. It was only the shape that was different. It hit me at how something so simple can make a world of difference in getting kids to try (and like) a new food. It reminded me of a few things:
1. Make food fun, interactive, and colorful.
2. Keep reintroducing foods, even if they’ve turned them down again and again.
3. Change things up. Add a new seasoning, shape or sauce to a tried and true vegetable and you just may surprised with new results.
Thank you, Mr. Sweet Potato! Get the recipe below and download the FREE recipe card here. For more easy and delicious recipes, sign up here to get a copy of my free cookbook-let, Vegan Family Dinners.
Now, tell me how you prefer to eat your sweet potatoes – fry or chip? Share in the comments below!