We are big fans of broccoli in our home. Oddly enough, it’s the one vegetable that we all agree on.

It’s no secret that broccoli is good for you. It’s an excellent source of vitamin C — you can meet the recommended daily amount by noshing on just under a cup of broccoli. It’s also a good source of fiber (hello, digestive health) and folate (which helps make DNA). Broccoli also contains sulforaphane, a phytochemical that helps to bolster the immune system and protect against free radical damage. (sources: 1, 2)

But here’s why I like broccoli so much for kids. It’s like a gateway vegetable. Once kids learn to love broccoli, it opens the door to other green veggies, plus so many different types of cuisines. And it’s filling! If your kids polish off a serving of broccoli, chances are they’re not going to throw a hunger fit 20 minutes later.

How to Serve Broccoli to Your Kids

For starters, try serving it raw with dip, as an appetizer. One study found that preschoolers who were sensitive to the bitter taste of broccoli — and therefore most likely to avoid it — ate 80 percent more broccoli when it was served with a dip, like ranch dressing, compared to when it was served alone.  (source: 3)

If you decide to cook broccoli, be careful not to overcook it. Nobody likes a mushy mess. Try roasting it, which tempers the bitterness and brings out broccoli’s sweetness. After roasting it, you can top it with a squirt of lemon and a dash of salt. My kids gobble it up this way. Click here for my recipe for Roasted Lemon Broccoli. It honestly couldn’t be simpler to make.

roasted-broccoli-lemon-smart-eating-for-kids-50

Fun with Broccoli

You know that I’m a big fan of familiarizing kids with the foods we want them to eat. To help make it easy for you, I’ve created a free mini activity pack for your kids. It includes:

  • A broccoli coloring sheet
  • Broccoli jokes and fun facts
  • Broccoli superhero activity

 Click here to get the free Broccoli Mini Activity Pack.

broccoli-mini-activity-pack

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