Lillian definitely falls into that common species of toddler I like to call the nuggetvores. Put something in nugget form and she will eat it. Most of the time, I strive to prepare vegetables, proteins and other foods in their “whole” form, encouraging her to accept them as they are.
“This is broccoli. It is green. Try it and you might like it.” Or, “these are lentils, they are similar to beans, try them,” etc and so on.
But sometimes, we’ve had a long day and no one is in the mood for an argument and I just want her to eat something we can BOTH feel good about without getting the United Nations involved in the negotiations.
Enter the broccoli and white bean nugget. On the outside they look so much like a store-bought chicken nugget it’s almost disturbing. On the inside they’re packed with healthy things like broccoli and white beans, whole grains and cheese. The flavor is mild, with hints of cheesiness and a douse of Italian seasoning adds a vaguely Mediterranean flair. They’re delicious dipped in spaghetti sauce or ranch dressing.
Your child will love them. Then they will take a bite. They will munch and consider. And they will say “YUM!”
They will gobble the rest of the nuggets while you sit smugly in your seat delighting in the fact that your child is eating broccoli and beans and NO ONE IS ARGUING.
The recipe below is basic and easy to make but also very easy to customize. You can play around adding different veggies and seasonings. You can even play with shapes. Check out some of the versions I’ve seen on Pinterest that use the same basic concept: