Perhaps a better title would have been: How to Get Your Kids to Eat their Brussels Sprouts…or not.
I don’t know about you, but I hate Brussels Sprouts!
Growing up, my mom used to boil them. I can’t imagine a worse preparation for this vegetable. I think it just enhanced the naturally bitter flavor and slimed up the texture. I still gag to this day when I think of Brussels Sprouts.
A few weeks ago, Sam and I ran into Whole Foods to load up on produce. Imagine my horror when Sam became intrigued by a Brussels sprouts stalk. He thought it looked like a funny Christmas tree, so he wanted to try them! My gag reflex wanted to say HECK NO! but the mom part of me said…your child wants to try a healthy vegetable, how can you NOT encourage this??? I bit my tongue and bought the “tree.”
My mom always said that we had to keep trying the vegetables that we did not like because our taste buds changed as we got older…I think she lied.
Trying to stay optimistic, I researched all sorts of preparation methods and recipes for Brussels sprouts. I settled on roasting them and used a recipe by Ina Garten of The Barefoot Contessa on the Food Network. The recipe got 5 stars and a lot of great reviews so I tried to have an open mind. I am a really big believer on not voicing my opinions and taste preferences on my sons. I do not want to influence their acceptance of a food, I want to encourage them to try new things and decide for themselves if they like something or not. When Sam was about 2, he came in the kitchen while I was chopping onions for a recipe. He got up on the stool and asked if he could try the raw onions. I said “sure,” and resisted saying “no, you wont like them.” He ate a piece of raw onion, and as I prepared a glass of milk to help him recover…I was astonished when he asked if he could have some more in a bowl! Sam ate raw onions for about a year!
So, I made a big event out of the Brussels sprouts…more for myself than for Sam and Luke.
We decorated the stalk with Christmas ornaments and tinsel. LOL! I’m such a dork.
The Mission, should you choose to accept it: Get Your Kids (and Yourself) to Eat the Roasted Brussels Sprouts
Well, Sam said he really liked them!
Although, in this picture he does not look all that convinced!
Now this child, my little “mini-me,” is a little more dramatic than his big brother…
He is thinking about the taste…
This is not going to end well…
Yep, he is so me! This is giving me a flashback to my childhood, gagging on Brussels sprouts! I know this is a gross picture, but as a mom…it is one of the funniest parts of parenthood, getting to be on the “other side” of the yucky vegetable!
Don’t worry, no child was harmed in the making of this blog post.
Honestly though, Brussels sprouts are really good for you, and I would like to find a recipe that will help Luke and I eat them. The gluten-free diet can make it difficult to obtain certain nutrients without the addition of a multi-vitamin or fiber supplements. Check this out from the website How Stuff Works:
But unlike most vegetables, Brussels sprouts are rather high in protein, accounting for more than a quarter of their calories. Although the protein is incomplete — it doesn’t provide the full spectrum of essential amino acids — it can be made complete with whole grains. This means you can skip a higher-calorie source of protein, like high-fat meat, and occasionally rely on a meal of Brussels sprouts and grains.
Brussels sprouts are loaded with vitamin A, folacin, potassium, calcium. They have 3-5 grams of fiber per cup, and at 25 calories per 1/2 cup cooked, they give us a reason to eat them more often. Brussels sprouts are one of those foods that will fill you up, without filling you out.
Brussels sprouts are very high in fiber, and they belong to the disease-fighting cabbage family. Indeed, they look like miniature cabbages. Like broccoli and cabbage — fellow cruciferous vegetables — Brussels sprouts may protect against cancer with their indole, a phytochemical.
Brussels sprouts are also particularly rich in vitamin C, another anti-cancer agent. Whether you choose them for their healthiness or because you love Brussels sprouts, one thing is certain: You will be getting a good-for-the-body food that is high in protein and low in fat and calories.
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