So as a general rule, we try to keep healthy foods in our home and teach our kids healthy eating habits. So many parents I talk to have issues getting their kids to eat veggies. I get it. Honestly, I remember when I was a kid having vegetables for a meal that I thought were absolutely disgusting. But still, they’re one of the most nutrient rich foods you can get into your bodies, so as a mom, I’m going to encourage a menu full of them as much as possible.
I’m personally not a fan of “sneaking them in” my kids food. I’d prefer to teach them healthy eating choices that can stick with them throughout their lives. But I do try to make an effort to make them as enticing as possible. Sometimes that means making it fun, like when we slice up veggies into thin fry-like pieces and let the kids wrap them in lunch meat. Sometimes it means just cooking it in a different way. I remember eating a lot of steamed veggies growing up, often from a frozen bag, and let me just say that isn’t my favorite way to eat most veggies. Now don’t get me wrong, sometimes for convenience sake, I’ll pull out a can of green beans and warm it up, but whenever time allows, I love to start with fresh veggies.
In the summer, one of our family’s favorite things to do is head to a local farmer’s market and grab plenty of farm fresh vegetables. As an added bonus, when your kids help pick out the food you eat, they’re often more likely to try it. I’m hoping to be able to figure out the time to get a garden started this year to involve them even more in the process. We’ll see.
One of our favorite veggie sides around here is, believe it or not, broccoli. But this is not your typical broccoli dish. This is the most amazing one ever! It’s roasted, which in our home, has revolutionized how we cook veggies. They have a unique taste and texture when roasted and so much flavor. I’m betting if you try some tonight, your kids might actually enjoy it. Mine usually ask for seconds. And the babies absolutely love it! Inspired by this recipe a few years ago, here is how we make it around here.
First, chop up the broccoli (we use about two lbs) into bite-sized pieces. It cooks faster and makes it easier for littles to eat too. Preheat your oven to 425 degrees.
Next, drizzle 4-5 Tbsp of olive oil over it. Broccoli tends to soak up oil quickly, so start with less and add a little more if needed, but stir first to make sure most of it is coated lightly.
Now, I’m normally particular about things, but sometimes that doesn’t mean in my cooking. Please forgive me for the lack of exact amounts. I put about 1 tsp of sea salt and 1/2 tsp of fresh ground black pepper and 2 tsp of minced garlic and then sprinkle this deliciousness across the top of my bowl.
Stir well and lay in a flat layer on a cookie sheet. I line mine with foil for easy cleanup.
Roast in the oven for 20-25 minutes until its just starting to turn a crispy brown.
When you pull it out of the oven, drizzle a small amount more of olive oil over it and spray a little lemon juice over it. Yes, I’ve been known to keep a spray bottle of lemon juice in my refrigerator for such an occasion.
Serve and enjoy! I’d love to hear what you think if you try this for your family.
I do make other more simple veggie dishes too. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when including vegetables in your meals. Roasting is a great option for many, but even something like this simple sweet potato side that we make can keep it interesting and I’m telling you, your kids and family will like it better than mushy lima beans. All I do with this is peel and dice a few sweet potatoes, heat up some coconut oil in a skillet, add the potatoes and sprinkle just cinnamon all over them, then cook up for maybe 15-20 minutes and it’s like a dessert. Healthy doesn’t have to be gross. Try it for yourself.