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Getting Kids to Eat Broccoli

I had to do a double take last night at the dinner table. My little guy had a meal of pot roast, brown rice, and broccoli. Yet, he ate all of the broccoli first and asked for more before eating anything else. How did this happen? Well, I am trying to figure it out myself.

Perhaps because I have been introducing him to new foods since he was 6 months old, and could eat solid foods. I used to puree it in his homemade baby food I would make in my blender for him. He loved it then; he loves it now. It's never too late to try new things. As a new Momma, don't be afraid to offer all types of foods to your kids. Here's a story for you when I was afraid:

I remember having a shrimp cocktail at Thanksgiving and my boy was a little over 1-year-old. My Mom asked me if he had ever tried shrimp before and he hadn't. I was concerned and quite nervous to let him try it, after reading how so many children have so many food allergies these days. I too hesitated for fear he may have an allergic reaction. Mom's exact words, "Well, if he does, I guess we'll be spending Thanksgiving in the ER." True, I guess it was a better time than ever. Sure enough, he was not allergic and he loves shrimp so much to this day. I think the key is to let them try foods as soon as possible, and you will have a better chance of them enjoying those foods throughout their lives.

Same for broccoli. But, my husband doctors it up by simmering it in butter and then sprinkling it with Parmesan cheese. I am not a huge fan of broccoli, but the way he makes it is delicious! I guess we have to be more conscious of how the flavor is. It does not diminish the nutritional value of the broccoli by making it taste good. A light sprinkle of cheese and butter may put it on the higher fat side of the spectrum, but extra calories can be good for a growing boy (or girl). Healthy fats. I am not talking about drowning it in melted orange goo cheese where it does not even resemble broccoli any more. That would take things in the wrong direction.

So, I encourage you to do the following:

1) Introduce foods early so they can acquire a taste for them at a young age

2) Buy Organic whenever you can

PSSST: Costco sells large bags of frozen Organic Broccoli too!

3) Don't be too concerned about the calories or fat content

4) If you don't like the taste of plain broccoli, boiled and soggy, why would our kids?

5) Experiment with making things taste good

6) Eat the vegetable alongside of them. If Mommy & Daddy think broccoli is delicious, they will want to follow your example. Kids see everything we do!


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