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Here's why you must eat broccoli

Do you have children who absolutely hate leafy vegetables? A culinary expert suggests easy recipes your child will never complain about.

Mumbai Mirror|
Nov 23, 2015, 04.00 PM IST
Do you have children  who absolutely hate leafy vegetables? A culinary expert suggests easy recipes your child will never complain about.
Do you have children who absolutely hate leafy vegetables? A culinary expert suggests easy recipes your child will never complain about.
(This story originally appeared in on Nov 23, 2015)
Here's why you must eat broccoli

Do you struggle to make your kids eat the veggies on their plate?

A culinary expert suggests easy recipes your child will never complain about Many times, we as parents face picky behaviour only for some parts of the day or, in fact, a couple of food items. How many of you have children who absolutely hate milk? Or green leafy vegetables? Or, in some cases, even eggs and meat?

There is a way to deal with each and every one of these aversions. The reason for dealing with them is that your children need these nutrients, whether they like the taste or not.

Children are expected to complain about certain food items and say things like, 'I don't eat eggs, ever,' or, 'Sprouts! Eww, gross!' However, if this problem persists and actually makes it to adulthood, it needs a very valid health-related, political or environmental argument to support this aversion -a severe allergy is even better. If you don't like a particular food, you may seem like a picky child to your friends and this isn't something you want to deal with on business dinners. Do you want your children to grow up and become an adult with a job and a spouse but still fuss about food like a ten-year-old? You wouldn't want them to go on a date and seem unadventurous and unhealthy because they only order junk food even at the age of twenty-four, would you?

I am guessing you will say no. Most adults develop these food aversions during childhood which eventually turn into phobias. In fact, foods many people hated when they were growing up not only provide essential nutrients for adult bodies but also house a potpourri of savours, tangs and zests. We all know children are often reluctant to eat their veggies, so the trick is to find ways to 'sneak' them into their food. Here are the most common 'ick' foods that are actually incredibly good for you -and tasty as well and tricks to include them in your child's meal.


It is a staple of popular culture that kids loathe broccoli and kick up a mighty fuss when forced to eat it. The vitamin K in these shrub-like plants is what you would like your children to obtain. Children hate these flower shaped greens (and others in its family of cabbage) probably because they are not as yummy as chicken nuggets or a bar of Snickers. However, broccoli can be made into a treat too. It is easy to prepare and can be made into a delicious side dish or even tossed in a summery salad.

Health benefits

This flower-like vegetable has superlative amounts of vitamin C and dietary fibre. It also has moderate amounts of vitamin K and A. Besides that, broccoli is known to contain many nutrients which possess potent anti-cancer properties, like diindolylmethane, and traces of selenium. Just one serving gives you more than 30 mg of vitamin C. Diindolylmethane also fights other viruses and bacteria.

Learn to like it

Why do you want to avoid the good stuff? You can always skewer these babies with some other veggies and marinate them in spices for flavour. They even go well with dips like hummus or with some ranch dressing. Make a tasty potato and broccoli soup and add some yummy croutons so your kids will love it; grate some parmesan on top to make it even yummier. You can crumble the florets to put in a salad of your choice or even in mince pies and tikkis.You could always keep it simple and just steam or bake them with olive oil for a quick side dish. If you want to get exciting, cover a casserole dish with broccoli. Then pour 3 tablespoons of butter over it and season with pepper and salt. Sprinkle some cheddar cheese on top and then bake for 10-15 minutes.

Bean Sprouts

Sprouts are the soft, edible shoots of certain plants. Though moong bean is the most commonly used bean sprout, there are many other seeds that can be sprouted.For example, lentils, alfalfa seeds, kidney beans, sunflower seeds, peas, white beans and even adzuki beans. For centuries, bean sprouts have been eaten for their amazing health benefits. These can be eaten raw in a salad or cooked. Sometimes people even put them in juices. The taste differs from sweet to bitter depending on the type of seed.

Health benefits

Bean sprouts are highly nutritious and tend to retain their beneficial properties until consumed, unlike other vegetables which start losing their nutrition the moment you pluck them. These shoots contain all the vitamins -A, B, C, D, E and K. They are a rich protein source (excellent especially for vegetarians) and also contain a lot of fibre which aids digestion and is good for people suffering from constipation. Apart from this, sprouts contain minerals like folate, potassium, iron, phosphorous, magnesium and zinc. They can be good for kids with anaemia or a low haemoglobin count because of their high content of iron. It also keeps cholesterol in check, has antiageing properties, reduces stress and even strengthens hair and nails. Their importance for your kids cannot be stressed enough. Learn to like it Bean sprouts can be added to tikkis and also to salads and raitas. With enough perseverance, your kids will learn to like them.


No matter how vibrant the colour of this vegetable, beet still remains unappetizing to many adults and children alike. I understand that it can be hard to know what to do with them. When cut, beets look like slices of bloody meat. However, their sweet taste and bright, blood-red colour can dress up a salad.

Health benefits

These red babies are actually high in carbohydrates.They are a quick energy source without the weight you gain from processed carbohydrates. Beets are also a wholesome source of magnesium, niacin, iron and calcium, along with vitamins like A and C.Many stud ies have shown that they reduce the risk of colon cancer.

Learn to like it

Like I said earlier, beets go well in a salad. However, if you aren't too keen on salads, you can always put it in a soup to get a vibrant red colour. You can also blend it with hummus to make a funky snack.


Beets and spinach come from the same family which almost guarantees that your child will dislike it. No matter how much Popeye loved this vegetable and how much your kid likes Popeye, getting him to emulate his favourite cartoon character's spinach-eating habit is impossible. The leaves are long and broad with a smooth texture and a bitter taste. There are many types of spinach and they grow slightly differently everywhere, but they taste almost the same.

Health benefits

Just like the other vegetables outlined previously, spinach also has vitamins A and C, lots of fibre, magnesium, folic acid and many other nutrients which helps prevent cancer, particularly of the colon, lung and breast. It also reduces the risk of heart disease. So this veggie is something that your child needs for great blood building, stronger gums, clear and good eyesight and a healthy bone structure.

Learn to like it

Most kids crib about the bitter taste of spinach but this can be masked quite easily. The one good thing about this vegetable is that it can be cooked in many ways. Why don't you try adding a blanched spinach layer to your lasagna? Your child will love this dish because it's super cheesy and yummy and it will still have the nutritious value we want to give to them. You can try putting it in a fruit smoothie... Like capsicum, it can also be pureed and put into white sauce. You can always put spin ach as a topping in a pizza, inside a quiche, or even add it to a yoghurt and cheese dip.
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