Who thinks it is possible to get their picky eaters to eat broccoli? We can change that!
Hollis, our contributing mom, writes about how she’s gotten her sons to eat more veggies. If you’ve missed our picky-eater series, check out our texture issue, color issue, picky-eater solutions, and dinnertime action plan posts.
Two kids, two appetites, two meals—TOO much! One has been eating sushi since 3 years of age, and the other won’t touch broccoli. Hmm, the ultimate question: “How to get your kids, whether 2 or 6, to all eat the same meal?” The easy way. To involve them in the process from an early age and to not give up. I don’t recommend making your kids eat everything on their plate. This, in turn, will just make them more opposed to trying new foods and make mealtime full of anxiety.
I think making food fun is one of the easiest ways to get your children involved in trying new foods. The grocery store can be challenging with a toddler, but why not make it an adventure? Ask your little guy or girl to “find something green that looks like a tree” when you’re perusing the produce section. It’s like a scavenger hunt. They’ll have fun picking out the tree. My tip on picking out broccoli is to make sure you choose one that has green florets. If the top of the broccoli has a gray or black appearance, my grandmother always said to keep looking. When you get home, have your child help “give the broccoli a bath.”
Having your child help you in the kitchen is a sure way to perk their interest in the foods they eat. Here’s my hint with making the best broccoli ever. Of course, it’s my Italian grandmother’s recipe, so it’s divine. In a pot, put about an inch of water, add olive oil, 4 cloves of garlic, and a dash of salt. As you steam the broccoli, the flavors will enhance the delicious taste. Steamed broccoli is too plain? Make broccoli pesto.
When dinner is ready, have your child help you serve the trees (aka broccoli) he or she picked out at the store. It will make your little guy or girl feel important! When serving your child, I recommend not asking what they’d like on their plate. Just serve them! Of course, if your child has been snacking all day, they won’t be very hungry, so getting your children to try new foods is always easier when they’re hungry. If they insist on not trying the broccoli or meal, don’t give up. Eventually, their interest will be piqued, and maybe they’ll take a bite, so keep cooking and keep serving.