May I have more “special sprouts,” please?

Have you ever had “special sprouts”? They’re actually Brussels sprouts, but if you say it fast, it sounds an awful lot like special sprouts, especially to a 6 and a 3-year-old. (Our very own Nanny Jane calls them Barbie cabbages.)

I love Brussels sprouts. I admit it. (There. I said it.) So I introduced them to my girls last month. I take mine whole, sautéed in a bit of butter, and then tossed with a splash of balsamic vinegar and sea salt a few minutes before serving. I eat them with abandon the same way I can eat bacon or popcorn. And guess what, so do my girls! Mia asks for seconds and Stella, thirds. Mia likes to peel back the layers and savor them one leaf at a time. Stella is an eat-’em-whole girl like me.

Last week we had BLTs, organic French fries, and … special sprouts (a rather interesting combination, but that’s what happens when it’s dance and gymnastics night). Stella’s fries remained untouched, and on her third helping of special sprouts, I wondered if I should make her eat her entire plate of food before I let her have more of something else. I promptly decided against it.

When she asked Friday morning if she could take any leftover special sprouts to school for lunch, I also decided against that. No need for her to know just yet that her peers might not love them the way she does.

Feeding your kids “green” can be a huge challenge in unexpected ways. I have three tips that can help send them in the right direction (life changers for us, for sure):

1. Make their first solid food green, something full of nutrients and flavor, like a mashed-up avocado. Both Stella and Mia loved it; the texture is super nice for babies, and fun for their little taste buds!

2. Children love to watch something grow, something they made. Nanny Jane planted spinach and potatoes with Stella when she was just a year and a half. The first salad Stella ate with that spinach that she herself had planted, watered, watched grow, and harvested, she gobbled up with abandon, asking for seconds.

3. Always eat YOUR vegetables (you adult you). I love salads and vegetables and exclaim my love in word and deed constantly … in front of my children.

What are some tips you have for getting children to eat “green?”

Leave a comment 4 Comments

  1. Winnie Nielsen says:

    Brussel sprouts were a veggie that I did not get to like until my adulthood. So much depends on how you cook them because overcooking leaves them mushy and bitter. Now, I love them roasted with just a bit of olive oil and sea salt . You are so right to help your children learn to try and enjoy all of the healthy veggies of the world! They will be so much more healthy for it!

  2. Terry Steinmetz says:

    For salads, we used to have each child go to the garden & pick their own leaves to eat. They would also find peas, radishes, onions, kale…whatever was ready! My grandgirls are salad lovers, but not beets! Oh well,can’t win them all!

  3. NancyB says:

    I, too, love brussel sproats, fixed just about any way imagined. However, as a kid I can remember wondering how anything that stunk up the house so bad could taste so good!

  4. Kathy says:

    I too only recently discovered how great they are! I can’t get enough of them now.

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