How to get your kids to eat and love broccoli (and other veggies too)

June 29, 2015

or at least how I get mine to like veggies, most of the time...

The age old battle of trying to get our children to eat vegetables continues…

But seriously, is anyone else tired of this?  I sneak veggies into pancakes (pink & green), smoothies, and cheese-filled quesadillas. All which work quite well for me by the way.

Companies are making products like veggie straws and chips, flavored puffs, and whole grain crackers, which make us parents feel like we are giving our kids a decently healthy snack. But the truth is, we really still need to get our kids to eat vegetables, real vegetables. And, the less they are cooked the healthier they are.

Do you know why broccoli is good for you?

Broccoli is low in saturated fat, and cholesterol. Uncooked, 1 cup is only about 31 calories. It is very high in protein and fiber, both of which contribute to a full feeling you get after eating broccoli. This, paired with the countless other vitamins and nutrients that are in broccoli, keeps kids away from processed snacks because they aren’t hungry! Check out more interesting facts here.

So, here are a few tips that may help you get your kiddos to eat broccoli, and other veggies, and enjoy them. Plus, a recipe for broccoli salad that will have your kids asking you for broccoli (hopefully!) and you getting the full benefits of eating broccoli raw in a delicious recipe.

This recipe is so good that even my kids eat it.

1) Be a model.

This may seem obvious. But how often do we talk about not liking food with our kids around to hear? Do you snack on chips, or carrots? Your kids, especially if they are still young, want to be just like you. They want to eat what you eat.

When I was trying to lose the baby weight from my second child my oldest saw me snacking on things like celery, carrots, and snap peas. She wanted to have what I was having and now snap peas are one of her favorite things to eat. She literally screams out of joy when I buy them. It’s ridiculous, but awesome. And I can rest easy knowing she is having a green vegetable – for a snack – almost every day.

2) Have lots of options!

We all like some fruits and veggies more than others. Encourage your kids to try things without any pressure. 

When you do find out what yours like, have it available! My thought is that eating green beans out of a can multiple times a week is better than having no green vegetables at all.

3) Try new things.

Oh my gosh, sooo good. And perfect for serving at a dinner party or bar-b-q

With the broccoli salad recipe I will share (adapted from Paula Deen) I told my daughter that I wasn’t sure she would like it but just to try one good bite (3 yrs old) and if she didn’t like it she didn’t have to eat it. She reluctantly tried it and loved it. Now, I know this won’t work every time or with every kid, but I think my laid back attitude took the pressure off her. Or maybe she just wanted to prove me wrong? Either way I think I won and now she likes broccoli salad. 🙂  My son (2) also loves it! Now, this is a Paula Deen recipe so the healthiest part about it is that you are eating the broccoli raw, however, I have adapted it as best I can to make it a little more healthy. I have recommended this recipe to many friends and everyone always likes it (although not all of their kids did)! I hope you and your family like it! 

Broccoli Salad
Serves 4
Mouth watering broccoli salad that you can give to the whole family!
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Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
Prep Time
30 min
Total Time
30 min
  1. 1 cup Mayo with Olive Oil
  2. 2 tbl white vinegar
  3. 1/4 cup sugar
  4. 1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
  5. 1/2 cup of chopped red onion
  6. 2.5 oz package of real bacon bits
  7. 2 heads of broccoli
  8. halved cherry tomatoes to top
  1. Mix the mayo, white vinegar, and sugar well.
  2. Add the cheese, onion, and bacon.
  3. Mix well.
  4. Wash and cut the broccoli florets into bite size pieces.
  5. Add the broccoli and mix well.
  6. Top with cherry tomatoes.
  1. You may like to add 1/2 cup of raisins or sliced almonds.
  2. Try subbing the red onion for finely chopped carrots.
Adapted from Paula Deen
Adapted from Paula Deen
It's a Lifestyle

4) Bribe. If all else fails you can always bribe them. 😉 But seriously, it does work and aren’t we all just trying to get through it meal in order to have dessert?

The bottom line is that this battle is really hard and frustrating. At times you may feel like a failure, or like it’s never enough (I know I often do). But the truth is that if you are worried about your children being healthy, then chances are they are probably pretty healthy and you are doing a great job! I hope you can use some of these tips to get them to eat more veggies, especially broccoli.  It’s all about trying new things until something works, right? Hopefully one day our kids will love vegetables and fruits and even request them on their own!

Need more tips of sneaking veggies into your life or your kiddos? Check out these other blogs and good luck!

Pink Pancakes

Green Pancakes

Smoothie Super Foods

Also, check out the nutritional information for broccoli here.

A big thank you to Paula Deen for pulling through on the Broccoli Salad recipe that mine is adapted from! Here is the link for hers: Broccoli Salad recipe.

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