“Steamed broccoli is a good source of Vitamin C, K, fiber and potassium and is yummy'”

Children love to help out in the kitchen, to make simple recipes that are nutritious and tasty and are more apt to eat the food if they have helped prepare the meal. They are natural helpers and it takes the pressure off Mom and Dad to have them contribute to the meal. Kids will engage when you make it a fun activity, letting them wear your favorite kitchen apron or chef hat and giving them space to create. In the case of broccoli, you can show them how to prepare the broccoli for cooking – washing, cutting and placing in the steamer. And you can tell them to call the broccoli ‘trees’ or ‘dinosaurs’.  

You may want to introduce your younger children to “broccoli” on St. Patrick’s Day. This nutritious vegetable is naturally green. And to make it even more interesting you can have your children prepare a topping once the broccoli is steamed. You can have them sprinkle some low-fat cheddar cheese on the broccoli after it is steamed or try parmesan and give them a small amount of butter or ghee, some dried herbs, such as basil, thyme or rosemary (fresh is even better). This gives a richer favor too.

Or you can have your kids add some chopped almonds or walnuts that contain Vitamin E and protein. And most kids will like the crunchy texture of the nuts (except for children allergic to nuts). Or, if your kids are adventuresome they might try a bit of soy sauce or grated ginger to add an Asian flavor. Another idea is to let kids dip some broccoli spears into a small amount of melted cheese or some hummus which is rich in fiber and protein. If your children like avocado or salsa these are two other options.

You know your child best and it will likely be more successful to try one thing at a time. And remember to steam the broccoli to perfection. Happy St. Patrick’s Day!

Here are two ways to steam broccoli and the steaming softens the broccoli’s somewhat bitter taste bringing out more of its sweet and nutty flavor.

Pot or frying pan

Bring about 1/4 inch of water to a boil in a large frying pan.

Add about 1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt and at least a handful and up to 2 pounds of trimmed and cleaned broccoli florets.

Cover and steam until as tender as you like (about 3 minutes for crisp-tender and up to 8 minutes for completely cooked, soft florets).

Or in a steamer basket

Bring about an inch of water to a boil in the bottom of a pot into which your steamer basket or insert fits.

Put trimmed and cleaned broccoli florets in the steamer basket, put over boiling water and cover, and steam until tender to the bite, about 3 minutes for crisp-tender and up to 8 minutes for fully tender florets.

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