Since the beginning of time parents have been asking the age old question, ‘How do I get my kids to eat broccoli?’
It is a bit of a mystery as to what it is about broccoli that universally turns kids off. It’s actually a great looking vegetable, just like a tree, and it doesn’t taste too bad either, raw or cooked. I expect years ago it was because it was boiled for far too long until it resembled a soggy, grey glug instead of a crisp, green vegetable. Still, in many families, the problem of kids turning their nose up at it still exists.
Perhaps getting kids to eat it is not just a case of hiding it in amongst other things on the dinner plate. Perhaps it’s about getting them to look at it differently. Here are some fun ideas for getting kids to use, play and possibly taste broccoli.
I bet there are many parents who have used the term ‘broccoli trees’ and stuck them in the mashed potato hoping it would get the kids to try it. But, why not take broccoli off the table? Let the kids use broccoli for trees when they are playing with their Lego, cars, dinosaurs or Smurfs. They work perfectly as trees and if the kids are handling it when they play, they might be tempted to have a bit of a nibble when you’re not looking.
Kids might become more intrigued by broccoli if they use it to paint with! They can break it into smaller pieces or keep it larger. They can even load each floret with a different colour. The best thing is that there’s no need to clean brushes at the end of the day. But, if your kid is young and does enjoy raw broccoli, be careful that they don’t eat the paint as well!
Broccoli for Pets
Dogs are omnivores, just like us, so they need some vegies in their food and they will definitely woof down broccoli if it is mixed into their meals or baked into pet treats. Some might even eat it raw! Broccoli is also brilliant for all types of birds and small animals. Parrots will hold the florets in their claw while ripping it apart with their beak and smaller birds will peck at the tiny flowers on the top. Mice and guinea pigs will just chew on small pieces every now and then. On a hot day, the kids can put the broccoli into their water bowl so that it stays crisp. Perhaps if the kids see the animals eating it, they might try it too!
We’ve seen artichokes being used in flower arrangements but what about broccoli. Kids will love to combine broccoli with other flowers or even vegetables to make flower posies or pretty vases for the home. A posy from the vegetable garden could be a great gift for grandparents.
I’m dreaming of a green Christmas! Well, kids can if they build a Christmas Tree out of broccoli and decorate it with red cherry tomatoes and stars made from carrots. Get them to google ‘Broccoli Christmas Trees’ and they will get lots of inspiration.