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Vegetables for Kids

Vegetable Side Dishes Designed with Kids' Palates in Mind

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When making vegetables, kids' tastes are often the last thing parents have in mind. We typically spend more time thinking about how to get vegetables into our kids (often by stealth), than about creating vegetables for kids that will please their palates. These vegetable side dishes are all designed to tempt kids' taste buds. Some of these vegetables will appeal to your kids; some won't. Don't give up. Keep making the vegetable side dishes you like, keep offering your kids vegetables, and over time (it may be years), your kids will develop a taste for vegetables. I promise!

Cauliflower Twice Baked Potatoes Recipe

cauliflower twice baked potatoes
Mark Thomas/Getty Images

One of my standard strategies for introducing kids to vegetables is combining vegetables with other foods kids already like. These cauliflower twice baked potatoes have all the creaminess of regular twice baked potatoes, with the addition of mashed steamed cauliflower. Garlic and bacon add additional layers of flavor to this popular kids vegetable recipe.

 

Roasted Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Peanuts

Roasted Broccoli with Soy Sauce and Peanuts
Stephanie Gallagher

One of the vegetables kids say they like best is broccoli. But whether your kids are fans of broccoli or not, they will like this vegetable side dish. Fresh broccoli is roasted in olive oil and soy sauce until caramelized, then tossed with peanuts. The saltiness of the soy sauce and peanuts really bring out a pleasant flavor in this broccoli.

 

Fried Brussels Sprouts Recipe

Fried Brussels Sprouts
Stephanie Gallagher

You probably didn't expect to find a Brussels sprouts recipe on a list of vegetables for kids, but this fried Brussels sprouts recipe is one of my kids' favorite vegetables. Once you try it, you'll know why. They are crispy and golden and yes, they are actually pretty healthy.

 

Potato Croquettes with Vegetables

Potato Croquettes with Vegetables
Stephanie Gallagher

Like most croquettes, these potato croquettes are fried, which makes this one of those vegetables kids like automatically. But these croquettes are also made with pureed peas and carrots, which adds a nice bit of nutrition to this vegetable side dish.

 

Crispy Kale Recipe

Crispy Kale
Stephanie Gallagher

This is one of my kids' favorite vegetable side dishes. Kale is loaded with vitamins, minerals, protein and fiber, and it stands up well to roasting. The trick with this vegetable recipe is to check it frequently while roasting. You don't want the kale to get too browned, just crispy. A quick toss with sea salt adds incredible flavor to this kid-friendly vegetable recipe.

 

Butternut Squash Casserole Recipe

Butternut Squash Casserole
Stephanie Gallagher

This vegetable side dish will warm the kids from the inside out. Like a mashed potato casserole, only made with butternut squash, this vegetable recipe is loaded with vitamins, calcium and protein. Kids won't even know it's good for them.

Roasted Green Beans

Roasted Green Beans
Getty Images/Kris Timken

Roasting brings out the natural sweetness of vegetables, making them more pleasing to kids' taste buds. If your kids are particularly averse to green beans, go heavier on the oil for this recipe. The beans will soak up some of the oil during roasting, and when you toss them with sea salt, they'll taste almost like green French fries (well, if you have a good imagination.)

 

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole Recipe

Sweet Potato Marshmallow Casserole
Stephanie Gallagher

Why wait until Thanksgiving to serve this kid-friendly vegetable side dish? Kids love this sweet potato casserole, and even though it has plenty of sugar and butter, it has sweet potatoes, which are loaded with vitamin A, vitamin C, iron, calcium and fiber.

 

Broccoli Salad with Bacon

broccoli salad
Stephanie Gallagher

Whoever said bacon makes everything taste better knew a thing or two about the human palate. This broccoli salad is particularly appealing to kids, because the broccoli is raw and crunchy, it's tossed with juicy grapes and bacon, then bathed in a sweet and creamy dressing. I often make this vegetable side dish for parties, and there are never any leftovers!

 

Oven Fried Zucchini Recipe

Oven Fried Zucchini
Stephanie Gallagher

A light breading of Panko bread crumbs and Parmesan cheese adds the perfect texture and taste to this zucchini recipe to make this a melt-in-your-mouth vegetable for kids.

 

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