Introducing nutrient-rich foods to children can be a daunting task for parents. Owing to the taste, texture or appearance, several vegetables get shunned by children. One such vegetable is the Brussels sprouts. However, inculcating the habit of eating healthy can be a rewarding endeavour given the effect on children’s health and wellbeing.
In this blog, we will discuss ways to incorporate Brussels sprouts into children’s diets.
Nutritional profile of Brussels Sprouts
1/2 cup (78 grams) of cooked Brussels sprouts contains:
- Calories: 28
- Protein: 2 grams
- Carbs: 5.5 grams
- Fibre: 2 grams
- Carotene: 256 mcg
- Folate: 88 mcg
- Vitamin C: 48 mg
Brussels sprouts also contain small amounts of
- Vitamin B6
Health benefits of Brussels sprouts
- Improve bone health:
Vitamin K aids in
- Healthy bone formation and mineralization.
- Calcium increases bone strength.
- Managing diabetes: Antioxidant alpha-lipoic acid (ALA)
- Lowers glucose levels
- Increases insulin sensitivity
- Prevents risk of cancer: Glucosinolate found in Brussels Sprouts prevents the development and spread of cancer cells.
- Improves eye health:
Vitamin C helps
- Improve eye health
- Reduces the risk of cataracts.
- Improves Skin health: Vitamin C helps in
- Production of collagen
- Building skin strength and elasticity
- Reduces wrinkles
- Improves the overall skin texture
- Reduces inflammation: The high flavonoid content in Brussels Sprouts helps reduce inflammation in the body. Quercetin works as an anti-histamine reducing allergic reactions.
- Supports gut health: Brussels sprouts are rich in glutathione which protects the body from inflammatory damage and supports the body’s detoxification process. It maintains the integrity of the gut lining as well.
- Supports heart health: Brussels sprouts are especially rich in a plant compound, called kaempferol, which reduces the risk for heart disease.
Also Read: Healthy Snacking with Dried Fruits for Kids
Incorporating Brussels sprouts into children’s diet
To introduce Brussels sprouts to children, start with small portions. Children’s taste buds need time to adapt to the unique flavour of these vegetables. Gradually increase the quantity once your child begins accepting the new flavour in their diet. Here are some ways to incorporate Brussels sprouts into children’s diets:
Make it creative: Incorporate these sprouts in a colourful medley of other vegetables, meat, or as a topping in pizzas. Make the presentation creative and fun.
Educate them on nutritional benefits: Make it a learning experience by educating your child about the advantages of eating these sprouts. Drawing parallels between these mini-cabbage goodies to their favourite superhero’s strength or a popular athlete’s endurance will make it fun and much more enticing.
Create recipes together: Brussels sprouts can be integrated into delicious recipes like sprout fritters, veggie stir fry, cheesy sprouts, or sprout pasta. Here are a few recipes:
- Parmesan Crusted Brussels Sprouts: Coat Brussels sprouts in a cheesy, garlicky mixture before baking on high heat until they turn crispy.
- Honey-Glazed Brussels Sprouts: Bake the Brussels sprouts and glaze the top with honey. It is sure to win over young taste buds.
- Brussels Sprout Chips: Slice Brussels Sprout roast until it turns crispy. These chips make a great snack.
- Brussels Sprout Pops: Skewer sprouts with a fun dip for an appetising
- Cheesy Brussels Sprout Bake: A gooey and cheesy bake that’s perfect for little cheese lovers.
- Brussels Sprout Pizza: Top a pizza with sprouts, cherry tomatoes, and mozzarella for a kid-friendly delight.
- Roasted Brussels Sprouts: A simple roast with olive oil and seasoning that kids can’t resist.
- Honey Mustard Brussels Sprouts: A sweet and tangy twist on a classic side dish.
- Brussels Sprout Slaw: Shred sprouts into a zesty slaw for a refreshing side.
- Brussels Sprout Tots: Little tots packed with flavour and nutrition.
- Cheesy Brussels Sprout Bake: Mix Brussels sprouts with a cheese sauce, and breadcrumbs, and bake.
- Creamy Pasta with Brussels Sprouts: Toss cooked pasta with a creamy sauce and chopped Brussels sprouts. The Brussels sprouts blend well with other ingredients, making them less noticeable.
- Chicken and Brussels Sprouts Stir-fry: Stir-fried Brussels sprouts with chicken and a tangy sauce; its robust flavours will mask the vegetable’s bitterness.
- Brussels Sprouts Sliders: Create mini sliders using roasted Brussels sprouts as the ‘buns’ and a slice of ham or turkey as filling. Kids will love these cute, bite-sized snacks.
- Brussels Sprouts Fried Rice: Toss shredded Brussels sprouts in a vegetable fried rice recipe. The taste of Brussels sprouts will be camouflaged amidst the aromatic rice and veggies.
- Brussels Sprouts Chips: Slice and roast Brussels sprouts until crisp. Let kids enjoy Brussels sprouts in chip form.
- Caramelised Brussels Sprouts with Maple Syrup: Bake Brussels sprouts with a touch of maple syrup for the fussy eater.
Instilling healthy eating in your child can lay a strong foundation for a healthier life ahead. By employing thoughtful strategies, overcoming the initial resistance, and consistency in the feeding regime, parents can accomplish this task.
At EuroSchool, we believe in creating an environment that promotes and supports healthy eating habits among students, setting the foundation for a lifetime of well-being.