12 Broccoli hacks that will make your kids love this green vegetable

Feb 23, 2015 at 3:30 p.m. ET

You might be a parent if you have battled with your child about eating their broccoli. It may be cliché, but most kids hate this green cruciferous vegetable. As a parent, there's only one thing to do: Learn how to dress up broccoli to please your picky eater.

Before we dive right in, there are a few things you need to know about broccoli. Why are parents so adamant that their kids eat it? According to The World's Healthiest Foods, broccoli is an all-star vegetable because of its fiber content, rich levels of vitamins A and K needed to support vitamin D metabolism and prevent deficiency and its detoxifying ability that comes from a specific combination of phytonutrients.

For kids and for adults, broccoli is kind of a big deal. Here are 12 creative ways to serve this overlooked veggie and make it a family favorite.

1. Cakes

Broccoli cakes

Not that kind of cake, but just as appetizing: Hide broccoli in sweet potato cakes, and serve with sour cream on the side.

2. Casserole

Broccoli casserole

A broccoli, cheese and brown rice casserole is deceptively healthy and arguably delicious.

3. Cheese

Cheesy broccoli

Image: ella/Flickr

This may seem like a no-brainer, but kids are suckers for broccoli with cheese. If you haven't tried this popular side dish yet, add it to the top of your list.

4. Dip

Broccoli dip

Image: Pixabay

Broccoli and cheese will never steer you wrong. Watch your kids devour this antioxidant-rich appetizer as a pre-dinner dip.

5. Fried

Fried broccoli

Image: Pixabay

Clearly not the healthiest broccoli choice, but I'd still call it a win in my book.

6. Medley

Vegetable medley

Image: Pixabay

Cook up broccoli with your kids' favorite green vegetable, like peas or green beans, and see if they call your bluff.

7. Pizza

Broccoli pizza

Image: Mark H. Anbinder/Flickr

Adding nutritious broccoli to pizza will balance things out when your kids demand pizza for dinner for the fifth night in a row.

8. Pureed

Broccoli purée

Image: Chris Yarzab/Flickr

Perfect for the pickiest eater. Puree broccoli, and use it to create a brand-new dish — "green" mashed potatoes.

9. Ramen

Noodle soup

Image: Pixabay

Did you ever think you would encourage your kids to eat packaged ramen? Cook it up with chicken and broccoli, and everybody wins.

10. Roasted

Roasted broccoli

Image: meg/Flickr

Roasted broccoli with garlic, olive oil, lemon juice, sea salt and black pepper will turn your child into a miniature foodie.

11. Soup

Broccoli cheese soup

This is a broccoli rule to remember: The only thing better than broccoli and cheese is broccoli and cheese soup.

12. Stir-fry

Broccoli stir-fry

Where would a stir-fry be without broccoli's crunch? This chicken and broccoli stir-fry over quinoa is healthy, tasty and easy to make.

More broccoli recipes

Broccoli-chicken macaroni and cheese
Make super-fast roasted broccoli rabe with chickpeas in 5 minutes flat (VIDEO)
Meatless Monday: Cheesy broccoli and cauliflower bake

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