Sep 252018

How I Got My Child to Eat Broccoli

How I Got My Child to Eat Broccoli

Broccoli can be a challenging vegetable when parenting a picky eater. I had been a Dietitian a hot minute when I realized that, in most cases, when a person reports dislike of a food, that food has only been prepared in one manner. For example, broccoli was always steamed. Spinach came from a can. Peas and carrots served without even a sprinkle of salt.

I love all these foods. But I don’t like canned spinach, I like it fresh, or cooked with garlic. I need my peas and carrots to be seasoned with salt and pepper – at a minimum. Steamed broccoli sometimes smells like socks if not allowed to breath a bit before serving. As much as I love vegetables, there are many preparation methods I dislike.

I am not of the opinion that in order for food to nourish us, it must be bland. In fact, I believe the exact opposite. I believe that we cannot truly nourish our bodies if we do not enjoy our food. Through the years, I have learned that being open to various preparation methods of food really do help people overcome pickiness and overcome barriers to great nutrition. Nobody wants to eat food that tastes bad. The key is to find ways to cook foods that taste amazing.

This roasted broccoli recipe is my key to incorporating this awesome vegetable into my family’s meals. Broccoli is not only a nutrition powerhouse, but it also fits well into my frugal grocery shopping habits. By roasting, instead of steaming, the broccoli doesn’t have a strong aroma. The garlic develops a slightly sweet flavor in the oven, and the olive oil helps create a nice texture. Everybody loves to see this dish on the family menu. Seriously. Give it a try. Even if you don’t believe you like broccoli, this is a good one. I promise.

Garlic Roasted Broccoli


  • 1 head broccoli
  • 1-3 tsp olive oil
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic grated
  • 3/4 tsp coarse sea salt
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper


  1. Wash and chop broccoli into florets. Place on baking sheet. I prefer to use my Silpat because it doesn't stick, but if you don't have one, just rub a little olive oil on the pan first and then place the broccoli on it.

  2. I place the broccoli in a mound on the baking sheet, drizzle the olive oil over, sprinkle with salt and pepper, and grate the garlic clove(s). I then use clean hands to toss the broccoli (directly on the baking sheet) to evenly coat. Spread the broccoli evenly out before placing into the oven. If the broccoli is crowded it will not roast evenly.

  3. Place in oven that has been preheated to 425. Roast for 10-15 minutes, tossing gently half way through cooking. The size of the broccoli florets will impact the cooking time. The larger the floret the longer it will take. You are looking for the broccoli to become crisp tender (I test with a fork) and edges begin to darken.

Recipe Notes

This is not a recipe that you need to follow closely when it comes to measurements. I rarely measure, and instead adjust based on the amount of broccoli.