The Genius Way This Functional MD Sneaks Broccoli Sprouts Into Her Kids' Meals
Encouraging kids to eat healthy is no easy task, especially if you have a fussy eater at your table. The ticket? Most experts say to sneak healthy veggies into meals they already love—be it chocolaty smoothies, a cozy bowl of porridge, or a veggie-filled mac 'n' cheese.
Integrative family physician Madiha Saeed, M.D., is certainly on board: On the mindbodygreen podcast, she offers up her tried-and-true trick to get her kids to eat one of the earthiest (but oh-so-healthy) veggies: the ever-famed broccoli sprouts.
First, why broccoli sprouts are worth it.
Think of broccoli sprouts as infantile stalks of the cruciferous veggie—and with their smaller size, they have a higher concentration of nutrients than their mature counterparts. (That's not to say grown-up broccoli isn't healthy—it is! The sprouts just pack in an extra punch.)
Specifically, broccoli sprouts are loaded with the necessary components to boost the production of sulforaphane—you know, that gut-healthy compound that activates certain antioxidant genes in your body. Plus, sulforaphane also supports your body's detoxification processes: One study even showed that sulforaphane from broccoli sprouts activated enzymes in the body that picked up pollutants from the bloodstream and flushed them out via urine. Perhaps that's why gastroenterologist Will Bulsiewicz, M.D., MSCI, says, "The best place to get sulforaphane is not the broccoli; it's the sprouts," on his episode of the mindbodygreen podcast.
The bottom line? These tiny sprouts have a huge nutritional impact.
How Saeed sneaks them into her kids' meals.
Broccoli sprouts have an impressive nutrient profile—but picky eaters might not enjoy their earthy, slightly spicy flavor. That's why Saeed hides the sprouts in a veggie-packed burrito. "That's how I like to sneak in the broccoli sprouts," she explains. "Wrap it up; give it to the kids. It's so easy and fun." Here's how she builds her burritos:
- You can use any kind of tortilla you please, but Saeed likes to grab some cassava flour wraps (like these from Siete).
- Throw in a source of protein—feel free to use grass-fed beef, fish, black beans, or quinoa.
- Then add your toppings: Saeed likes to sprinkle on a cabbage-packed slaw, as well as salsa.
- Don't forget to top with broccoli sprouts as a garnish before wrapping it all up.
Granted, the broccoli sprouts aren't too hidden, but hey—if the kids can't see the greens poking out of the burrito, they might scarf it down without a second thought. You can also add avocado or sautéed peppers to the wrap as well; it's a super-versatile venture.
Broccoli sprouts are packed with healthy nutrients, but it can be difficult to get kids on board. The trick, says Saeed, is to hide them from plain sight—like safely tucked inside a burrito. So simple that it just might work.
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