Kid-Friendly Broccoli Recipes



Mayo Kids Cookbook

When kids sink their teeth into healthy foods like vegetables, fruit, lean meats and whole grains, they develop a taste for those foods that will stay with them for a lifetime. To get kids invested in healthy eating, the next best thing to having them grow their own healthy foods is to have them cook it. One of my favorite resources is The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook (Good Books 2012), which introduces kids ages 8-12 to the kitchen–not only with fun and healthy recipes but with nutritional information, cooking abbreviations, conversion charts, kitchen equipment and safety tips. Most kids love kitchen projects. Let them at it!


Adapted from The Mayo Clinic Kids’ Cookbook


– 2 apples (your favorite kind)
– 3 cups fresh broccoli florets
– 1/3 c. craisins (dried cranberries)
– 1/4 c. chopped walnuts
– 1/2 c. fat-free, low calorie vanilla yogurt


Adult — Core the apples and cut them into bite-sized pieces.

Child — Break broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Measure broccoli, raisins and walnuts. Dump apples, broccoli, raisins and walnuts in a large salad bowl. Measure yogurt and spoon over salad. Stir gently with a big wooden spoon until fruit and vegetables are coated. It’s ready to eat!


Adapted from and Taste of Home Market Fresh Cookbook


– 5 cups broccoli florets
– 2 11-oz. cans mandarin oranges, well drained
– Juice and grated peel from 1 orange
– 1/2 c. raisins
– 5 green onions, chopped
– 1/2 c. jack cheese, cubed
– 2 TBS sliced almonds
– 3 TBS white vinegar
– 1 TBS sugar
– 2 TBS olive oil


Child — Break broccoli florets into bite-sized pieces. Add an inch of water to a saucepan. Place a steamer basket in the pan. Add broccoli.

Adult — Steam broccoli in covered saucepan for 3 minutes. Remove quickly and rinse with cold running water until broccoli is no longer warm. Move cooled broccoli to large salad bowl, cover, and place in refrigerator. Grate and juice orange. Chop onions. Cut cheese into cubes.

Child — Open canned mandarins and drain. In large bowl, combine mandarins, green onions, cheese and grated peel and juice from orange. Measure and add raisins, almonds, vinegar, sugar and olive oil. Stir gently. Let stand at room temperature 15 minutes. When ready to serve, pour orange mixture over broccoli and toss very gently. Enjoy!

Broc & Dip


One of the best and easiest ways to enjoy broccoli is to eat it raw with a delicious homemade dip. If you like it better tender-crisp, steam the florets for no more than 2-3 minutes, then chill. Reduce calories with light mayo and low fat sour cream. Once you get the ingredients out, this is a recipe your child can make entirely on his own.


– 1-1/2 TBS dried parsley
– 1/2 TBS each dried onion and lemon pepper
– 1/4 TBS each dried oregano, dried tarragon and garlic powder


– 1 TBS Spice Mix
– 1/2 c. mayonnaise
– 1/2 c. sour cream


Measure spice mix ingredients into container. Place lid tightly on container and shake well. Place mayonnaise and sour cream in small bowl and mix together. Measure 1 TBS of spice mix into mayo-sour cream mix and stir well. (Store remaining spice mix in airtight container for your next batch of dip.) Break broccoli florets into dipping-size pieces and dip away!

Happy Cooking–

Barbara Jean the Story Queen

Healthy Food

Photo used with permission: Broc & Dip: via Book cover image,



First, a disclaimer: I’m not a doctor. I’m not a nutritionist. I’m not a chef. I’m not even a mom. What I know about healthy food and healthy eating I’ve learned by reading and doing, just like you.

What I am is a children’s book author. A Story Queen! My area of expertise is FUN. In the last dozen years, I’ve written a number of entertaining, award-winning picture books–about monsters, cats, Disney princesses–and veggies, of all things. 

I’m big on imagination. Monsters Don’t Eat Broccoli encourages kids (the way my dad encouraged my siblings and me) to think of broccoli as crunchy, munchy, fun-to-eat trees. Once Upon a Parsnip is a fairytale rematch between Little Red Riding Hood (a vegetarian) and the Big Bad Wolf (NOT a vegetarian). Scary fun!

On the surface, neither of my veggie books is really about healthy eating–they’re just plain fun. But the fun is subversive: both books introduce and normalize the idea of eating healthy, fresh-from-the-garden vegetables. (Never underestimate the power of fun to get your kids to try something new!)

My goal in these pages is to find and share fun ways to introduce fresh fruits and vegetables to children and to normalize healthy foods and healthy eating in their experience. My means is to expose them–through you, their parents and caregivers–to food-friendly books, videos, downloadable and printable posters and coloring pages, hands-on activities and kid-friendly recipes. Anything that equates healthy food and FUN!

I’m here for you–to help you make healthy eating feel as natural to your children as breathing.

Because healthy food and healthy fun make healthy kids. And that’s something all of us can get behind.


Barbara Jean Hicks, a.k.a. “The Story Queen”

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To purchase signed, personalized copies of my picture books, visit the “Books” page on my website.  To contact me about my well regarded young author presentations for schools, or for other enquiries, send an email from the “Contact” page at I look forward to hearing from you!

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