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Veggie Bites for Kids: Broccoli

Tween boy eating broccoliBroccoli, a.k.a. "The Broc." Some people call him the least-popular food on their plate. He says he's just a misunderstood veggie whose best qualities are overlooked. Sure, he's a tough guy, but he has a tender side, too.

Did you know that he's loaded with nutrients and vitamins? He's the veggie to eat for:

  • Calcium -- to make your bones strong
  • Potassium -- to help your heart and muscles work better
  • Vitamin A -- to make your eyes strong
  • Vitamin C -- to help your immune system fight to keep you healthy

Q: So, Broc, why do you think you get such a bad rap?

Broccoli: It's not my fault! I do all kinds of good for my friends, and still, some turn up their noses at me. A cup of me is only 43 calories, and I have almost no fat. I'm, like, the perfect veggie, but I don't get any respect.

Q: Why do you think that is?

Broccoli: People tend to cook The Broc to death. They think of me as all limp and soggy, but that's not the real me. Even when I'm cooked, you gotta leave a little crunch in the bunch. I'm just as good raw with a little dip or in a salad. A lot of people don't realize it, but I'm a great snack food.

Q: Got it. Mushy is bad.

Broccoli: Yep. Not only does mushy taste bad, it means that a lot of my vitamins are wiped out.

Q: Where's the best place to find you?

Broccoli: The way people make me out to be the bad guy, you'd think I'd be hanging out in dark alleys or something. But man, I am everywhere. At the market, I'm in the produce section and the frozen food section. I hang out at salad bars and restaurants, too.

Q: Hey, I hear you have a new friend.

Broccoli: Yeah, Ms. Potato and I are close. We're good friends. We just get along. Chop me up and steam me, add me to my bud the spud after she's been baked, and then sprinkle us with just a touch of reduced-fat cheese. We were made for one another -- delicious and nutritious.

 

Feeling brave? Give The Broc a try. Take the Vegetable Challenge.

Ready for another bite? Try Asparagus, Carrots, Green Peas, or Sweet Potato.

WebMD Medical Reference

Reviewed by Renee A. Alli, MD on December 23, 2013