Monday, January 11, 2010

Butter Beary likes sprouts...

...but the four-year old with the hair-trigger gag reflex doesn't. This is not OK because mom knows that freshly sprouted seeds (see my last post here) are really good for you. This Herbs are Special site is fantastic because it lists the numerous health benefits of sprouts in layman's terms. The simplest way I think about it - you take seeds, grains, nuts, legumes, and eat them raw while they're at their nutritive prime. It's good stuff. The only unclear aspect is how to get my kids to eat it. The biggest tip: serve in small doses. You know the photos you see sometimes of a deliciously fresh sandwich layered with avocado, turkey, and 3 inches of sprouts - the one that makes you feel like a Californian after a jog on the beach at 8am? The healthy person takes a slow-mo bite into that wholesome sandwich with abandon? That's a least in my house. I've found that for us, it's best to start with an extremely sparse layer of sprouts on that sandwich.

Other ideas I may try for adding fresh sprouts to my family's food:

  • in the bottom of a bowl of soup.

  • sprinkled on top of a salad (I might even call these "sprinkles" next time - think she'll buy that?).

  • mixed into tuna, chicken, salmon etc. salad (out of sight, out of mind).

  • blended into pesto (or other) sauce.

  • added to salad (or other) dressings.

  • as Stephanie suggested, in a stir-fry for dinner.

  • sprouting different types of seeds. Larger legumes and nuts can be sprouted and snacked on alone. I might play up the "snack" (i.e. treat!) aspect of these sprouts.

  • edited to add: Julie from The Little Things - my favorite mommy blog, suggests making a smiley face and adding sprouts as the hair. So clever!

With a gentle introduction to sprouts, perhaps we can all come to enjoy the health benefits and develop a taste for freshly sprouted seed. Tis a big bowl for Butter Beary to eat alone.


  1. Hi Wendy~~ If this is any consolation, my kids were very picky about "health food" when they were little. I tried not to be too pushy and I believe it paid off. My youngest at 17 still likes junk food but my older three are more nutrition conscious than I am. Who'd a thunk?

    I like the idea of adding sprouts to pesto. Brilliant.

  2. Hi Wendy! I came over from the comment you left on my blog. How fun that your sister lives in Clemmons. Tell her to stop by some time. Would love to meet her. Does she garden too? That Bilbo thing was a riot.

    Now I have no clue how to get kids to eat sprouts but I did do a good job getting my kids to eat meat and potatoes.

  3. Try making a bit ol' smiley face out of different fresh veggies, and use the sprouts for hair.

    My children will eat pretty much anything if it has eyes and a nose. I'm pretty sure they don't have actual taste buds - even the most disgusting things taste good to them if they're presented in a fun way.

    Skewers are the most dependable way to get my kids to eat just about anything. If it comes on a skewer, it's so much fun to pull it off that they'll eat it no matter what it is. Sadly, sprouts probably wouldn't skewer very well. :o\

    Cute pictures! That little girl of yours is an absolute doll!

  4. I once had sprouted sunflower seeds at a Farmers' Market and it was just about the...(was going to say best, but I'll just say)... healthiest thing I've ever tasted. But in a good way.

  5. Is there an optimal length of time (rather, length of sprout) in which to enjoy them? My wonderful sister gave me a great sprouter once and I found that eating some sprouts early, and not waiting until they get a long gag-worthy tail, can be quite palatable. Also pretty versatile as "sprinkles" in just about anything!

  6. Grace - you know how much self-control it takes to not be a pushy parent?! It's facinating to think about how my kids will turn out as young adults!

    Anna - meat and potatoes work well here - perhaps I'll add the sprouts to the gravy!

    Julie - what a great point! Anything served with toothpicks are usually a hit. I like the smiley face idea. I've forgotten all these tricks with my second child!

    Anonymous, you're funny!

    Lisa - "gag-worthy tail" is just about the sickest thing I've heard all week. I may try to keep the "tail" short, but I did read that enzymes peak with the root is only 1/4" long. Not terribly gag-worthy.

  7. I like that ... healthy food in disguise. Just tonight my middle son ate his dinner and avoided each and every veggie. He does not like fruit or vegetables. :/ What is a mother to do? The other two boys will eat them willingly.

  8. The only green thing my son would eat was asparagus because it looked like trees. I jumped on it and WAY overdid he's an adult and will eat almost anything...except asparagus. There must be a lesson in there somewhere.

  9. Maybe you could try chopping them up. I know they're pretty small already, but I'm with Lisa on the gag-worthy-tail aspect.

  10. Oh wow! Wendy looks like both the bear and your daughter is so looking forward to have that bowl of bean sprout :-D Thanks for sharing my recipe. I just came back from the supermarket and I realised that the bean sprout that you have grown is probably definitely from what I had in mind (the ones we normally take here). Our kind of bean sprout is much bigger in size. Check

    Enjoy your nice little meal yeah!


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