Our beloved brussels became popular in Britain towards the end of the 1800s and gained their name after the Belgian capital. In season September to March, they are not just a Christmas veg, and often taste sweeter after the first frost in January/February! The amazing Stuart Kettell once rolled a Brussels sprout to the top of Mt. Snowdon using only his nose – try searching online for a great video of his challenge.
Sprouts are great for getting in your fibre and rich in vitamin C, K and folic acid. This makes brussels a great source of folate which helps to reduce tiredness and improve alertness.
Look out for a bright green colour on your sprouts that feel firm to touch. Top tip: for a sweeter sprout go for the smaller or medium sized heads.
You can keep your Brussels sprouts in the fridge for a week when kept dry and in the freezer for longer. Blanch the sprouts in boiling water for 3 mins first, then leave to cool before laying on a tray and popping in the freezer for a few hours. From here you can throw them in a storage bag or container.
You can boil, steam, or microwave sprouts with a small amount of water, however many kids prefer them less mushy and more caramelised by stir-frying or roasting. Just toss them in some olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper.
At Its Best:
September - March
Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with Brussels sprouts:
Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!
The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.
The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.
But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Design a menu
Come up with a silly name or story for a dish
Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks
Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process
The Wonderful World of Veg
Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…