Bookmark Kristen Bell’s Broccoli Trick If You Have Picky Eaters at Home

Bookmark Kristen Bell’s Broccoli Trick If You Have Picky Eaters at Home

Anyone who has tried to rebrand broccoli as “little trees” knows the struggle of getting children to eat the cruciferous veggie. 

But actress Kristen Bell, who shares two daughters with husband Dax Shepard, might have just figured out a new way to get kids (and adults) to eat their veggies, including broccoli. 

Hello Bello

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The actress, 43, grew up following a vegetarian diet and her mother, a nurse, emphasized the importance of learning about nutrition to maintain a balanced diet. 

“I think it’s important to make eating not just conscious, but fun, and I think it’s important to pay attention to where your food is from and what food is going into your body,” Bell previously told People

Based on this principle, Bell has developed a number of strategies throughout the years to help keep her family well-nourished, even the picky eaters. 

Packing balanced lunches

Bell believes in packing balanced and nutritious lunches for her children, Lincoln and Delta, but with a little wiggle room for snacks that keep things fun. 

“I do put snacks in my kids’ lunches—I put some chocolate in there every now and again—potato chips—everything in moderation, their food should not be a burden,” Bell told Good Morning America. 


Bell’s approach includes both treats and healthy options to keep her children satisfied and healthy throughout the day. To ensure that their lunches are not just nutritious but also enjoyable, Bell packs whole foods such as avocados, red bell peppers, and recently, BLTs, which her daughters have been requesting. 

“I am trying to keep them happy by giving them food that tastes good, while encouraging them to eat healthy,” Bell said. 

By including a mix of healthy foods and occasional treats, Bell ensures that her children look forward to their meals without feeling deprived. 

And for those BLTs, meatless bacon and egg-free mayo can serve as plant-based stand-ins for the traditional sandwich recipe.  A few of our favorite BLT recipes include our Shiitake BLT Sandwich and Korean-Inspired BLT With Spicy Gochujang Mayonnaise.

Making vegetables appealing

One of Bell’s most innovative tricks for getting her family to eat more vegetables, especially broccoli, involves a simple yet effective recipe. Bell shared this tip on Instagram, revealing her “major secret” to making broccoli delicious. 

Kristen-Bell-BarsThis Saves Lives

“Can I tell you a major secret to get people to eat broccoli?” Bell said in the Instagram story. “Steam your broccoli, right? That’s pretty normal.”

Bell then adds salt, which is where the “normal” ends. The broccoli gets seasoned with a hefty dose of crushed pretzels and Parmesan cheese. This combination transforms the plain vegetable into a tasty dish that even the pickiest eaters will enjoy. 

“Game over, everyone will eat it,” Bell said. “It’s delicious.” 

Of course, the Parmesan cheese does not have to be made with dairy as many plant-based Parms are now on the market. Also, Bell shared a vegan version of the recipe that uses nutritional yeast and lemon juice as an umami-packed substitute for Parmesan cheese. 

Broccoli-NoochPolina Tankilevitch/Pexels

This trick not only enhances the flavor of the broccoli but also adds a satisfying crunch, making it a hit with her family, including the adults. 

Craving more ways to elevate broccoli? Try our recipes for Roasted Lemony Broccoli Rigatoni, Simple Stir-Fry Bowl With Broccoli, Snow Peas, and Tofu, and Cheesy Broccoli Waffles.

Nutrition-packed drinks

Sometimes, getting kids to eat their veggies is easier than convincing them to put down the sugary drinks—which have well-documented adverse health effects. 

To address the high sugar content in children’s beverages, Bell recently became a brand partner and investor in Plezi Nutrition, a company co-founded by former First Lady Michelle Obama. 

Kristen BellPlezi

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Plezi produces a line of children’s carbonated fruit drinks with zero added sugar, designed to offer a healthier alternative to traditional sugary beverages. 

“I wasn’t finding anything that satisfied me as a mom that I was comfortable giving them,” Bell told Good Morning America. She was particularly concerned about the American Heart Association’s statistic that kids consume 53 pounds of added sugar per year.

Plezi drinks contain 75 percent less sugar than leading brands and include added fiber and vitamin C. “She shares our deeply held vision of doing whatever we can to help parents raise a healthier generation of kids,” Obama said about Bell joining Plezi. 

“She’s passionate, genuine, and funny, too—I can’t think of a better partner to help us reach even more parents, kids, and families,” Obama said. 

Bell’s daughters quickly became fans of Plezi drinks, with the tropical fruit punch flavors being especially popular among their classmates. “There were so many missing within the first 48 hours I had to have a sit down—apparently there is a black market trade on the playground,” Bell joked about the drinks. 

For more plant-based stories like this, read:

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