“Mommy, did you make brussel sprouts for me?” - my 8 year old son had asked me this a couple of weeks ago and I am still smiling about it. How is it that some kids will run away from anything green on their plate and some kids will ask for this specific unpopular vegetable. Well here is my story of the brussel sprouts:
As my Nutrition classes were coming to an end in mid November, my “students” were very eager to put the knowledge they had acquired in the 6 weeks of classes into action. So we had extended the program by another 6 weeks with the idea of cooking together and supporting one another in the transition to healthier foods. The first cooking gathering was scheduled for the week of Thanksgiving so I decided to come up with some healthy side dishes we could all include in our feasting celebrations.
I found a great recipe for glazed brussel sprouts and decided to test it on my family during Sunday dinner. It was an instant hit at my house and for once I did not have to convince my kids to eat this great nutritious vegetable. I made a large portion of it with a plan to save some for lunch later in the week, but the brussel sprouts did not make it into a Glasslock container. They were all gone and the kids both pronounced that they now love brussel sprouts.
Monday morning my first cooking class took place and most dishes we prepared were a great hit with my Nutrition students. We made mashed potato dish, stuffed sweet potato, almond dressing kale salad and of course glazed Brussel sprouts. After we ate and discussed some nutrition topics, they all left and I was cleaning up the kitchen. There was some leftover food so I decided to save it for my kids for an after school snack. My daughter got home first and she devoured all of the brussel sprouts from the pan but did not put it away in the dishwasher. When my son got home 45 minutes later and realized what was in the pan, he got upset with his sister for not sharing and both of them were bickering over brussel sprouts.
As a mother and as a health coach I was so very proud of myself for overcoming the obstacles of healthy eating with my kids by being consistent and not ever giving up on trying new things. But the story continues:
After verbalizing his disappointment with his sister’s selfishness, my son had asked me if I would make him another batch that night. I promised I would and he said “ you are the best mommy ever”. An hour went by very quickly and before I realized it was time to go pick him up.
As we were walking out of the building with other kids and parents, my son asked : Mommy, did you make the brussel sprouts?” I said, “No, not yet” to which he replied with a whine in his voice “ Owwhh, why not? I’m starving”.
Few parents looked back at me and said “How do you do it, that your son is disappointed you don’t have brussel sprouts for him?” I did not have an easy answer for them, for there just isn’t one. Just like it’s not easy to for adults to eat healthy foods after they have been eating processed foods loaded with sugar, salt and artificial flavors; kids are also adapted to highly seasoned, salted and sweetened foods. With our taste buds highjacked by salt, sugar and MSG, and socially acceptable food addictions dictating our food choices, many of us are stuck in the vicious cycle of extra weight, illness, lack of energy and resignation.
Last year I was able to conquer my sugar addiction, strengthen my immune system and overcome chronic infections. I did it all using food as medicine and now I am focusing my carrier on helping others do the same. My family had joined me on this journey and now all of us are eating well healthier and feel way better. I realize now that knowledge is power and systematic step by step changes to diet and life style have the best chance in making a profound, lasting changes in our health and wellbeing.
If you have any interest in joining me for the next session of Nutrition Immersion 6 week series, which starts January 8th and 10th, please contact me. I would love to have you in my class.
For details please visit
Glazed Brussel Sprouts
- Brussels sprouts about 1 lb
- 1 red onion
- 1/2 cup of maple syrup
- 2 tablespoon Dijon mustard
- 2 tablespoon arrowroot flour (or cornstarch)
- 2 tablespoon tamari or soy sauce
- A little bit of vegetable stock
Mix maple syrup, mustard, flour and tamari in a cup, sir well. Blanch brussel sprouts for 2 minutes ( or longer if you prefer softer vegetables). Cool in ice cold water. Rinse and dry. Sautee onions in frying pan with a little bit of vegetable stock. When brown, add brussels sprouts. Pour sauce on top and stir gently for few minutes until the sauce thickens. Serve hot.
Iwona Leger, RN, MSN,Health Coach, owns Love and Peas Health Coaching and runs individual and group coaching sessions. She is very passionate about disease prevention, lifestyle and diet modifications, as well as stress reduction techniques.
For more info visit www.loveandpeashealth.com