10 Kid-Friendly Vegetable Sides for Weeknight Dinners

10 Kid-Friendly Vegetable Sides for Weeknight Dinners

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Meghan Splawn
May 17, 2018
(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

My two kids go through the weirdest seasons with vegetables (currently we are living through a roasted broccoli and baby carrot season — if either of those appear on the table, they disappear quickly). But in an effort to beat my own dinner boredom and to keep them exposed to other vegetables, I've gathered up inspiration for 10 veggie-based sides that I'm sure they will love (and hopefully you and your kids will too!).

1. Tangy Carrot Slaw

This crunchy slaw is a happy partner with everything from grilled meats to slow cooker chicken tacos. Pro tip: Buy a bag of already shredded carrots and this dish take five minutes to toss together. The slightly sweet dressing makes this a favorite of my 6-year-old.

(Image credit: Jeff Roffman)

2. How To Cook Green Beans

These green beans aren't the mushy, mucky green beans some of us grew up with. These snappy, bright-green beauties are sturdy enough for dipping, but tender enough for tiny toddlers too.

(Image credit: Laren Volo)

3. How To Steam Asparagus in the Microwave

Have you ever had the experience of spending a ton of time in the kitchen on a side dish that you think your kids will eat, only to have them immediately turn their noses up at it? This easy microwaved asparagus is not that at all! All you need is a paper towel and three to five minutes for an easy side dish everyone will love.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

4. The Easiest Tangy Cucumber Salad

We love this cucumber side dish for soba noodles, grilled salmon, and even burger night (put 'em right on the bun) — so much so that we call them "Ella's pickles" after my cucumber-loving 6-year-old. Make a bunch because the leftovers are excellent for topping sandwiches, too.

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

5. Butter-Roasted Sweet Potatoes

I have never, ever meet a roasted vegetable that I didn't like, but these butter roasted beauties are pure magic. The outside is crisp and oh-so-sweet, while the interior remains buttery. You can roast them right alongside a chicken or tenderloin, but don't discount them as a side for pasta or taco night either.

(Image credit: Elizabeth Stark)

6. Roasted Carrots with Orange

Yes, another magical roasted vegetable, this is a sweet take on roasted carrots with no added sugar required. The orange and pinch of chili keeps things interesting for parents at the table too.

(Image credit: Lauren Volo)

7. Tomato Chickpea Salad

This little jewel of a salad can be dinner itself but also tastes just as great next to boxed mac and cheese as it does pork tenderloin or chicken marsala. What I'm saying is, this salad is about to become your go-to vegetable side dish.

(Image credit: Emma Christensen)

8. Quick Side Dish Roasted Brussels Sprouts

If you have a broccoli-lover at your table, Brussels sprouts are a natural extension. My kids love these tender, smoky orbs dipped in honey mustard as an alternative to french fries!

(Image credit: Joe Lingeman)

9. Minty Snap Pea Salad

Snap peas are another favorite vegetable of the under-10 set, so this salad is a dinner winner. Radishes can be spicy, but slicing them thinly and tossing them with this vinaigrette tempers their heat.

(Image credit: Christine Han)

10. How To Make Roasted Broccoli

Real talk: I make this roasted broccoli once a week and even though I might tire of plain roasted broccoli, dressing up my kids' favorite vegetables keeps them eating it and me getting creative in the kitchen. Try these with a squeeze of lemon and a dusting of grated Parmesan.

What vegetable side dishes are your kids sure to eat?

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