Kid-Friendly Veggie Sides for Spring

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Food Stylist: Stephana Bottom Prop Stylist: Leslie Siegel

Photo by: Lisa Shin ©Lisa Shin Photography Inc.

Lisa Shin, Lisa Shin Photography Inc.

More likely than not, your kids have better things to think about than garden-fresh produce, bustling farmers’ markets and mindful grocery shopping. But, when they sit down at the dinner table, all that good stuff is what’s for dinner, even if they’re morally opposed to eating their veggies. Use these recipes to get your kids excited about spring produce.

Baked Cavatappi With Artichokes and Fennel is ideal for little ones who aren’t familiar with these big-kid ingredients just yet, and since artichokes are in season, it’s about time you get this on the table.

For some, green beans are good eaten straight out of the produce bag. But for those who need a little push, Alton Brown’s Best Ever Green Bean Casserole is just as the name implies. Rather than using the store-bought crunchy onions, Alton whips his up from scratch.

Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole

Photo by: Tara Donne ©Tara Donne

Tara Donne, Tara Donne

Broccoli is typically a no-go for most little ones, but when it’s served up in a style reminiscent of mac and cheese, it’s much easier to sell. With a foundation of rice and a scattering of florets, Sunny Anderson’s Cheesy Mushroom and Broccoli Casserole does just that.

Since when does a kid come down with a hankering for spinach? With its cheesy and comforting disposition, the Barefoot Contessa’s Spinach Gratin — or her Zucchini Gratin — makes getting your daily intake of veggies easy.

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Photo by: Antonis Achilleos

Antonis Achilleos

Food Network Magazine’s Four-Cheese Pasta With Peas and Ham disguises the green element with mozzarella, fontina and sharp cheddar, and it can be portioned as a filling side to chicken breast.

Food Network's Cheesy Gnocchi Casserole with Ham and Peas

Photo by: Tara Donne ©FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

Tara Donne, FOOD NETWORK : 2012, Television Food Network, G.P.

And for gnocchi fans, there’s always Cheesy Gnocchi With Ham and Peas.

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Chef Name: Giada De Laurentiis Full Recipe Name: Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes Talent Recipe: Giada De Laurentiis’ Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes, as seen on Giada at Home FNK Recipe: Project: Foodnetwork.com, Back to School/Sandwich Central/Dinner and a Movie/Sides Show Name: Giada at Home Food Network / Cooking Channel: Food Network

Photo by: Renee Comet ©2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Renee Comet, 2013, Television Food Network, G.P. All Rights Reserved

Mac and cheese is a crowd-pleaser from the start, but when it’s morphed into Baked Macaroni and Cheese Cupcakes, it’s a whole new ballgame. Giada De Laurentiis stocks hers with asparagus, chopped broccoli and cherry tomatoes.

Dinnertime is about to get a whole lot easier.

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