How I Got My Kids to Like Brussels Sprouts

Apples and maple syrup combined to magically make Brussels sprouts disappear from the kids’ plates.

Slow cooker brussels sprouts apples

It was like an episode of Iron Chef played out in my house. The judges were my kids. And the ingredient challenge: Brussels Spouts.  I had to try to get the kids to like them.

I’ve tried lots of times before. And failed. (Not a bad thing, that’s more for me. And I adore Brussels sprouts.)

I prepared Brussels sprouts with all my usual tricks – but failed in the likability category. Here’s my list of tricks that typically work as For-Sure Ways to Get Kids (and Husbands) to Like Veggies:

But it was the slow cooker that worked! And it was all about texture: After just one hour in the Crock Pot, these Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Apples are still firm to bite, but soft enough for kids to chew. They’re also – and this is KEY – not mushy! The cooked down into (familiar!) chunky, sweet apple sauce. At the end, just stir in a bit more sweetness – some maple syrup – and some pecans for crunch. The dish received two-thumbs-up from all four of my little judges. (OK, full-disclosure, one judge gave it only one-thumb-up.)

Apples & maple magically combine: How I Got My Kids to Like Brussels Sprouts | @TspCurry

This recipe for Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Apples is also a perfect side for this time of year because it is:

  • Frees up oven space to roast and bake
  • Ready in just 1 hour – so it can be thrown together last minute with just 5 ingredients …while you’re getting ready for a party
  • Portable to bring to a holiday buffet – especially with optional garnishes like pomegranate and buttery Homemade Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs
  • Because I’m a dietitian: Helps you bring something healthy to the table!

Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Apples and Maple

How to Get Kids to Like Brussels Sprouts (Apples, maple syrup and magic are involved!) via @tspcurry Click To TweetMy kids ate it on a ‘normal’ night as a side for Cornmeal Crusted Fish sticks…before we rushed out the door to Christmas choir practice. So yes, it was a timed challenge, and I won!


Slow Cooker Brussels Sprouts with Apples

  • Yield: 4-6 side servings 1x


  • 1 pound Brussels sprouts, trimmed and cut in half
  • 1 tablespoon canola oil
  • 1 large apple, cored, chopped (unpeeled,) about 1 1/2 cup
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • 1/4 cup toasted pecans, roughly chopped
  • 12 tablespoons maple syrup
  • Delicious garnishes: pomegranate seeds, Homemade Whole Wheat Panko Breadcrumbs


  1. Spray inside of slow cooker crock with cooking spray.
  2. Combine Brussels sprouts, oil, apple, salt and pepper in crock; stir to combine. Cook on high for 1 hour (or I’m guessing here: on LOW about 2-3 hours).
  3. Remove cover and sprinkle with pecans and drizzle with maple syrup.
  4. Add optional garnishes after spooning into serving dish.

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Do your kids eat Brussels sprouts? Any other veggies they won’t touch?



We’re Serena & Deanna, two dietitians who love food as much as you do!  

We're also moms and business owners who share our family recipes, healthy kitchen hacks and nutrition adventures while keeping it real in the kitchen with you.

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