Get Your Kids to Eat Veggies with Parsnip Fries

image source: elizabeth stark
image source: elizabeth stark

Kids’ tastes tend toward very specific foods, with pizza, hot dogs, and french fries figuring prominently. (Secretly, my tastes tend that way, too.) But I want my kids to make nutritious food choices and understand how junk food affects the way they feel compared to healthier options. To help them along the way to vegetable appreciation, I like to serve up nutritious foods in familiar forms that they know and like.

Avocado-Oil Baked Parsnip Fries with Yogurt Ranch
image source: elizabeth stark

Here, I swapped white potatoes for parsnips and baked my fries instead of frying them. The result was a faintly sweet, airy, and crisp fry that my daughters really enjoyed. Parsnips are both denser and sweeter than potatoes, and the faint sweetness comes through in these fries. They’re also high in fiber and a good source of vitamin C, folate, and manganese.

For dipping, I made a yogurt ranch dressing with fresh herbs, lemon, and spice, but that was more for the grown-ups, since the girls wanted ketchup to round out their “french fry” experience.

There’s another secretly healthy swap going on here too — avocado oil. Made by extracting the oil from avocado pulp, avocado oil has a pleasant buttery flavor and is a heart-healthy monounsaturated fat. It also has a high smoke point, making it the perfect fat for baking up your fries. Look for avocado oil in specialty or health food stores and be ready to spend $12-15 on a bottle.

Parsnip Fries

Makes: 4 servings


  • 2 large or 4 medium parsnips, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch wide fries
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • sea salt
  • freshly ground pepper


  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees F. Slide a rimmed baking sheet into oven to preheat as well.
  2. Toss parsnip fries with avocado oil, sea salt, and pepper.

    Avocado-Oil Baked Parsnip Fries with Yogurt Ranch
    image source: elizabeth stark
  3. Arrange on hot baking sheet, slide into oven, and bake 15-20 minutes or until fries are golden and crisp. Shake pan 1-2 times while fries bake. Serve immediately.

Yogurt Ranch

Makes: 1/2 cup


  • 1 tablespoon shallot, minced
  • Zest of 1 lemon, plus 1 tablespoon lemon juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 2 tablespoons mayonnaise
  • 3 tablespoons plain Greek yogurt
  • 1 tablespoon avocado oil
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder
  • 1 tablespoon parsley, minced
  • 1 tablespoon chives, minced


  1. In a small mixing bowl, whisk to combine shallot, lemon zest and juice, and sea salt. Add mayonnaise, whisking until mixture has thickened. Next, whisk in Greek yogurt, avocado oil, spices, and herbs. Adjust seasoning to taste. Serve immediately or cover and refrigerate.
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Article Posted 3 years Ago

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