Get your kids eating more vegetables with these great recipes
Some kids naturally feel the love for veg but others can be less enthusiastic. While it’s important to develop healthy attitudes to food early on, these recipes will help you get kids to eat and love more veg.
Extra veg sausage rolls
A comfort food favourite for many kids (and adults!), sausage rolls are an easy crowd pleaser. You can boost this family favourite with your veg of choice. We’ve chosen carrots ( beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants), courgettes (vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber) and leeks (dietary fiber, vitamin B6, iron and magnesium) and garlic (manganese, vitamin B6, vitamin C)
1 carrot 1 courgette 1 small leek 1 clove garlic, crushed/finely chopped (optional) 350 g sausage meat (from butcher/take the meat out of your favourite brand) 1 sheet of puff pastry 1 egg / milk for glazing
Preheat oven to 180°C / 350℉ Line a baking tray with greaseproof paper Heat a little oil in a large pan and add the garlic and grated veggies. Cook on a low heat until soft, usually about 5 minutes Add the veg to the sausage meat, mix well and leave to cool Cut the pastry into two long rectangles (if you have a square sheet just divide this in the middle) Spoon the cooled sausage mixture in a long line in the middle of each piece of pastry leaving about 1 cm either side Seal the pastry up, you can press a fork down on the pastry to make sure the pastry is properly sealed Cut the sausage rolls into your preferred size and apply the egg wash/milk Cook for 20-30 minutes, depending on the size of your sausage rolls, until they’re cooked through and golden brown Serve on their own or with salad/pickles
Broccoli pesto pasta
A great alternative to shop bought pesto which, whilst it’s a great store cupboard staple, can be high in salt. Make this in advance and freeze in small containers or ice cube trays for a quick mid week fix.
A bit like Marmite, broccoli is often a love it or hate it kind of vegetable. This is a veggie with punch. Broccoli is a great source of vitamins K and C as well as vitamin A, folate and potassium. All great things for growing children.
This homemade pesto is a great way to get these goodies inside your kids if they don’t feel the love yet!
350 g (about 1 head) broccoli 30 g basil 30 g parmesan cheese ½ garlic clove 3 tbsp olive oil 1 tbsp lemon juice Salt and pepper to season
Cut the broccoli into florets Stream (preferably to retain all the goodness) or boil broccoli until tender, usually about 4-6 minutes Drain and plunge in ice cold water to retain the vivid green colour (can skip this stage) Place broccoli, basil, parmesan, garlic, oil and lemon in a blender and blitz until smooth. Add salt and pepper to taste
What better treat than a pizza night?! This is an easy way to get the kids to eat more vegetables. Replace the traditional dough with this alternative cauliflower pizza base.
2 lbs or 1 kg cauliflower 1 egg 45 g goats cheese 1 tsp dried Italian herbs of your choice (oregano is a good choice) Toppings: Hidden veg tomato sauce or pesto (see recipe above) Mozzarella Sweetcorn, peppers, tomatoes
Preheat oven to 200℃ Prepare a baking tray with a sheet of baking paper Steam cauliflower if fresh, if using frozen cauliflower there’s no need to cook, just defrost Place in blender and blitz until it looks like rice Squeeze out the excess moisture (use strong kitchen roll or a clean tea towel/muslin) Mix together with the egg and goats cheese and herbs (this won’t produce a dough-like texture that you can roll into a ball) Spread the mixture on the baking sheet and press into place, about 0.5cm thick Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden then flip over using the baking paper and put back in the oven for 10-15 minutes (you won’t need the baking paper as the bottom is now cooked) Add your favourite toppings and bake for a further 5 minutes until cooked Serve with sweet potato wedges
Tip: Double the mixture, wrap in foil and freeze half the raw ‘dough’ to use later.
Carrot and courgette cake
This is a treat with hidden properties to their bodies too! Not only do the veg create a super moist cake they also include some excellent nutrients: carrots contain beta carotene, fiber, vitamin K1, potassium, and antioxidants, courgettes provide vitamin K, vitamin C, potassium and dietary fiber) and oranges are packed with fiber, vitamin C, thiamine, folate, and antioxidants.
250 g butter, softened 200 g caster sugar 3 large eggs 250 g self-raising flour 1 tsp bicarbonate of soda 2 oranges (zest) 1 tsp mixed spice 100 g carrots (grated) 100 g courgette (grated)
For the icing 1 orange (zest), plus 2-3 tbsp juice 140 g icing sugar
Heat oven to 160℃ Grease and line 2 x 20” round cake tins Beat butter, sugar, eggs, flour, bicarbonate of soda, zest and mixed spices together Stir in the carrot and courgette Divide the mixture between the tins and bake for 20-25 minutes (check with a skewer if it comes out clean after inserting, it’s done!) Leave to cool whilst making the topping: Mix the icing sugar and orange juice for a thick and drizzly consistency Once the cakes are cool drizzle over the icing and top with the orange zest (makes 2 cakes)
We know how important it is to encourage healthy eating patterns in kids from an early age and that this can sometimes be a struggle. Read our blog for parents of fussy eaters for more tips. If you struggle with packed lunches and snacks take a look at our blog on healthy lunch ideas.