Most my readers are from the UK, and most of you too would have had some sunshine and a bit more warmth for the first time for what feel like months and months this weekend.
Such a huge relief that Spring is here, it changes everyone’s mood so much. Kids were out playing in the garden all day, I was out pottering in the still soggy from all the rain garden and making light tasty foods to eat on the big table outside. Whilst my partner and the neighbours were putting up the new trampoline with the help of the kiddies, I then brought out a big plate of watermelon and to refresh them from their hard work. Later we had a spread of fresh salads with some friends.
Please read on for the top 10 tips on how to get your kids to eat more vegetables. Spring is here!! At long last.
As the warmer sunnier weather has arrived (we live in hope anyway), you’ll be seeing much more salads and summer fruit recipes on my blog. I’ve also given my kids a challenge this month to try a new vegetable each week. I’ll be posting how they are getting on and what they choose on my Instagram feed. Please click on the link to follow me.
Spring has arrived 🌱 tasty fresh salads alfresco is the way to go in our house now. 🌱 Yay! You’ll be seeing a lot on my blog over next few weeks and the kids are being challenged to try a new vegetable each week. #alfesco #spring #healthyfood #rawfood #salads #glutenfree #glutenfreeliving #glutenfreekids #coeliaclife
Below is a lovely recipe with an abundance of green beans and orange to get you started, to make you feel refreshed, wholesome and will encourage the kids to eat more greens.
If you child doesn’t like vegetables, which is all too common, then here is the Eggainst The Grain’s top 10 tips to encouraging your children to eat more vegetables.
1 – Involve kids in choosing what to eat – whether making up recipes from what you have in the fridge, or choosing the vegetables from the isle of the supermarket or choosing recipes from a cookbook.
2 – Involve your kids in the food prep. This could be stirring, chopping, peeling carrots, or taking peas out of pods. Mine also love arranging food on their own plates and serving dishes.
3 – Always have some salad, or greens on the table, or better still a little bit on their plate. Don’t overload them – just start with one bean, then through the familiarity, they will start trying it, even after a few weeks or when you’re not looking.
4 – Add a lot of selection and colour. Apparently kids are attracted to a selection of colours, like 7 whereas adults are more attracted to 3 different colours.
5 – Don’t stress if this takes too long, celebrate the one bean they eat.
6 – Add a magical element to eating good food – this doesn’t work for everyone, but in our house if you eat broccoli your ears wiggle!! Fortunately my ears actually do wiggle with or without broccoli. The kids love telling their friends this and all visitors now eat a lot of broccoli in our house.
8- Give a reward (a marble in our marble jar, or a star on a star chart or a high five) for trying a new food. Any food whether it is a vegetable, type of fish, seafood or something else.
9 – Growing your own vegetables works wonders. We have an urban garden and not much space and light for growing vegetables, but we have converted an old sand tray for some lettuces and herbs and are growing brussel sprouts in pots as they are one of my daughters favourite vegetables.
10- Join us with our ‘Eat a new vegetable a week challenge’ join us on Instagram and share your posts @eggainstthegrain
If you are still struggling, we have some great recipes such as this chocolate mousse where you can HIDE the vegetables. It is actually just cocoa, avocado and banana.
I’ll leave you with a nice and easy and very tasty bowl of fresh beautiful greenery to try which is from an Ottolenghi recipe from his first cookbook in 2008 which has now re-published into this updated version. This has to still be my favourite cookbook with such beautiful pictures. Please click on the image or link to buy it from Amazon.
Happy cooking and joyful eating, and please do comment below if you make this, I’d love to hear how you got on with this and other recipes. Also I’d love to hear how your kids eat their vegetables.
French beans and mangetout with hazelnut and orange
You can substitute peas, sugarsnap peas or broad beans in this recipe.
- 400g French beans
- 400g mangetout
- 70g unskinned hazelnuts
- 1 orange
- 20g chives, roughly chopped
- 1 garlic clove, crushed
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 2 tbsp hazelnut oil (or another nut oil, if unavailable)
- coarse sea salt and black pepper
- Step 1 Preheat the oven to 180°C/Gas Mark 4.
- Step 2 Using a small, sharp knife, trim the stalk ends off the French beans and the mangetout, keeping the two separate.
- Step 3 Bring plenty of unsalted water to the boil in a large saucepan – you need lots of space for the beans, as this is crucial for preserving their colour.
- Step 4 Blanch the French beans in the water for 4 minutes, then drain into a colander and run them under plenty of tap water until cold. Leave to drain and dry.
- Step 5 Repeat with the mangetout, but blanch for only 1 minute.
- Step 6 While the beans are cooking, scatter the hazelnuts over a baking tray and roast in the oven for 10 minutes. Leave until cool enough to handle, then rub them in a clean tea-towel to get rid of most of the skin.
- Step 7 Chop the nuts with a large, sharp knife. They should be quite rough
- Step 8 some can even stay whole.
- Step 9 Using a vegetable peeler, remove the zest from the orange in strips, being careful to avoid the bitter white pith. Slice each piece of zest into very thin strips (if you have a citrus zester, you could do the whole job with that).
- Step 10 To assemble the dish, mix all the ingredients together in a bowl, toss gently, then taste and adjust the seasoning. Serve at room temperature.