Snack on it!
Whether you’re at home or on the go, instead of handing your child a pack of raisins or breadsticks to snack on, offer him veg. And we’re not talking boring old carrot sticks here. Once you’ve got an arsenal of tasty, quick-tomake snacks up your sleeve, it’s just as easy to whip up a treat that he’ll really enjoy eating. Just remember that if your baby is still weaning, any veg needs to be soft enough for him to squash between his finger and thumb.
The easiest way to turn a root vegetable, such as a carrot, parsnip and sweet potato, into a pop-it-in-a-pot snack is to roast it. And who says roast veggies have to be served hot? They’re just as tasty cold, so you can cook them the day before, and store in the fridge. ‘Set the oven to 200°C,’ says Sam. ‘Scrub the veg, cut into wedges or batons, and season with a little paprika. Heat some oil on a baking tray, then carefully coat the veg chunks in the hot oil and return to the oven for 20-40 minutes, depending on their size.’ Try blending these roasted veg into a dip, too. Roasted red and orange peppers, carrots and tomatoes, or beetroot with a squeeze of lemon, all make dips most youngsters will happily dunk a strip of pitta bread into.
Rather than serving one veg, a colourful pot of pick ‘n’ mix will often go down well: try thin strips of red pepper, cucumber, carrot and courgette. Pop the veg into a fun pot to make it look more appealing, too – something as simple as a small handful of peas in a bright cupcake case will be a big hit.
‘My two love savoury muffins, such as cheese and courgette or cheese and carrot. I put a 150g mix of plain and wholemeal flour in a bowl with 3tsp baking powder, and grate in whatever veg and cheese I’ve got in the fridge. Then I mix an egg, 2tbsp vegetable oil and 100ml milk together, pour it over and stir. This goes into 12 small muffin cases and cooks for 15-20 minutes at 200°C. They’re great as snacks and freeze well, too.’ Jo Wraith, 34, from Newcastle, is mum to William, three, and James, one.