Snack on it!

Mother & Baby (UK) - - EAT MORE VEGGIES SPECIAL -

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.

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