Seasonal vegetables are fresh, affordable and healthy. They are important for children and young people, providing nutritional goodness like carbohydrates, vitamins and minerals. But, too many of our children are not eating enough of them.
The way we prepare and serve vegetables can make a big difference to their taste, texture and overall appeal. Here are some creative ideas to encourage children to eat more veggies:
- Grate vegetables into mince dishes (e.g. carrots, courgettes).
- Make a quick salsa by cutting tomatoes, onions, garlic and herbs. Serve with vegetable sticks or wholemeal pita bread.
- Boil cauliflower, parsnip or pumpkin in with your potatoes and mash.
- Make savoury muffins or scones using diced or grated onion, corn, spinach, courgette or pumpkin.
- Fill vegetarian sushi with avocado, finely sliced carrots, red peppers, cucumber and silverbeet.
- Instead of flour, use pumpkin, potato or kumara to thicken a casserole dish.
- Add corn, peas, onion, or grated carrot to pasta dishes.
- Serve a variety of colourful vegetables on toothpicks or kebab sticks.
- Serve raw veggies as part of a munch and crunch platter with dips and hummus.
- Get kids to plant their own vegetables or help and watch them grow.
- Encourage children to get involved with choosing which vegetables will feature on the menu or in their lunch box.