When Ella's Kitchen asked us as a family to eat a new vegetable every day for two weeks I said yes immediately.
14 days, 14 vegetables, 3 kids, 2 confirmed vegetable haters and a bad track record of trying new things. Never say I'm not up for a challenge!
The baby and children's food company are trying to encourage people to start weaning with vegetables, rather than the traditional fruit or baby rice, to encourage tiny taste buds to get used to having lots of lovely veg in their diets. To find out more about weaning with just vegetables visit ellaskitchen.co.uk/vegforvictory. They've also kindly given me some lovely baby rattles in the shape of vegetables by Pebble Child to give away. You'll find the giveaway at the bottom of this post.
When our crate of vegetables arrived the kids were as excited as I was - which made me hopeful that they might actually eat some of the contents.
Here's what was inside:
There were parsnips, aubergine, green beans, butternut squash, cauliflower, sugar snap peas, potatoes, sweet potatoes, courgettes, carrots, broccoli, brussels sprouts, avocados and swede in the crate, as well as some pouches of vegetable puree and a sticker chart to help us to record our vegetable consumption.
So how did it go? Well here are some of the dishes we tried:
Well, we had some surprise hits - the swede and potato mash for example went down astonishingly well with the six-year-old. Baby S loves most veg, but especially squash and sweet potatoes so those got gobbled up too. Probably unsurprisingly no-one (apart from me) ate the sprouts, and the parsnips were another fail. Despite me going to the trouble to make an Ottolenghi recipe with them none of the kids would even touch them. Still all the more for me.
Baby S is pretty good at eating his veg anyway and out of the three kids he tried the most new things. I loved the challenge of thinking of ways to serve up new veggies to the kids that they might agree to try. And it was undoubtedly good for R & Miss R to be exposed to new foods - even if they weren't always up for actually trying them.
So all in all it went pretty well. Even if our sticker chart didn't get entirely populated.
If you're looking to increase the amount of vegetables in your diet challenging yourself to try a different veg every day is a great way to start.
Take a look at the recipes below for some ideas if you're looking for some veg-based inspiration:
- Aubergine and chickpea Indian-spiced shepherd's pie
- Avocado and chocolate mousse by The Intolerant Gourmand
- Broccoli - roasted or steamed florets are perfect for baby led weaning or blended up with nuts broccoli makes a delicious pesto
- Butternut squash, roasted and served in chunks, or pureed and added to macaroni cheese
- Carrots - these carrot cake oat bars are perfect for baby led weaning.
- Cauliflower, in a potato curry, roasted and served in florets for little hands to grab and chew on or make these curried cauliflower and carrot fritters by Family Friends Food.
- Courgettes - try these courgette buckwheat pancakes or this allergy safe chocolate courgette cake, perfect for birthday parties, by The Intolerant Gourmand
- Green beans with tomatoes and olives (omit the olives out for babies) or try roasting them with garlic and parmesan as in this recipe by Family Friends Food
- Parsnip roasted with sweet potatoes (caper vinnaigrette optional)
- Potatoes, cut into wedges, added to a mild curry, mashed or make my mild patatas bravas
- Sprouts - Add them to a stir fry or check out Easy Peasy Foodie's ideas for how to make sprouts interesting
- Sugar snap peas, crunch them raw, add to a stir fry or try this Thai chicken salad with sugar snaps and avocado by Easy Peasy Foodie (omit the chilli, cashews and honey for little ones)
- Swede, roasted with paprika (as in A Modern Way to Eat by Anna Jones) or mashed with potatoes
- Sweet potatoes - make wedges, try some savoury muffins or this sweet potato, butternut squash, pear and rosemary purée by Le Coin de Mel
WIN! One of these four lovely Pebble vegetable rattles
To help encourage little ones to love their veg, Ella's Kitchen has given me four lovely Pebble vegetable rattles to give away. The rattles are handmade in the shapes of broccoli, aubergine, cauliflower and carrot by community businesses in Bangladesh.
To enter please complete the Rafflecopter widget below. Open to UK entries only. You can see the full terms and conditions next to each entry option. If you haven't used Rafflecopter before check out this useful guide by Super Lucky Me.
Disclaimer: this is a collaborative post with Ella's Kitchen. All opinions are honest and our own.