3 delicious ways to sneak more fruit and veg into the kids
Getting my children to eat what I deem a sufficient amount of fruit and vegetables is pretty much an ongoing daily battle.
While my little girl isn't all that bad and will drink green juices and finish both her broccoli and cauliflower for dinner, my little boy has zero-tolerance policy (pretty much) in place when it comes to fruit and vegetables.
Which, of course, has resulted in a lot of headache for me (frequently googling 'toddlers and nutritional needs' in the middle of the night will do that to you). However; what it has done, is made me quite the expert on how to sneak healthy things into kids – without them even knowing they are eating things that are good for them (monster smoothies are a favourite in our house).
Having reached out to their foodie experts, we recently asked them to share some snacks that would be perfect for making with the kids and serving up this summer holiday. What they came back with? This really delicious rainbow-themed picnic feast:
1. Fruit kebabs
Celebrate a special occasion with a delicious colourful picnic the whole family can enjoy. The yummy recipes in this rainbow picnic are all free from artificial colours – no junk, just the glorious natural colours of healthy fruits and vegetables.
5 or 6 strawberries
Handful pineapple pieces
1 kiwi fruit
How to make
Prepare the fruit; wash, hull and halve the strawberries, peel the clementine and break into segments, cut the pineapple into bite-sized pieces, peel the kiwi fruit and cut into bite sized pieces, wash and halve the blueberries.
Thread the fruit onto plastic or bamboo skewers. You can make them all the same in rainbow order or let your little one design their own.
Arrange the fruit kebabs on a plate, platter or air-tight container. Cover and store in the fridge until ready to serve.
Be safe and ensure the texture and pieces sizes are suitable for your little one.
2. Frittata bites
When packing a picnic for little ones, finger foods are a must! Young children are much more likely to eat plenty if they can pick up bite sized bits and pieces and it’s a great way to get them trying a variety of tastes and textures.
1 tsp olive oil
1 small red onion
1 red pepper
6 large eggs
Large handful fresh spinach
100g soft goats cheese
How to make
Preheat the oven to 180°C (Gas mark 4/350°F). Lightly brush a 12 hole muffin tin with oil.
Finely chop the red onion and deseed and finely chop the red pepper. Warm the olive oil in a frying pan then gently cook the onion and pepper for a couple of minutes until starting to soften. Take off the heat and leave to cool.
Finely chop the spinach. Break the eggs into a large bowl and whisk until frothy. Add the onion, pepper and spinach to the eggs and crumble in the goats cheese. Stir until combined.
Spoon the mixture into the oiled muffin tin. Bake in the preheated oven for 20-25 minutes until puffed up and golden.
3. Rainbow wrap
These lovely, colourful wraps make for the perfect, healthy alfresco meal.
For the wrap
100g buckwheat flour
1 organic egg
300ml organic milk (or milk alternative - rice/oat/nut milk)
3 tbsp water
A little olive or coconut oil for frying
For the rainbow filling
A couple of spoonfuls of cream cheese or hummus
½ cooked beetroot
¼ red pepper
1 small carrot
¼ yellow pepper
5 cm chunk cucumber
How to make
To make the wrap, simply whisk all ingredients (except the oil) together until very smooth. Ideally use an electric whisk if you have one.
Allow batter to stand for about half an hour.
Heat a little olive oil or coconut oil in a 6 inch, non-stick frying pan. Ladle a scoop of batter into the pan – just enough to cover the pan surface, so the wrap is just less than 5mm thick. Tip the pan so the batter covers the surface, and allow to cook over a medium heat for a couple of minutes.
Use a fish slice to carefully see if it is cooked on the bottom. Once it’s cooked on one side, slide the fish slice under the wrap and flip it over. Cook the other side for a couple more minutes until golden. Repeat with the rest of the mixture.
Allow the wraps to cool on a wire rack, or if you prefer them warm they can be kept warm in a low oven.
Prepare the vegetables by cutting them into thin matchsticks. The carrot and beetroot could also be grated if preferred.
Spread a layer of cream cheese or hummus over the whole wrap
Place the vegetables on top of the wrap in strips arranged by colour. Fold up the top and bottom of the wrap, then tightly roll, spreading a little extra cheese on the last bit of wrap to help ‘glue’ it in place if needed.
Slice in half at an angle so that you can see the range of rainbow colours then pack in an airtight box for your picnic.