Family Nutrition Quiz

Fancy testing your nutrition knowledge? We've put together a short quiz with family oriented nutrition facts we believe every parent needs to know, and that we teach on a weekly basis in our community based and online family nutrition classes. So if your brood is somewhere between 12 months and 12 years, and you've children who are fussy eaters or are concerned that their diet could be healthier, this is for you.

Even better, you'll receive an exclusive invitation to test out our 'Family Nutrition Essentials' home study course when it launches in January 2018.

Seven Healthy Halloween Treats to Make Your Kids Scream

HEALTHY HALLOWEEN TREATS TO MAKE YOUR KIDS SCREAM.png

The countdown to Halloween has started early for The Organic Cookery School, with themed sweet and savoury cookery workshops running all through October half term.

But for those of you planning parties at home, we’ve compiled some of our favourite healthier Halloween treats. They are super simple to make, so get the kids involved and enjoy the festivities.


GHOULISH GREEN SMOOTHIES

What you need:                              

1 cup spinach  

2 kiwi fruit

½ cup white grapes

1 banana

What to do:

Peel banana and kiwi and add to blender with rest of ingredients. 

Add a cup of water and blend to desired consistency. 

Decorate cups or bottle with ghoulish googly eyes, and serve.


STRAWBERRY GHOSTS

What you need:

Strawberries

Plain or vanilla yogurt

Choc chips or currants for eyes.

What to do:

Pour yogurt into a cup and dunk strawberries by their stem. 

Arrange on greaseproof paper and place in freezer for 5-10 minutes. 

Remove from freezer and repeat. 

After second dunk add chocolate chip or currant eyes.  

Refrigerate until ready to serve.


SPOOKY NANAS

WHAT YOU NEED:

Bananas (halved)

Plain or vanilla yogurt

Dried coconut flakes

Chocolate chips 

WHAT TO DO:

Dunk banana halves in a tumbler of yogurt. Roll in coconut .

Stand on platter and add chocolate chip eyes. 

Refrigerate for at least 10 mins before serving


SPIDERS ON LOGS

WHAT YOU NEED:

Peanut butter

Celery cut into 5 cm lengths

Plastic spiders

WHAT TO DO:

Using a small table knife, fill celery logs with peanut butter.

Decorate each log with a spider.

CHEESE MONSTERS

WHAT YOU NEED:

Babybel or similar

Googly eyes in various sizes

Small sharp knife

WHAT TO DO:

Carefully cut out funky monster teeth from wax outer. Decorate with googly eyes.


CLEMENTINE PUMPKINS

WHAT YOU NEED:

Clementines or other easy peel citrus fruit

Black Sharpie

WHAT TO DO:

Draw pumpkin eyes, nose and mouth and leave to dry.


POPCORN HANDS

WHAT YOU NEED:

Popcorn

Jelly sweets for fingernails

Clear food grade gloves

Loom bands or small tie to secure

WHAT TO DO:

Drop a jelly sweet in each finger, then fill gloves with popcorn. 

Make sure the popcorn fills each finger and secure with a loom band or small tie.


We hope your little monsters scream with delight when they see what they are going to be making . And we’d love to hear your ideas too! Comment below with your favourite Halloween treats and recipes, we read every comment!

ten halloween jokes to make your kids scream the organic cookery school

Every Halloween party bag or lunchbox needs a ghoulish joke or two! 
Enter your email below and we'll send you a free printable of our best ten spooky Halloween lunchbox jokes.  

Best lunchboxes for the new school year

lunchboxes thumbnail.png

With a little less than a fortnight left of the Summer holidays (for some of us – I’ve two starting 10 days apart!), preparation for the new school term is well under way.

New shoes, new uniform, new pencils and new lunchboxes all round. Even if your kids have a hot school meal, a small lunchbox can serve as a useful break or after school snack holder.

We round up some of our favourites for boys and girls of all ages.

 

SKIP HOP UNICORN

Fun, robust and easy for little hands to open and close. The unicorn designs is one of our faves, but they also come in monkey, owl, hedgehog, bees and ladybird. Cute to the max.

Buy it now.

THERMOS RADIANCE

Sturdy and plain enough for kids who just aren't into character lunchboxes anymore.

Buy it now.

SISTEMA BENTO CUBE TO GO

Dishwasher, microwave and freezer safe, BPA and phthalate free, these sturdy bento sytle lunchboxes come in lots of colours and include a poy of fruit/jelly/yogurt.

Buy it now.

SUCK UK ROBOT

How cool is this? A roomy, retro style lunch tin, which we'd happily take to work.

Buy it now

HAPPY JACKSON BRAIN FOOD LUNCH BOX

Bright and colourful (and with a choice of messages) these smaller lunchboxes from Happy Jackson are also great for school break and afterschool snacks.

Buy it now.

FRINGOO PINEAPPLE TOTE

In stretchy, insulated neoprene, with a ton of fun designs - we love the pineapple dots but there are also unicorns, cheeseburgers, cats and pirate designs. It's also machine-washable.

Buy it now.

MY LITTLE PONY

With the new My Little Pony film coming out in October, there's little chance of your little one getting bored of the insulated lunch bag from Thermos featuring Twilight Sparkle, Rainbow Dash and Pinkie Pie.

Buy it now.

YUMBOX CLASSIC BENTO

The ubiquitous classic yumbox has a lot of fans and comes in a myriad of rainbow colours. Not the cheapest on the market but built to last.

Buy it now.

 

MINECRAFT

A favourite in our household, this official minecraft lunchbag will go down well with any would be Steves.

Buy it now.

Organic Week at Lidl - the ten ingredients we're stocking up on this week

organic week at lidl (1).png

We love Lidl  - they always stock a great range of organic and fairtrade goodies, and a couple of times a year they run their Organic Week promotions. This week is one of those weeks (running 3rd August to 9th August inclusive).

Here are out top ten storecupboard essentials to stock up on whilst on promotion.

Organic Grains:

 Organic Bulgur Wheat (£1.99 for 500g)

 Organic  Spelt (£1.99 for 750g)

 Organic  Buckwheat (£1.99 for 500g)

 Organic  Amaranth (£1.99 for 500g)

 

There's also this very affordable muesli, which works brilliantly in flapjacks, homemade granola  bars:

5) Organic  Wholegrain Muesli (£2.19 for 500g)

muesli.jpg

Next up organic pasta at just 99p for 500g. (Check out their basic organic tomato pasta sauce too)

Followed by three storecupboard bargains:

Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil (£2.99 for 500ml)

Organic Tomato Ketchup (£1.29 for 450ml)

Organic Coconut Oil (£3.99 for 500ml)

Add this to organic smoked salmon, tons of organic fruit and veg choices, eggs, milk, yogurt and more and you're sure to save a few pennies at Lidl this week.

 

What will you make?

BAKE IT OFF! Five ways to reduce exam (SATS) stress by Cooking with your Kids

Five ways to reduce exam (SATS) stress by cooking with your kids

It's SATS week for 10 and 11 year olds across the UK, and after months of practice tests at school, most Year 6 pupils are feeling pretty tense about this week. As a former primary school teacher, I'm feeling pretty aerated by the unnecessary pressure these tests put on our little ones (and they are still little!), so I've come up with some relaxing afterschool activities for my 11 year old. We've made slime, done cartwheels (her not me!), played on a giant piano in the garden, and next up it's cooking.  

But why cooking? Well obviously I'm biased, but of all the downtime activities I can rustle up with little effort and expense, this hits a lot of positive buttons. And guarantees smiles (lots of them!)

Here are my five top tips:

  1. Choose a recipe: planning the recipe together is an important stage - leaf through some cookery books or browse some blog posts/pinterest for easy, tested recipes which appeal. Ask them to make an ingredient list and read it out whilst you check which ingredients you already have/need to get in. This teaches your child about planning and prep and builds the excitement about the time you are going to spend cooking together. Result - #buildsexcitement - and give them something to look forward to.

  2. Stress can inhibit appetite - which in turns affects performance and concentration. Baking something delicious together will relax your child and stimulate their appetite. I’d recommend a healthy failsafe muffin or batch of wholefood cookies (see examples below) - sneak in some veggies or dried fruit for added fibre (as stress can affect digestion too). Other great ingredients for exam time are oats, eggs, and seeds. Result - #feelingnourished

  3. Set aside time - cooking together is quality time that can’t be rushed (please don’t rush it or you’ll defeat the object) and illustrates you want to spend time with them and you value their company. Result - #feelingvalued  - another great stress buster

  4. Cooking is social and, when shared, involves teamwork, taking turns and collaborating. Decide together who is doing what, and make sure they know which jobs they are solely responsible for (and if you veer towards control freakery, hold back and let them do it themselves!). Result -  #feelingindependent - and elevating the importance of non academic skills

  5. Cookery is a sensory, tactile and whole brain experience - and will help balance out the exhaustion many children feel during test week. They’ll use the left part of their brain following instructions, and weighing and measuring, the right for creative flourishes, and evaluating tastes, smells, textures and how the experience makes them feels. Result - #feelingbalanced

Try it out - even as an end of week treat.

I can’t wait to hear how you get on. I guarantee smiles and happier, relaxed kids!

Here are some recipe ideas to get you going.

Any tips you'd like to share on how to relax and restore balance in your kids' lives? Comment below, I'd love to hear from you. And if you enjoyed this post, please share.

SUGAR SWAPs - How much sugar is in your child's Easter egg?

The average child will receive between 8-10 Easter eggs this weekend.

We investigate the comparative sugar content in fourteen popular chocolate brands, and were surprised at the range of added sugar found.

easter egg sugar swaps the organic cookery school

Lowest added sugar

(4.5 - 7 sugar cubes per 100g)

Unsurprisingly the highest cocoa eggs had the lowest sugar per 100g, and these three fairtrade goodies came in lowest at:

Hotel Chocolate Egg Sandwich dark 150g - 18.8g per 100g

Divine Dark Chocolate tasting egg 340g - 27g per 100g 

Green and Blacks Dark egg 165g - 28.5g per 100g 

Medium added sugar

(8-10 sugar cubes per 100g)

Next best were in the 30g-40g per 100g category:

Moo free chocolate egg 100g - 33.7g per 100g

Lindt dark choc bunny 100g - 35g per 100g

Hotel Chocolat Egg on my face slab 200g - 40.8g per 100g 

High added sugar

(13-14 sugar cubes per 100g)

All remaining Easter eggs had over 50% sugar content, including:

Kinder Surprise Large Egg 100g - 53.6g per 100g

Thorntons Gruffalo Egg 162g - 54g sugar per 100g

Lindt Gold bunny 100g - 55g sugar per 100g

Milky Bar Barn egg 160g - 55.1g per 100g ***

Highest added sugar

(14-17 sugar cubes per 100g)

And the worst contenders also contained palm oil products.

Lidl Bertie bunny 150g -  56.2g per 100g ***

Maltesers large chocolate easter egg 265g -58.3 g per 100g ***

Cadbury Creme Eggs 40g each - 66.5g per 100g ***

Cadbury Mini eggs 90g -  68.5g per 100g ***

 *** Note these eggs list palm oil fat in their ingredients (yuk!) but have been included for comparative purposes.

Top tips for choosing better Easter eggs

 

  • Choose higher cocoa chocolate (70%+)
  • Choose smaller eggs with a toy or or Easter themed gift
  • Scan barcodes with the Change4Life Sugar Smart app to check sugar levels if not clear from labelling  
  • Organic and fairtrade eggs won't necessarily be healthier, but less ingredients (and an absence of palm oil) usually usually indicate a better quality chocolate.

Three Chia Seed Pudding Recipes your baby will love

The Organic Cookery School Three Chai Seed Pudding Recipes your baby will love

Chia seed recipes are everywhere - but are they suitable for your baby / toddler? And what does this weird frogspawn like superfood taste like?

Chia originates from Mexico, where the seeds were highly prized for medicinal and nutritional properties, and even used as currency.

Left to soak for a few hours, the small seeds absorb water, milk and other liquids and have little flavour of their own. The soaking process is particularly important for young children as it means they are easily digested.

 

 

Image courtesy of Dr Axe

They are nutritionally rich in omega 3 and protein as well as a mix of vitamins and minerals, making them a perfect healthy pudding for your little ones.

Over the next three weeks, we’ll be posting three of our favourite chai seed weaning recipes, which are also perfect for toddlers, older children and adults alike.

Note from Abby Ixer, Registered Dietitian.

Chia seeds are nutritious, but not uniquely as other seeds also provide the same benefits. They can add an interesting texture to recipes, so are useful for increasing variety in the diet. Try flax, hemp and other seeds too. Suitable from 6 months +

 

Our first featured recipe (which we bet will be a hit with parents too) is Chocolate Chia Pudding,  a rich creamy chocolate pud, sweetened with prune and vanilla extract.

Next week, we'll be sharing a coconutty Pina Cola Chia Pudding and finally a summery Peach Melba Chia Pudding Recipe.

the Organic Cookery School Three Chai Seed Pudding Recipes your baby will love

Chocolate and Prune Chia Seed Pudding (for babies/toddlers)

The Organic Cookery School Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding for babies/toddlers

So we’re cheating here - this recipe isn’t just for babies and toddlers and we give you and your older kids full permission to enjoy this as much as your little people.

However, that said, it is a perfect weaning recipe and full of protein, omega 3 and dietary fibre. Suitable from 6 months plus - there can’t be many puddings which pack as much goodness and flavour in. With no added sugar and plenty of vitamins and minerals, you'll want to try this with your fussy eater too.


This is the first of three chia seed pudding recipes we’ve developed for our Cooking for Baby parents. Enjoy!

NOTE:

This chocolate flavoured pudding may sound indulgent, but has a healthy twist. The sweet coconut milk complements the fibre packed prunes – great for ensuring a healthy gut and preventing constipation. Omega 3 is essential for young children to support brain development and good heart health, and is found in abundance in chia seeds.

The Organic Cookery School Chocolate Chia Seed Pudding for Babies/Toddlers

Does my baby need vitamin supplements?

An article for new and weaning parents, exploring whether babies and toddlers need vitamin and mineral supplements.

Many parents participating in our practical weaning course 'Cooking for baby' ask us about supplements for their babies. We asked Abby Ixer, RD for her advice on supplements for babies and toddlers.

 

The Organic Cookery School Does my Baby need vitamin supplements

Does my baby need vitamin supplements? If so, why?

Babies who are exclusively breastfed should be given a vitamin D supplement containing 8.5 to 10mcg of vitamin D every day from birth up until one year of age. This is because there are very few dietary sources of vitamin D and maternal levels may be low. Vitamin D is vital to enhance absorption of calcium for strong bones and teeth, so it is important to ensure adequate intake.

However, infants who are fed with at least 500ml formula every day do not need vitamin supplements. This is because formula is fortified with these vitamins so no additional supplementation is required. 

The Organic Cookery School Cooking for baby does my baby/toddler need supplements

What about when they start eating solid foods?

 The Department of Health recommends that all children between the ages of six months to five years should be given daily vitamin supplements containing vitamins A, C and D, unless they are receiving more than 500ml of infant formula a day. It is essential to ensure that babies receive enough of these nutrients to aid healthy development. These vitamins have important functions in the body.

          - Vitamin A – needed for healthy growth, vision and skin.

- Vitamin C – important for development of the immune system and maintenance of healthy tissue. Also helps to absorb iron.

- Vitamin D – essential to help absorption of calcium for healthy bones and teeth. This is particularly important as it is very difficult for young infants to consume enough vitamin D from dietary sources alone.

Cooking for baby starting weaning cheesy quinoa bites

I have a toddler, should I give them supplements and if so for how long?

Although infants should be eating a varied diet by 12 months, it is important to continue to give vitamin supplements until they are five years old to ensure that they receive enough nutrients for growth and development. If a child does not eat much or is a fussy eater, they may struggle to get their recommended intakes of vitamins and minerals through food alone. Supplements should be used in addition to a balanced diet and are by no means a way of replacing the nutrients acquired through food.

The Organic Cookery School Food Explorers toddler Nutrition course

Are some brands of supplement better than others? What should I be looking for?

Many supplements can be purchased over the counter, but it is always best to ask a pharmacist for advice on which is most suitable. Any vitamin supplements given to babies need to be labelled as 'suitable for children under one year of age'. Always follow the recommended dose and do not be tempted to give more than one supplement to your child. Some people are entitled to ‘Healthy Start vouchers and vitamins’, which provides free vitamin drops to children and is specifically designed to help low income families. Your health visitor can provide advice on vitamins and where to access them.

 

For more information about Healthy Start vitamins, please visit:

https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/healthy-start-vouchers/healthy-start-vitamins/

 

 

For more ideas on meeting you baby's changing nutritional needs, check out our recipe books with full nutritional breakdown or sign up for one of our courses

References:

 

Healthy Start Vitamins

https://www.healthystart.nhs.uk/healthy-start-vouchers/healthy-start-vitamins/

 

Start4Life

https://www.nhs.uk/start4life/baby-foods

 

National Institute of Clinical Excellence – Maternal and Child Nutrition (2008)

Available at:

https://www.nice.org.uk/guidance/ph11/resources/maternal-and-child-nutrition-1996171502533

Five Best Smoothie Makers for your family in 2017

So, it’s January, and we are all full of new year’s resolutions for our family’s diet and wellbeing. If that includes eating more fresh fruit and veg, and you haven’t yet invested in one, you’re probably thinking of investing in a smoothie maker.

But which to try? Will a stick blender do just as good a job or do you need a full on magic bullet/seed and nut blitzing top-of-the-range model?

We put five of the most popular models to the test in The Organic Cookery School Kitchen.

The Nutribullet

Our review: The ubiquitous Nutribullet magic bullet has everything you need to make healthy and delicious smoothies. It’s easy to clean, handles frozen fruit and veg well and makes short work of blitzing nuts and seeds.

It comes with a selection of cups in two sizes and lids, plus a spare blade, all of which are dishwasher proof.

It’s also come down considerably in price over the last year making it a good investment buy for the future.

 

The Nutri Ninja

Our review: Another big price reduction means the Nutribullet’s main competitor is now closer to £50, rather than the original £100 launch price. It’s powerful motor handles nuts and frozen fruit/veg well. The basic model comes with just one blade,however, and less cups than the Nutribullet. A good contender though, making a delicious blended juice in seconds.

 

 

KMix  Blender

This traditional freestanding blender comes in an eye popping range of colours. It'sa great blender and looks amazing in situ, but with a glass jug, we prefer the Nutribullet or Breville (see below) for ease of use and safety when making smoothies with kids.

 

Breville Blend Active Family Blender

Our review: What a great buy! Rather than cups it comes with three portable bottles (which you may or may not prefer) and at this price point it delivers great value for money. It doesn’t feel quite as weighty as The Nutribullet or Nutri Ninja, but it handles frozen fruit and veg well.

 

Braun Stick Blender

Our review: We thought it only fair to give our trusty stick blender a chance too, and tested the Braun MQ100 model. It's not the cheapest handblender there (there are models from around £5). The limitations are that you can’t blend frozen fruit or veg (so no frozen spinach, avocado or bananas for us) or seeds. So whilst it’s great for baby food and soup, you will be limited to very ripe fruit and veg for your smoothies. 

Our Conclusion:

Whether you've a fiver or £50 to invest, we are a big fan of homemade smoothies. We are big Nutribullet fans, but our second choice would be the Breville Blend Active Family Blender. 

We'd love to hear what you think and your favourite smoothie recipes.

The Organic Cookery School Five Best Family Smoothie Makers Review for 2017
All opinions in this article are unbiased and our own and we haven’t received any free products or renumeration for featuring these products.
We include Amazon affiliate links, and any affiliate income earned contributes directly to our free community cookery programmes for vulnerable families.

Carrot, Apple & Courgette Puree/Mash

Offering your baby a rainbow of different fruits and vegetables, means you maximise nutrient levels for them. Here we’re combining different colours you can ensure that your child gets a range of vitamins and minerals and their associated nutrients.

The vibrant orange colour in carrots comes from beta carotene which is converted in the body to vitamin A. This nutrient is used to strengthen the immune system and to ensure good eye health.

Apples are packed with vitamins and fibre, which help to ensure a healthy bowel and prevent constipation and courgettes are a good source of vitamins A and C, as well as folate and potassium.

Whether you are pureeing, mashing or steaming in fingers for blw, your baby will love this combination of Autumn flavours.


Note:

If you are taking the baby led weaning approach, cut the ingredients into an appropriate shape for baby to hold (such as fingers), before boiling or steaming till cooked.  Allow to cool before giving to baby.
 

Nutritional info:

This combination is a great source of Vitamins A and C, and essential trace vitamins and minerals.

 

9 children’s books to encourage healthy eating

One of our most successful and memorable community cookery programs which ran in many children’s centres, libraries and infant schools, used books and storytelling as a starting point to inspire families to cook together. We named the project ‘Fairytale Feasts’ and soon realised the value of storytelling to start conversations with children.

This was expanded to a series of workshops for families with younger children - and the main aim was to encourage healthy eating and trying new and unfamiliar foods.

Here are some of our favourite books for younger children which can be used as a tool to inspire younger children to be more adventurous – don’t forget to plan in some cookery as part of the activity. It will reinforce the message and gives them a chance to surprise you and them with what they will try.

 

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites

makes 20-24 bites

Cheesy Broccoli Quinoa Bites - The Organic Cookery School

Babies and toddlers love to be independent and will feed themselves as soon as they are given the chance . Perfect for baby-led weaning, and a healthy lunchbox treat for older kids, you can offer these knowing they are  the perfect hand held snack.

These portable nutrition bombs contain quinoa, a unique grain containing all of the essential amino acids that the body needs, which is also naturally high in fibre, B vitamins and magnesium as well as vitamin rich broccoli, eggs and cheese for protein.

They freeze really well too. Enjoy!


N.B. Children should always be supervised when cooking, and an adult should oversee the use of heat as well as all preparation involving sharp utensils.


Try something different

Try mixing finely chopped carrot or raisins instead of broccoli

 

Did you know?

Quinoa is a gluten-free wholegrain

You can get white, red or black quinoa.

White quinoa will cook to be the fluffier, whilst red and black will cook to be a little more crunchy.

Quinoa has the perfect balance of all nine amino acids essential for human nutrition, and provides a good amount of fibre and iron.


*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for an adult. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Infants and Toddlers will need less calories according to their age.
Click here for advice on how many calories your child needs.

Bread and Butter Pudding Muffins

MAKES 16 MUFFINS

Lunch box staple and after school treat. These never last long in our household and are ideal to cook with little ones. Great for using up stale bread and a portable form of bread and butter pudding. Need we say more?



Did you know?

These muffins are full of calcium (good for your bones) and contains very little added sugar because of the natural sweetness of the dried fruit.

 


Cheese, Leek and Potato Pie

Cheese Leek and Potato Pie - The Organic Cookery School

Here’s a popular dish from our Cooking with Dad project and afterschool clubs. Using cheap winter veg, tasty cheese and dried herbs, it’s inexpensive to make and delicious. You children will love getting creative with the pastry scraps too – so make sure there’s plenty left for all their decorations.

N.B. Children should always be supervised when cooking, and an adult should oversee the

use of heat as well as all preparation involving sharp utensils.


Try something different

Try using alternative vegetables in this pie. Peppers, sweetcorn, courgettes would all work well.

 

Did you know?

  • Cheese contains both protein and calcium – something we all need for growth and development.
  • For other interesting facts about cheese visit: www.britishcheese.com
 

Pear and Chocolate Pudding

serves 4

pear and chocolate pudding

Low sugar and using store cupboard staples, this is perfect when you need a healthier chocolate pudding for the family. This goes down a storm in our community cookery classes and we’ve heard reports of it being served at fancy dinner parties. If you’re feeling indulgent throw in some extra dark chocolate chips ☺


Tip: 

Younger children may prefer their pear cut into smaller chunks.

 

Optional chocolate sauce recipe:

Break 150g dark chocolate into pieces and melt in a bowl over simmering water, add a tablespoon of honey and a knob of butter and stir until combined and glossy. Slowly whisk in 100ml of warmed (but not boiling milk). Can be made in advance and reheated when ready.

 

Did you know?

  • Pears are good source of dietary fibre, vitamins C and K and minerals such as copper and potassium.
  • There are over 3000 varieties of pears grown around the world.
 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for an adult. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Infants and Toddlers will need less calories according to their age.
Click here for advice on how many calories your child needs.

Summertime Soup

serves 3 – 4

Try this if you’re making our potato, pea and mint puree for baby – it’s delicious and delightfully green. Also known as Mean Green Soup, we’ve yet to meet a child who doesn’t ask for seconds. And we’ve heard that lettuce has soporific qualities – perhaps a good sleep inducing supper.

N.B. Children should always be supervised when cooking, and an adult should oversee the use of heat as well as all preparation involving sharp utensils.


Try something different...

  • This basic soup can be varied with whatever vegetables are in season. Swap potato for sweet potato, butternut squash or pumpkin, and onions for spring onion or leek.
  • For information about what’s in season visit: www.eattheseasons.co.uk

 

Did you know?

  • Soups can be thick or thin. A thin, clear soup is often referred to as a consommé.
  • The potatoes and peas in this recipe which are blended together give this soup a thick consistency which is filling and satisfying.
 

 

Sweet Potato and Orange Muffins

makes 12-18

The apricots in this mix make these muffins – which are low in added sugar and full of natural sweetness from sweet potato, carrots, orange juice and dried fruit. We made them in standard muffin cases here, but they are perfect as mini muffins too – split the mix and have some mum and baby/toddler-sized ones. Perfect for lunchboxes and freezable.

* Adult supervision is required for all chopping, and use of ovens.


Did you know?

  • Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of vitamin A (in the form of beta-carotene).
  • They are also a good source of vitamin C, manganese, copper, pantothenic acid and vitamin B6. Additionally, they are a good source of potassium, dietary fibre, niacin, vitamin B1, vitamin B2 and phosphorus.
     

Try this!

Swap chopped apricots for any other favourite dried fruit – cranberries, raisins, even chopped prunes!


 

Tomato and Paprika Biscuits

makes 20 small biscuits

There’s something pretty unique about these biscuits – our very anti-tomato 10 year old loves them!  As does pretty much everyone who’s made them in our community classes (even fussy eaters!)  They can be thrown together in minutes, require pretty much store cupboard staples (just need to make sure you have a couple of spring onions to hand) and are perfect blw or lunchbox staples.

* N.B. Children should always be supervised when cooking, and an adult should oversee the use of heat as well as all preparation involving sharp utensils.


Did you know?

  • The English word “tomato” comes from the Aztec word, “tomatl”. Tomatoes are full of health: A good source of vitamins A, C and E tomatoes also contain potassium which may help lower blood pressure and calcium which is vital for healthy bones and teeth.
  • To read more about the humble tomato visit: www.britishtomatoes.co.uk

 

*Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet for an adult. Your daily values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs. Infants and Toddlers will need less calories according to their age.
Click here for advice on how many calories your child needs.

10 Steps to More Veggies: Chocolate and Beetroot Muffins

Over the summer hols, we ran our first online challenge for parents who’d previously attended or signed up for info on our courses. 10 Steps to more Veggies is a five week e-course which aims to inspire and support parents to cook more with their children and when better to test it out than over the long school summer holidays.

We featured 10 of our more popular veggie smuggling recipes and support from tutors and other families through a private Facebook group. Everything was kept pretty low key, as we were testing our new e-course platform but were thrilled when 100 families signed up within a week.

Today we’re featuring the hands down favourite recipe of the course (although there were no losers!) Everyone loves this recipe and it’s a great lower sugar treat for your family, which your little ones will LOVE making with you. We’ve been known to polish a few off with a pot of tea.


Chocolate and Beetroot Muffins

makes 16 muffins

* Adult supervision is required when using sharp objects (graters, knives) and the oven.


Tip:

Grating beetroot can be tricky (and messy). Try disposable rubber gloves!
 

Try something different...

  • Try sultanas, chopped prunes or apricots instead of cranberries
  • Wholemeal flour works well in this recipe
  • If you can’t find beetroot, finely grated carrot could be used in its place.