Weekend, weekday or school holiday there’s always time to get kids involved in the kitchen. It truly is an experience which grows their understanding of food and there is never a better time than the present to be teaching our kids how to put together simple recipes and food to nourish.
One key point that parents always raise when it comes to nourishing their kids is how to ‘sneak more vegetables in’ and that’s completely fair. We want to give our kids the best nutrition whenever we can, but why be sneaky about it? Why not show them just how delicious vegetables are and how diversely we can use them in the kitchen. A simple carrot done a few ways before your children can be a turning point for them to shift their taste (and of course attitude) toward something they may previously have been defiant about not eating.
To keep it simple here’s a few ways we can teach our kids about an ingredient such as the humble carrot:
- Carrots are full of wonderful nutrients (antioxidants) to fight the nasties (oxidative stress) from attacking our bodies (cellular damage)
- We love carrots because they help make our eyes strong (beta carotene has been shown to reduce macular damage)
- When our tummies feel rumbly and hungry they like food that takes a bit of crunching (encouraging chewing and the breakdown of food) because it helps the rumbles go away (fibre rich foods are great to fill the snack period as they aid digestion, make us feel fuller and slow the release of glucose into the blood stream to maintain balanced energy levels)
Obviously depending on a child’s age you can tweak the above as you please and in the brackets will hopefully encourage a few of us adults out there to understand more about their food too!
Introducing kids to carrots and other vegetables via something delicious like a carrot cake is always a winner and once they’ve turned that corner the magic continues from there.
We’d love your feedback on how you get your kids munching and crunching on different foods so feel free to comment below!
OLIVE OIL CARROT CAKE
1/3 cup olive oil
1/4 cup rice malt syrup
1 tablespoon vanilla extract
1/2 teaspoon bicarb soda
2 teaspoons baking powder
2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon ground ginger
2 cups grated carrot (approx 3 medium carrots)
1 cup raisins
1 cup shredded coconut
1 1/2 cups spelt flour
Preheat oven to 180C and line a loaf tin with baking paper. In a large bowl whisk together oil, eggs, rice malt, spices, bicarb soda and baking powder until well combined. Stir in carrots, raisins and coconut then spelt flour. Mix until a beautiful even cake batter is formed. Pour into loaf tin and cook in the middle to top of oven for 45-55 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the middle of the cake comes out clean. Cool in tin 10 minutes, then transfer to wire rack to cool completely before slicing to eat.
+Can be frozen up to 3 weeks.