Sunday, April 06, 2008


Despite the fact that the government is still urging everyone to eat their “Five a Day” (five portions of fruit or vegetables per day), many of us still fall well below that. Also getting some children to eat vegetables is still an uphill struggle and virtually impossible for many parents. According to the results of a recent Heinz poll, many parents have to offer rewards to their children or lie to them, to get them to eat their vegetables. Even then 70% of children pretend to eat their greens, when in actual fact they have hidden them around the house! Oh dear! Apparently sprouts used to be the vegetable children hated most but this has now been overtaken by aubergine or zucchini as it's better known to our American neighbours. I must admit as a child I didn’t always enjoy or eat my vegetables, even though I enjoy vegetables now. I particularly disliked carrots, probably one of the reasons why I have such bad eyesight now! After all did you ever see a rabbit wearing glasses! That’s what my grandmother used to always tell me but unfortunately to no avail!

Some vegetables are really easy to grow and sometimes getting children involved in helping to grow their own vegetables can help. Many children are quite keen to eat vegetables they have grown themselves! According to the experts, one of the best ways to get children to eat more vegetables is to disguise them or hide them, when preparing meals. Blending them into a tomato sauce to serve with pasta is a great way to do this. Here’s a great recipe for a tasty tomato sauce with five (yes five!) vegetables hiding inside! Taken from “The Fussy Eaters’ Recipe Book” by Annabel Karmel, this delicious sauce can be served with pasta, as a topping for pizza and also works well when served as a sauce with chicken. It’s also ideal for busy mums as it’s suitable for freezing and only takes 10 minutes to prepare! Bon Appetit!

Cooking time: 35 minutes Makes 3–4 portions

1 tbsp olive oil
1 small red onion, chopped
1/2 leek, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1/4 red pepper
1/2 medium carrot, peeled and chopped
1/2 medium courgette, chopped
400 g (14 oz) tin chopped tomatoes
150 ml (5 fl oz) vegetable stock
1 1/2 tbsp tomato purée
1 1/2 tbsp sun-dried tomato paste
1 tbsp tomato ketchup
1 half tsp caster sugar
1 tbsp torn basil leaves (optional)

1 Heat the oil in a pan and sauté the onion and leek for approximately 3 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute.

2 Add the red pepper, carrot and courgette, and cook for a further 3 minutes, stirring occasionally.

3 Add the tinned tomatoes, stock, tomato purée, paste, tomato ketchup and caster sugar, and stir for approximately 1 minute. Simmer uncovered for 25–30 minutes, stirring occasionally until thickened. Stir in the basil leaves if using.

4 Transfer to a blender and blitz the sauce to a purée.


Sank said...

Hi Naomi,
BTW, for your American readers, a courgette is a zucchini.

Kyle & Svet Keeton said...

Hi, Naomi!

Your articles are always interesting reading! It's ashamed we just ocassionally have Internet during our trip...

As for tolerance to vegetables - I and my son did not have this problem maybe because my Mom could persuade you that vegetables are a necessary for you. I just could not eat boild onion, my son is more particular but still listen to Granny and eat most vegetables what she gives him...

But my Mom told me that once she saw a boy who did not want to eat even fruits... When she watched him she realised that some kids REALLY can not eat vegetables and fruits...
maybe cause of genetic type? And she thought that who knows mayby kids who do not want fruits and vegetables really don't need to eat them - their system works another way. Like some grown people can not drink milk - and some can and do drink.

Thank you again for your article,
best wishes
Svet and Kyle.

Marshamlow said...

Thanks for the recipe. My little one like carrots and broccoli and wont eat any other veggies if her life depended on it. by way of fruits she will eat bananas, red grapes, bananas, blueberries, and strawberries. I think currently she is going through a phase of not trying anything that is not completely familiar to her. But, at least she has a few fruits and veggies in her diet.

Alastair said...

I think we're very lucky - our children both love their veg, my daughter's favourite food is aubergine and my son's faves are carrots!

Nice to be back, enjoying catching up on your blog!

Naomi said...

Thanks Sank I didn't know that. I've now added that to my original post for the benefit of my American readers.

That's a very good point Kyle and Svet. It's funny because I used to work with somebody (adult) who hated vegetables and never ate them and he lived to tell the tale. Maybe there's some truth in that. Hope you are both enjoying your vacation.

It's a good start if Lily likes carrots and broccoli Marsha and all those fruits too. A lot of children won't eat those. I hated carrots as a child!

You are lucky Alastair. Carrots and aubergine! Your children are doing well if they enjoy those. Nice to see you back on the blogosphere again!

Deborah said...

This article has been included in the latest edition of Mom's Blogging Carnival

Naomi said...

Many thanks Deborah. I will go over and have a look. Sounds great!

Naomi said...

aubergine is an eggplant in the US, not zucchini

Naomi said...

Thanks for your comment Naomi. I didn't know that as we don't have anything called an eggplant over here. Hope you enjoyed your visit here.