Get your kids to eat their greens with family-friendly veggie recipes

STRUGGLING to get your kids to eat their greens? We told this week how getting five portions of fruit and veg a day makes children happier.

The study by the University of East Anglia found that children who get enough vitamins and minerals enjoy better mental health.


Studies show kids are happier when they get their five a dayCredit: Shutterstock

That’s all well and good but how do you actually get kids to eat what you put on their plate?

Children’s cookery book author Annabel Karmel says: “If your kids turn their noses up at healthy eating, you are by no means alone.

“Luckily there are a few tricks to get them to eat those essential vitamins and minerals at every meal.”

From bolognese to tasty wraps, here she shares some of her best dishes packed full of hidden fruit and veg.

Annabel Karmel's children's cookbook is available to pre-order


Annabel Karmel’s children’s cookbook is available to pre-orderCredit: Welbeck Publishing

Tomato and vegetable soup

DID you know that superheroes love soup? They’d especially love this recipe, as it’s super-charged with veggies and blended into a smooth bowl of power-packed goodness!

(Serves 4)

This veggie soup is a smooth bowl of power-packed goodness


This veggie soup is a smooth bowl of power-packed goodnessCredit: Hasselblad H6D

You need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large onion, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 stick celery, roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, deseeded and roughly chopped
  • 2 small carrots, peeled and thinly sliced
  • 100g butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp chopped thyme
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 450ml vegetable or chicken stock
  • 2 tbsp chopped basil (optional)
  • 2 tbsp creme fraiche
  • Pinch of sugar


  1. Place the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat.
  2. Add all the fresh vegetables and fry for five minutes, stirring occasionally.
  3. Add the garlic, thyme and tomato puree and fry for a further ten seconds.
  4. Tip in the chopped tomatoes and stock, season with salt and pepper and bring to a boil.
  5. Reduce the heat, cover with a lid and simmer for 15-20 minutes, or until the veg are tender.
  6. Remove from the heat and stir in the basil, if using, and creme fraiche. Add the sugar and blend until smooth using a stick blender.
  7. Serve in deep bowls and create your own superhero by using grated cheese for the mask, with circles of toast and black olives for eyes.

Vroom vroom Bolognese

AFTER a busy day, this is the perfect way to recharge your batteries. Plus it’s packed with lots of good-for-you veggies. Ready. Get set. Go!

(Serves 6)

Recharge your batteries with this brilliant Bolognese


Recharge your batteries with this brilliant BologneseCredit: Hasselblad H6D

You need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, peeled and finely chopped
  • 1 small leek, trimmed and thinly sliced
  • ½ stick celery, diced
  • ½ small red pepper, deseeded and diced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated
  • 50g mushrooms, diced
  • ½ apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1 clove garlic, peeled and crushed
  • 1x400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • 450g minced beef
  • 4 tbsp tomato puree
  • 2 tbsp ketchup
  • 250ml beef stock
  • ½ tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • Small handful of fresh basil leaves


  1. Place the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Add the vegetables and apple and fry for ten minutes until soft. Stir in the garlic and fry for ten seconds.
  2. Transfer to a blender, add the chopped tomatoes and whizz until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Add the mince to the frying pan and place over a medium-high heat.
  4. Fry for four minutes, breaking up the mince with a wooden spoon, until browned (you may need to do this in batches).
  5. Place the tomato and vegetable sauce in the pan with the mince, then add the tomato puree, ketchup, stock and oregano.
  6. Bring to a simmer and cook for 40-45 minutes, until the sauce is thick.
  7. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
  8. Serve with spaghetti and a sprinkling of Parmesan and fresh basil leaves.

Owl porridge

HAVE a hoot making this wise little owl. A warm bowl of porridge is the perfect way to start the day and it will keep you feeling full all morning.

This simple recipe comes with a twit twoo just for you.

(Serves 1)

Start the day right with a warm bowl of healthy porridge


Start the day right with a warm bowl of healthy porridgeCredit: Hasselblad H6D

You need:

  • 45g porridge oats
  • 275ml milk of choice
  • 1 small banana, mashed
  • ½ tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp unsweetened desiccated coconut (optional)

To decorate:

  • 4 strawberries, sliced
  • ½ banana, sliced
  • 2 blueberries
  • ½ mango, sliced


  1. Measure the oats and milk into a saucepan.
  2. Place over a medium heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
  3. Add the banana, vanilla extract and coconut, if using, and continue to stir until the porridge has thickened and the oats are soft. This should take about five minutes.
  4. Spoon into a bowl and use the fruit to decorate the top.

That’s a wrap

STEP aside soggy sarnies – there’s a new lunchbox staple in town! My mini wraps are super-fun to fill and eat, and once you’ve tried these fab ideas, you can mix and match your own ingredients.

(Makes 2 wraps)

Mini wraps are super-fun to fill and eat


Mini wraps are super-fun to fill and eatCredit: Hasselblad H6D

You need:

For a tuna and sweetcorn filling:

  • 110g tuna in sunflower oil, drained, mixed with 50g of tinned sweetcorn and 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 2 spring onions, sliced
  • 1 small carrot, peeled and grated

For a chicken, pesto and tomato filling:

  • 100g cooked chicken mixed with 2 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp pesto
  • Handful of shredded lettuce
  • ½ small avocado, diced
  • 5 cherry tomatoes, quartered


  1. Warm the wraps in a dry frying pan over a medium heat, or for a few seconds in a microwave.
  2. Divide the filling between the wraps, scattering the ingredients evenly in a line along the centre of the wrap.
  3. Roll up tightly and cut in half to serve.
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