Raw Power: Ways to Make Snack Time More Interesting

Rachel De Thample

Rachel has worked as a chef, author, and Head of Food at Abel & Cole. She set up the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market and Edible Garden, and teaches courses at River Cottage in Devon.

There are so many reasons to get your children to eat raw veg: uncooked veg is sweeter, crunchier, more colourful and it's easier for you (or them) to prepare. Raw veg is also brilliant as a pre-dinner snack or an easy picnic or lunchbox option, and a great way to keep children busy (and well-tempered) during long car journeys. With a pinch of fun and a dash of imagination, your children will be chomping raw carrots, munching broccoli trees and crunching cucumbers with glee. Here are some deliciously fun ways to get them hooked:

  • Create "Veg Dib Dabs" by halving cherry tomatoes or cut fingers of cucumbers to be offered with a plate of toasted sesame seeds mixed with a pinch of sea salt.
  • Cut up a selection of veg in different colours and encourage your children to create an edible rainbow.
  • Turn raw veg into an easy pesto - you can pretty much make pesto out of anything. Swap basil for spinach, broccoli, kale, raw podded peas or broad beans. The pesto can be served with pasta or as a dip.
  • Offer them with dip to dunk the veg into. Check out The Happy Pear's trio of hummus dips, Lisa's homemade ketchup, Saadia's peanut dipping sauce, or our tzatziki for inspiration. Studies show that kids are more likely to eat veg if they're served with a dip - and even better if the dip has veg in it, too.
  • Pair raw veg with fun patterns and a salad dressing, and get your children to make veg prints on their plate or a piece of paper, using things like halved broccoli florets to make a scene of trees, halved cauliflower florets for clouds or sheep, slices of raw cabbage for waves of water or landscape horizons, round carrot slices or halved cherry tomatoes for wheels, the cut end of celery for moons or the letter 'c'... Getting kids to engage with veg positively in any way will increase the chances of them eating it when offered. Find more inspiration for fun with veg from Natasha here.
  • Engage your child in a friendly celery sword fight. Bite off any broken bits of your sword and encourage your children to do the same. This can also be played with carrots, or asparagus spears.

Not sure what to eat raw? Need some new raw veg ideas to change things up a bit? Try some of these raw veg superheroes:

  • Cauliflower
  • Cucumber
  • Peas
  • Peppers
  • Tomatoes
  • Fennel
  • Carrots
  • Broccoli
  • Avocado
  • Red cabbage
  • Celery

About the author

Rachel De Thample

Rachel has worked as a chef, author, and Head of Food at Abel & Cole. She set up the award-winning Crystal Palace Food Market and Edible Garden, and teaches courses at River Cottage in Devon.

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