Carrots are purple or white root vegetables which come from Afghanistan. What?! Well, they were! Then a few hundred years ago, clever farmers in the Netherlands bred orange ones to honour the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family. During the Second World War, British gunners were shooting down German planes at night, and to cover up the use of their secret radar technology the RAF circulated a story about their pilots eating loads of carrots. So unfortunately carrots aren’t the magic answer to having night vision, but eating them will help to keep your eyes healthy thanks to their beta-carotene content.
Carrots are high in beta-carotene, this is the pigment that gives them the strong orange colour. Enzymes in the body convert beta-carotene into retinol, a form of vitamin A that is essential for eye health.
You want a strong orange colour but look out for brown spots on the carrots.
To store bagged whole carrots, keep in the bag in the fridge for over a week. For bunched carrots, make sure you remove the green tops before storing in the fridge.
Carrots are great on their own raw or when roasted, boiled, steamed or stir fired. Try adding a couple to mashed potato for extra flavour and colour or grate them into soups and salads.
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Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with carrots:
Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.
The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!
The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.
The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.
But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.
Here are some of our favourite ideas:
Design a menu
Come up with a silly name or story for a dish
Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks
Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process
The Wonderful World of Veg
Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…