I know I’m not only the only mommy out there who gets a hard time from my child when it comes to getting veggies into his mouth. He has become a master at tossing the steamed pieces of carrot and broccoli onto the floor – that I have lovingly placed on his plate – for none other than our Bull Terrier to lap up.
My favourite secret weapon to cram in a number of veggies into my son’s diet, is through a trusted childhood favourite….mash. In place of refined white potatoes and heaps of butter, however, I combine a number of tasty flavours and nutritious ingredients, to ensure that each mouthful is packed with goodness.
What I love about mash recipes is that; mash can be served to children of all ages (starting from when little one’s are still on their first foods); you can get creative with any veggie combinations you choose; mash freezes fantastically; and you can serve mash up with just about any protein. I keep a supply in the freezer to ensure that I always have a healthy dose of veggies on hand, to serve up with the rest of my son’s meals.
For babies younger than 12 months, it is recommended to rather peel all fruits and vegetables, given that skins and peels can lead to tummy upsets in less developed digestive systems. If your child is a little older, you can keep the skins on for an added boost of nutrients. Remember to always wash all fruit and veggies thoroughly, even if you have bought organic produce.
You can use any milk in this recipe based on your child’s dietary needs. For children younger than two, it is recommended to opt for full-fat dairy whenever possible.
Tip: Every now and then I toss a handful of spinach/kale into this recipe for an added kick of calcium and iron.
Food for thought: orange, yellow and red fruits and vegetables, as well as green leafy vegetables, are powerful sources of beta-carotene. This recipe contains an impressive kick of beta-carotene, which is converted into vitamin A by the body. Vitamin A is necessary for healthy immune functioning, growth and development and for improved eyesight.
What you’ll need*:
- 1.5 cups chopped pumpkin/butternut (skin removed)
- 1.5 cups chopped sweet potato
- 1 cup chopped carrots
- Handful spinach/kale (optional)
- 1 apple
- 1 Tbs cinnamon
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 2 Tbs olive oil/coconut oil
- 2 Tbs milk
*These amounts are simply guidelines. There is no wrong or right with this recipe. Have fun and experiment with spices and ingredients and make it as runny, smooth or lumpy as your child likes!
Method (makes around 10-12 servings):
- Steam the pumpkin, carrots, sweet potato and apple for around ten minutes, until soft.
- Steam the spinach/kale for two minutes.
- Combine all the ingredients into mixing bowl and purée until the desired consistency.
- Serve with your choice of protein. For left-overs, dish out the remaining mixture into individual servings and freeze.