Seasonal eating is good for the climate, good for local industry, good for your pocket and good for you and your family, and this is the season of real abundance when it comes to earthy/healthy veg and good English food. From now until January there’s loads of delicious seasonal produce your little one will love, and they’ll also help keep the winter bugs at bay, and because they’re in season, they’re cheaper, which is handy given how money just seems to vanish at this time of year.
The following are at their best right now and perfect for children of all ages, whether your at the pureeing stage or full family meals.
- Parsnips – a sweet root veg low in Saturated Fat, Sodium, and Cholesterol but high in Dietary Fiber, Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Folate, Manganese, and Potassium. For littlest ones try out our chicken, apple and parsnip puree. Or parsnip and rosemary chips for older kids.
- Beetroot – From the same family as chard and spinach, Beets are loaded with vitamins A, B1, B2, B6 and C. The greens have a higher content of iron compared to spinach. They are also an excellent source of calcium, magnesium, copper, phosphorus, sodium and iron. Babies and toddlers love the bright colour. Great as a soup.
- Butternut squash – a very good source of vitamins A and C and a good source of beta-carotene, magnesium, manganese, calcium and potassium. Makes a delicious soup with carrot and sweet potato, but my toddler loves it just roasted.
- Celeriac – A type of celery grown as a root vegetable it’s low in Saturated Fat and Cholesterol but high in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, Phosphorus, Potassium, Dietary Fiber, Vitamin B6, Magnesium and Manganese. Great added to soups or mashed with other root veg.
- Swede – this sweet root vegetable has a good mineral content including calcium, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese. It also provides some fibre and vitamins A and C. Babies will love it mashed with some cheese and older children like it mashed or roasted.
- Leeks – One of our super foods, leeks can be added to any savoury dish to add strong flavour. Or on their own, boiled, with a tasty cheese sauce with a bit of white fish.
- Apples and Pears – no not cockney rhyming slang, but tasty juicy fruit, full of vitamins, and great from 4 months to, well, forever.
- Cranberries – Not just for Christmas – cranberries are a bit of a super berry, thought to cleanse the urinary tract (kidneys etc) and rid the gut of harmful bacteria. Sprinkle dried cranberries on cereal in the morning for slow energy release.
And if that wasn’t enough, also in season are:
Broccoli, spinach, brussels sprouts, cauliflower, carrots and sweet corn
For more on healthy fruit and veg see our A to Z of super-foods for kids and check out some of our delicious recipes