Do you have a picky eater? It’s very normal for children to go through fussy phases, but we find that cooking with children can help get them excited about trying new foods. This is especially true when they’ve been involved from the start by growing or picking the food themselves! So this summer, why not try some of these healthy and tasty summer recipes for kids – a great way to learn about what’s in season and excellent for using up a glut from the garden.
The perfect foraged food, blackberries grow in abundance in both rural and urban locations. Keep your eyes peeled to see where you can spot them, the next time you’re out and about. For the very best taste, wait until the fruit is black and swollen before picking.
Summer recipes for kids need to be simple and quick, or the ingredients won’t survive hungry hands. So what could be simpler than a blackberry milkshake made with freshly foraged blackberries, milk and ice cream or yoghurt? Simply wash your fruit, stick everything in the blender and purée until smooth. Taste before serving and add a little sugar if needed. Adding ice will make your purple potion extra refreshing.
Tomatoes, cucumbers, parsley and mint all encapsulate the flavours of summer – and the fresher they are, the better they’ll taste. In this simple salsa recipe taken from our Toad Hall Recipe Book for Parents, you can put your salad glut to good use, combining these tasty veggies to make a seasonal, summery dip.
Simply chop 4 tomatoes, 4 spring onions and half a cucumber, and combine in a bowl with a little parsley, mint, lemon juice and olive oil. Great for a children’s party or barbecue, you can serve immediately with veggie dippers from the garden or tortilla chips, or keep refrigerated until later.
Courgette noodles with stuffed yellow flowers
Courgettes are a wonderfully attractive vegetable to grow, with gorgeous yellow flowers that are literally good enough to eat. These two simple courgette recipes for kids will be a delicious reward for your budding gardeners and will help you to work your way through the inevitable glut.
For courgette ‘noodles’, try using a julienne peeler or spiralizer to turn your freshly picked vegetables into instant spaghetti-like strands. Simply stir fry for a few minutes and serve with a little olive oil, garlic and lemon juice – or with the sauce of your choice.
Courgette flowers are a delicacy that you don’t often see in supermarkets, but you’ll have lots to use up if you grow them at home. Once picked and cleaned, stuff them with grated cheese and fresh herbs, then pan fry. Children will love the novelty of eating flowers for dinner!
The joy of growing
Here at Toad Hall, we feel it’s really important to teach children about healthy food and how it is grown. That’s why each of our nurseries has a garden where children can learn about growing and caring for plants.
Each year we support National Allotment Week, celebrating the great things that can happen when you grow your own fruit, vegetables and flowers. This year it falls on 8th – 14th August. Why not mark the occasion by making some of our summer recipes with your kids, using home grown produce? Or alternatively tweet us some of your own summer recipes for kids to @ToadHallGroup.