Carrot, our Vegetable of the Month!

11 Jul 2019

At Oac, we’re passionate about good nutrition, and understand the vital role it plays in your child’s physical and mental development. In fact, did you know that most children form fundamental eating patterns by the time they are ready for school?

Introducing vegetables into your child’s diet can be a challenge, especially if your child is a fussy eater, which is why our Vegetable of the Month plays an important role in our Health curriculum. Our aim is to make vegetables fun by engaging children in play-based learning activities such as painting, drawing and role play to promote a positive experience.

Our Accredited Dieticians, The Biting Truth, along with our Oac Health Team, have chosen to hero the humble carrot as this month’s vegetable, because not only are they fresh, delicious and in season right now, they also have incredible health benefits for growing bodies.  

Did you know…?

  • Carrots are grown from seeds and can take up to four months to mature
  • Carrots are commonly orange, although they are available in purple, white, red and yellow varieties
  • There is truth behind the old wives tale that carrots can improve your eyesight. Carrots contain carotenoids which are a rich source of beta carotene. Our bodies can convert beta carotene to Vitamin A, and Vitamin A helps improve our vision.

There are many strategies you can use at home to introduce carrots into your child’s diet. Here are some ideas designed to spark your child’s curiosity and interest.

More than just a meal

Often children will associate being forcefully told to eat their vegetables as a negative experience. Try to bring your child’s curiosity to the dinner table by allowing them to choose their own carrots at the grocery store, letting them feel and taste the difference between baked, steamed and raw carrots, and telling them how carrots can help their body to grow.

Start the conversation

Make the most of conversations with your child around meal times. For example, use dinner time as an opportunity to ask your child open ended questions which will prompt them to think and respond to new concepts. Some conversation starters might include; What colour are carrots? Where does the carrot come from? Do they grow on a tree or from the ground? What does a carrot taste like?

Get them involved in the kitchen

A great way to introduce a new vegetable or food group into your child’s diet is by encouraging them to get involved in the food preparation and cooking process. There are a number of age appropriate tasks your child can do such as washing ingredients, mixing and pouring.

Try this simple, nutritious and delicious carrot recipe from our Oac collection to get your children involved in the kitchen!

Carrot, Beetroot and Banana Muffins

(makes 10)

Ingredients

  • 1 carrot, grated
  • 2 medium bananas, mashed
  • 2 fresh beetroot, grated
  • Wholemeal flower, 2 cups
  • Baking powder, 1 teaspoon
  • Bicarbonate of soda, 1 tablespoon
  • Olive oil, 1 cup
  • Brown rice syrup, ¼ cup

Method

  • Pre-heat oven to 170 degrees
  • Line 10 muffin pans with paper cases
  • In a bowl, sift the flour, baking powder and bicarbonate of soda together
  • Add the carrot, beetroot, bananas and brown rice syrup to the bowl and mix well
  • Stir in the olive oil until the mixture forms together
  • Spoon the mixture into paper cases and bake for 12 minutes.