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Veg Namesx35_FINAL_COMPLETE-Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash

Many children prefer sweeter flavours, so orange veg can be a great place to start! Butternut squash is affordable and super versatile – you can halve it lengthways, scoop the seeds out, rub with a little oil and roast until soft and sweet, or peel (just use a veg peeler) and cube to prep multiple ways, or just buy a bag of frozen prepped squash for ease and add to a curry, stew, chilli or soup. If your child isn’t convinced by the stronger flavour, you could always try pumpkin or sweet potato as a milder alternative, but many will love the butternut taste!
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Understanding Veg

If you love a sweet nutty flavour then stop the bus, it is time to get off. Meet Butternut Squash. They look like stretched versions of their cousin, pumpkins, and make a great alternative to potatoes.

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Nutrition

Butternut squash contains antioxidants including beta-carotene which gives it such a vibrant orange colour just like our beloved carrots. It also contains phytonutrients which similar to beta-carotene supports eye health.

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Shopping Guide

Butternuts should always feel substantial for their size and the skill should feel firm without any wrinkling or soft spots.

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Storage

Butternut squash is easy to store – just leave it whole in a cool dark cupboard for months. Once peeled and/or cut, keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 3-4 days. To freeze, just peel and chop into cubes, then spread the cubed squash out on a tray and freeze for a few hours before popping into a freezer bag or container for up to 6 months.

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Serving Suggestion

Peel the skin, cut open, scoop out the seeds and then cut into 3cm chunks. You can then either coat in a little olive oil, salt, pepper, maybe some garlic and roast in a tin in an oven pre-heated to 200C/180C fan/Gas 6 for 25-30 mins, or boil until soft, and mash with a knob of butter and some black pepper.

At Its Best:

September - November

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Engage

Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with butternut squash:

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Your Food

Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.

We’ve gathered together 15 of the nation’s favourite meals and given you step-by-step ways to make small improvements, helping you to make healthier dinners the easy way, and even showing you which veg work best with which recipes.
 
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
 
rice and beans

Rice & Beans

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

veg tagine

Veg Tagine

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

My Microwave Chilli Con Carne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Jamie's £1 Wonders

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Everyday Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Sausage and Mash

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Lasagne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Pasta Bake

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Roast

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stew

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourite

Fajitas

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Chilli con Carne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

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If You Like butternut squash…Try

Does your child enjoy butternut squash? That’s great! Butternut squash is sweet and soft, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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Serving

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…

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