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Carrots

Carrots are a kid favourite, and a great place to start with fussier kids! They are cheap, sweet and available almost year-round. They can be eaten raw or cooked in many forms, and work in most dishes, from being grated into sandwiches or chopped and served with dips, to roasted or boiled as a side, and sliced or diced and cooked into stews, curries, sauces, soups and more.
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Carrots are purple or white root vegetables which come from Afghanistan. What?! Well, they were! Then a few hundred years ago, clever farmers in the Netherlands bred orange ones to honour the House of Orange, the Dutch Royal Family. During the Second World War, British gunners were shooting down German planes at night, and to cover up the use of their secret radar technology the RAF circulated a story about their pilots eating loads of carrots. So unfortunately carrots aren’t the magic answer to having night vision, but eating them will help to keep your eyes healthy thanks to their beta-carotene content.

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Nutrition

Carrots are high in beta-carotene, this is the pigment that gives them the strong orange colour. Enzymes in the body convert beta-carotene into retinol, a form of vitamin A that is essential for eye health.

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Shopping Guide

You want a strong orange colour but look out for brown spots on the carrots.

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Storage

To store bagged whole carrots, keep in the bag in the fridge for over a week. For bunched carrots, make sure you remove the green tops before storing in the fridge.

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Preparation

Carrots are great on their own raw or when roasted, boiled, steamed or stir fired. Try adding a couple to mashed potato for extra flavour and colour or grate them into soups and salads. 

Tom Hunt’s guide to preparing carrots

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Kids in the Kitchen

For a younger child, why not help them to grate a couple of carrots? Show them how to do it safely, and you can add the grated carrots to sauces, or even make a side salad for tea by asking them to squeeze the juice from an orange over the grated carrots!

For an older child, it could be a great opportunity to learn some essential knife skills – why not use a couple of carrots to help them learn the claw grip by slicing into rounds?

Find more ideas for involving kids in the kitchen here.

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Sensory

Why not use carrots as a way of exploring smell? Try tossing some carrot slices or sticks in a little cinnamon and try taking a bite of a carrot with your nose pinched, and another without. Can you notice the difference? 80% of flavour is actually in the smell, so this is a great way to explore flavour! If your child doesn’t feel up to taking a bite, they could lick instead, or sniff a carrot slice with cinnamon and one without to compare how adding flavouring impacts our experience of veggies.

Watch our video from Ruth Platt for a visual guide to exploring carrots with your senses here. Find more sensory ideas, tips and videos here. If you get stuck and need a little help with describing words, we have a selection for you here, too!

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Serving

Next time you make a meal with carrot, try to get your kids involved in small ways wherever you can – when serving it up, why not let your child help you plate it up and add any toppings or make it look as attractive as they can!

Find the best ways of involving your own child and their skills and interests on our Roles for Kids page.

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Activities

Why not try making a carrot face mask, a cut-out and colour carrot or carrot crown?

Or grab some of our free games & puzzles with carrots like our Carrot Launcher or Get Over It Carrot game?

Kids more interested in science? If you are just starting out with kitchen science, start small by exploring the different colours of carrots – you can find rainbow bunches of carrots in greengrocers and they can be great fun to explore with kids! If you feel like a more silly DIY-confident science experiment, all you need is a drill, a large carrot and a straw! Watch Stefan Gates’ carrot flute experiment and have a go, it’s a giggle for kids to watch and play!

Find loads more free carrot-themed crafts here and games here.

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Seasonality

Buying veg in season is not only great for the planet, it can be good for your wallet, too! Seasonal veg are often cheaper and frequently taste better, so can be a better time to try with a child as the often sweeter, riper taste is more enjoyable.

Coming In:

June

At Its Best:

July - April

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Your Food

Carrot has a natural sweetness and beautiful colour many kids love, and for kids who love crunchy foods, just some raw carrot sticks with a tip is often perfect! But if you need something more, bring out carrot’s sweetness with our simple sides and by adding carrots to some of your family favourite dishes…

Family Favourites

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

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Everyday Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Jollof Rice

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

Sides

Leftover Veg Salad | Veg Power

Leftover veg curried salad

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Ian’s Roasted Veg

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Smashed Carrots

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Andrew Walker

Henry & Ian’s Winter Roots Salad

Effort: 3
Complexity: 3
Cost: 2

Henry Firth & Ian Theasby (Bosh!)

Thomasina’s Roast Roots with Split Peas & Yogurt

Effort: 3
Complexity: 3
Cost: 2

Thomasina Miers

Jeanette’s Vegetable Rosti

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Jeanette Orrey MBE

Simple Coleslaw

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Hugh’s Roast Roots and Greens

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall

Soup & Salads

Leftover Veg Salad | Veg Power

Leftover veg curried salad

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Deirdre’s Eat the Rainbow Salad Sticks

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Deirdre Doyle

Ian’s ‘Veg Dib Dab’ Salad Sticks

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

The Hairy Bikers’ Winter Vegetable Soup

Effort: 3
Complexity: 3
Cost: 2

Si King & Dave Myers (The Hairy Bikers)

Vic’s Carrot & Lentil Soup

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Vic Borrill (Brighton & Hove Food Partnership)

Simple Coleslaw

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Tom’s Minestrone Soup

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Tom Kerridge

Grated Carrot Salad with Easy Jar Dressing

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

More Recipes

Charlotte’s Tofu Stir-Fry

Effort: 3
Complexity: 3
Cost: 3

Charlotte Radcliffe RNutr

Emily’s Chicken & Veg Black Noodle Stir-Fry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 2

Emily Leary

Charlotte’s Turkey Sausage & Roasted Veg Traybake

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 2

Charlotte Radcliffe RNutr

Joe’s Curried Cottage Pie

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Joe Wicks

Angela’s Quick Veggie Pad Thai Style Noodles

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 2

Angela Malik

Gillian’s Gluten Free Spiced Parsnip Cake

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Gillian Rodger

Rainbow Veg Sauce

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 1

Claire Wright

Tom’s Minestrone Soup

Effort: 2
Complexity: 2
Cost: 2

Tom Kerridge

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If You Like Carrots…Try

Does your child enjoy carrots? That’s great! Carrots are sweet and crunchy (raw – or soft when cooked), so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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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