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.
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.
You want a strong orange colour but look out for brown spots on the carrots.
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.
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.
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July - April
Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with carrots:
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…
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.
Try making one of our simple carrot sides (like a grated carrot salad with simple jar dressing) and ask your child to help with one small part of the recipe (like grating the carrots, or shake-shake-shaking the dressing in the jar).
While the dinner you are serving it with is cooking, ask your child to come up with a funny name or story for the carrot salad and to design a menu with that name or story on for everyone to enjoy!
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…