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Chard

Chard is very easy to grow in a garden or on a windowsill, making it an easy way to get younger kids into greens. Rainbow chard’s beautiful colours are especially enticing to little ones. While chard is a bitter green, it is easy to prep and cook – swap smaller baby leaves for spinach in any dish, or tear the leaves off the stalks of bigger plants to replace spinach or kale. Chard grows well in the UK so is cheap and easy to find, and does particularly well in stews and curries.
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Swiss (white stem) and rainbow (colourful stem) are dark leafy greens. Rainbow chard is sometimes known as the leaf beat and both the chard and beetroot contain betalain which gives both vegetables their vibrant pink colour.

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Nutrition

Both types of chard are a great source of Vitamin A and C as well as antioxidants like beta-carotene and lutein so similar to carrots eating them will support healthy eyes.

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Shopping Guide

When shopping for chard, look out for crisp leaves and firm stalks.

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Storage

Keep your chard in the fridge for up to 3 or 4 days.

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Serving Suggestions

The deep flavours of the chard works well in stews, curries and casseroles or mix-up traditional sides like broccoli when sautéed in olive oil or butter and a bit of salt and pepper.

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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.

At Its Best:

June - December

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Engage

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

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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.
 

Recipes

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

Chilli con Carne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stir Fry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

More Recipes
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If You Like Chard…Try

Does your child enjoy chard? That’s great! Chard is chewy and bitter, 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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