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Peppers

Peppers, especially the sweeter red and yellow ones, are usually an easier veg to feed to kids. Raw, they are crunchy, sweet, and a perfect vehicle for delicious dips. Cooked, especially when roasted or fried until soft, they are at their sweetest (great for green ones!) and make a great base for stuffing with cooked grains, chillies, stews or other leftovers (halved and roasted) or to sweeten tomato sauces, baked eggs and other sauce-based dishes. Or opt for a stir fry or curry and keep them somewhere in between raw and softened, caramelising them slightly but still letting them keep their crunch power!
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Understanding Veg

The bell pepper or capsicum annum could be considered the non-spicy cousin to the chilli pepper. Did you know that peppers change colour as they ripen? They start green, then yellow, orange and finally, red. The longer they grow, the sweeter they become. Red and orange are sweet and tasty raw and in salads. All peppers are great on pizza, in stir fries, or roasted.

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Nutrition

Red peppers contain more vitamin C than an orange. They are also rich in B6, K, A and E and minerals including potassium and folate. These nutrients support our bodies in lots of ways including our vision, immune system and bone health.

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Shopping Guide

Look out for female peppers, with only three lobes at the bottom of the pepper – they are sweeter and better raw, whereas the male peppers have four lobes and are better cooked.

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Storage

Keep peppers in the fridge for up to a week. Once cut, wrap in kitchen roll to absorb moisture before putting back in the fridge. To freeze – slice and lay out on a tray in the freezer for an hour, then put in a container or bag and keep for up to 6 months. Frozen peppers will go mushy raw, so make sure to cook – perfect for pizza, chillis, stews or anything with a sauce!

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Serving Suggestions

Peppers sweeten as they grow. Red and orange are sweet and tasty raw and in salads. All peppers are great on pizza, in stir fries, or roasted. To prep, just slice open and remove the seeds.

WATCH: Tom Hunt’s guide to preparing peppers.

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February

At Its Best:

March - October

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Engage

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

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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.
 
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Rice & Beans

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Family Favourites

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Veg Tagine

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Family Favourites

Mac ‘N’ Cheese

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Family Favourites

Everyday Curry

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Family Favourites

Sausage and Mash

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Family Favourites

Jacket Potato with Toppings

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Family Favourites

Jollof Rice

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Family Favourites

Lasagne

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Family Favourites

Pasta Bake

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Family Favourites

Pizza

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Family Favourites

Roast

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Family Favourites

Shepherd’s Pie

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Family Favourites

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If You Like Peppers…Try

Does your child enjoy peppers? That’s great! Peppers are usually crunchy and fairly sweet, 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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