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Spinach

If you want to add some green to a dish, throw in some spinach! Spinach is the easiest leafy green to add to family dinners – it’s affordable, quick to cook, the only prep it requires is washing it (or taking out of a packet if frozen), and it tends to be milder and slightly less bitter than some leafy greens. If your child doesn’t mind bitterness, cooked is great, but if they are not so sure, try it raw with some dressing for more of a sweet-sour flavour, or cook it into a sweeter dish like curry, stew or a tomato-based sauce, as it’s flavour won’t be as strong as when it’s served as a side. For these kinds of dishes, frozen spinach is your best friend as it’s just a case of chucking a few cubes into the sauce!
pexels copyright free image - raw spinach
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Understanding Veg

Spinach became hugely popular in America thanks to a guy called Popeye. Popeye was a comic book sailor known for his strength. His secret weapon? Spinach. At the approach of trouble, he chugged a can of spinach, which caused his muscles to bulge. Try searching for Popeye cartoons on YouTube, the cartoons are a little old now but the superpower of spinach is still true today!

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Nutrition

Spinach is a good source of folate, a nutrient essential for making our red blood cells as well as iron, which helps our red blood cells to transport oxygen around the body.

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Shopping guide

When picking up spinach on your food shop, look out for dark green leaves and check for wilting or yellowing leaves. 

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Storage

Spinach should be stored in the fridge wrapped in a paper towel and kept in an airtight container for up to 5 days. To avoid your spinach going soggy, keep it dry by changing out the paper towel. Spinach can be easily freezed for up to 6 months, just wash and dry it thoroughly before freezing.

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Serving suggestions

Spinach can be steamed, boiled or sautéed. It is the perfect addition to eggs for a veg powered breakfast or as a green veg booster to stir fry and pasta – you’ll be amazed how a big pile of fresh leaves wilts down to a spoonful or two of spinach.

Coming In:

April

At Its Best:

May - October

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Engage

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

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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

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

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

Jacket Potato with Toppings

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

Pizza

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Roast

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Shepherd’s Pie

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

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If You Like Spinach…Try

Does your child enjoy spinach? That’s great! Spinach is usually bitter 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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