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Swede, like turnips, are one of the more bitter root veggies. If your child loves sweeter flavours, try sweet potatoes, carrots, celeriac or parsnips. But for those who like stronger, more complex flavours, swede can be a cheap and delicious root to turn to! Swede makes an excellent mash, cubed addition to stews, or part of a mixed root veg soup to mellow out some of the sweeter flavours. Swede fries are also yummy – chop into chip shapes, toss in a little oil and salt and roast for a change from potatoes (especially good with some Parmesan sprinkled over for the last few mins!).
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Known as “neeps” in Scotland where they are most popular, swede is often confused with turnips, but has a mellower, sweeter flavour and different colour. Use them as you would turnips or other root veg – cubed and boiled or steamed for about 15 mins. or roasted for 45 mins to an hour, sliced into “fries” and roasted then sprinkled with Parmesan, turned into root veg mash, or added to winter warming one-pots like soups or stews.

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Swede is another great way to pack in your Vitamin C.

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Shopping Guide

Try to pick up a swede that is on the smaller side for a sweeter flavour with smooth skin that’s free from blemishes.

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They can be kept in the fridge whole or in a slightly opened zip-lock bag.

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Serving Suggestions

Try in place of potato or with other root veg to make a mixed veg mash.



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.

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

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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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Family Favourites


Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourite

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If You Like Swede…Try

Does your child enjoy swede? That’s great! Swede is usually soft and savoury, even slightly bitter, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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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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