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Sweet potato

Sweet potatoes are cheap and abundantly available, and their sweetness make them an easier veg to feed to most children. Better still, sweet potatoes were voted the “most nutritious vegetable” by the Center for Science in the Public Interest, and they count towards your 5-a-day where white potatoes do not, so to make one very small, delicious and nutritious swap in your family’s diet, why not swap the occasional jacket potato for a baked sweet potato jacket, or some of the chips on the side of a favourite family meal for sweet potato fries (pre-prepped, or just slice some cheaper whole ones into chip shapes and roast with a little oil)! Best of all, they actually cook quicker than regular potatoes, so the swap will actually save you some time, too. Win-win-win.
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Sweet potatoes came from deepest Peru and spread to become a popular staple of Native Americans. The first Europeans to sample the delights of sweet potatoes were Christopher Columbus and his crew on their voyage to the West Indies in 1492. They brought them back to Spain and from there they spread all over the world.

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Nutrition

They contain fibre which supports digestion and contain vitamins including Bs and C which support our vision and immune system as well as being a good source for minerals like iron and calcium.

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Shopping Guide

Look for sweet potatoes that feel firm and appear unblemished. They should feel heavy for their size. 

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Storage

Store these in a cool dark place.

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Serving Suggestions

Make the most of that kid-friendly flavour by cutting into fries and roasting or baking them whole as a 1 of your 5-a-day jacket potato in less time than a regular one.

WATCH: Tom Hunt’s guide to preparing sweet potatoes.

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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.

Coming In:

September

At Its Best:

October - December

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Engage

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

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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

Sweet Potato & Chickpea Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Jamie's £1 Wonders

Everyday Curry

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Jacket Potato with Toppings

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Roast

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Chilli con Carne

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourites

Stew

Effort: 1
Complexity: 1
Cost: 1

Family Favourite

More Recipes
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If You Like Sweet potato…Try

Does your child enjoy sweet potatoes? That’s great! Sweet potatoes are usually soft and 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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