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Ian’s Spiced Red Cabbage

In season now

Serves: 8

Prep time: 25 mins

Cook time: 1 hour


1 large red cabbage

1 tbsp red wine vinegar

25g butter

150ml water

2 red onions, peeled and chopped as small as can get

Pinch of mixed spice

1 orange, zested and juiced

1 cinnamon stick

150ml port (optional – use water if for children)

Veg Portions / Serving: 1


Recipe from Cookfulness: A Therapeutic Approach to Cooking by Ian Taverner | Photo from

It’s not just for Christmas!


Cut the red cabbage into thin slices (long and thin is best) – removing the core makes it less tough.

Gently fry the red onions in the butter in a large pan for 5-10 mins.

Add the orange zest, mixed spice and cinnamon stick and cook for a further minute.

Add the shredded cabbage and stir through fully.

Add the port (or water), red wine vinegar and orange zest.

Add the water (or double amount of water if no port), stir and bring to the boil.

Reduce the heat to a slow simmer, cover and cook for 45 mins or so until the cabbage is nice and soft.

Engaging Kids

Engaging Kids

Kids who engage regularly with veg through veg-themed activities, such as arts and crafts, sensory experiences, growing and cooking are shown to be more likely to eat the veg they engage with. Encouraging kids to engage and play with veg is the handy first step to them developing a good relationship with veg and life-long healthy eating.

Kids in the kitchen

Kids in the kitchen

Get the kids to help you measure out and add the ingredients carefully to the pan.



While getting kids to interact with veggies for real and using their senses to explore them is best, encouraging hands off activities like arts & crafts, puzzles & games or at-home science experiments can be a great start, particularly for those who are fussier eaters or struggle with anything too sensory. Use these veg-themed activities as a stepping stone to interacting with the veg themselves. We have loads of crafty downloads here, puzzles here, and quirky science with veg here.



Once you feel your child is ready to engage a little more, you can show them how to explore the veg you have on hand with their senses, coming up with playful silly descriptions of how a veg smells, feels, looks, sounds and perhaps even tastes. Find ideas, videos and some simple sensory education session ideas to get you started here.



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! Giving children a sense of ownership in the meal can make a big difference to their feelings going into it and the pride they take in it. You know your child best, but if you aren’t sure where to start, we have some fun and simple ideas for easy roles you can give them in the serving process over here.

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