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Ian’s ‘Veg Dib Dab’ Salad Sticks

Effort:
Complexity:
Cost:
In season now

Serves: As many as you like!

Prep time: 10 mins

Ingredients:

Cherry or plum tomatoes, halved and insides scooped out

Mini mozzarella balls

Basil leaves, mint leaves and coriander leaves (or just use one)

Cooked beetroot, chopped into bitesize pieces or scooped into 'balls' with a melon baller

Feta cubes

Carrot, thickly sliced into circles

Red/orange peppers, chopped into bitesize chunks

For the 'dib dab':

Red pepper/traditional hummus

A mix of salt, garlic powder, dried oregano and dried basil

Veg Portions / Serving: 1

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Recipe and photography from Ian Taverner/Cookfulness.

Salad sticks are a fun, attractive and engaging way to get kids more excited about veg! Perfectly portable, they are great for summer campouts, travel, picnics, lunchboxes and BBQs. Get the kids making these salad sticks this summer – it’s as fun to make as it is to eat. Why not come up with your own favourite combinations and share them with us on social, tagging @VegPowerUK and #SaladSticks.

This salad stick is inspired by Ian’s girls and they absolutely love it, and that is what VegPower is all about, getting children eating veg!

Method:

Thread ingredients onto skewers, starting with half a tomato, then a mozzarella ball slotted inside, and the other half of the tomato encasing it. Add a basil leaf.
Then thread on a hollowed-out cucumber circle with a ball of beetroot, mint leaf and feta block inside, encased with another cucumber circle.
Next, do the same with the carrot halves, adding a coriander leaf inside. And finally add the red and orange pepper half circles with another beetroot ball inside and finished with tomatoes, mozzarella and basil.
Make it a ‘dib dab’ by dipping or painting on some red pepper or traditional houmous and sprinkle on a little mix of salt, garlic powder, dried oregano and basil which gives a pizza like tang!
Feel free to play with the order to make your own shape and colour combinations.
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

Kids can really take charge here, which is part of why salad sticks are so popular with them! Make sure to prep any chopped ingredients for them, and keep an eye on their fingers around the sharp end of the skewer, but otherwise let them build it themselves. Help them with any harder ingredients.

Activities

Activities

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.

Sensory

Sensory

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.

Serving

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! 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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