Mixing Kids with Veggies


[caption id="attachment_2406" align="aligncenter" width="516"] Do you grandchildren or kids struggle to eat their colourful veggies?[/caption]

We all know that habits start at a young age. So it’s really important to help children learn and to enjoy healthy food choices by introducing them to a wide variety of foods, early on.  The best way to do this is through play.


Introduce new foods to your young ones by making fruit and vegetable creations with them.  Country Kitchens Pinterest page has some fabulous ideas. 


Pick an activity your young child or grandchildren really likes. When it’s time for a snack, make it fresh fruit and yoghurt. The extra serve of fruit will increase fibre intake and the protein in the yoghurt will fill them up, diminishing the desire to snack more.


Involve children in making choices in the kitchen, such as what should we have with our pasta tonight. This way you’ll be encouraging them to take responsibility for their food selections as they grow. And you’ll be improving their food literacy as well as their nutrition.


Another idea is to encourage kids to contribute to the shopping list, focusing attention on what fruits and vegetables they’d like included. When shopping allow children to choose a new fruit or vegetable that your family has never tried before.


Craft is a good way to involve children with positive food associations, especially if you’re not a cook or find cooking laborious.


When children are irritable or combative, try avoiding discretionary items like chocolate, sweets or chips. Easier said than done sometimes. But, if the younger members of your family have favourite foods that are everyday foods, such as an apple, banana or berries, make that the reward for improved behaviour or for doing a task they are asked to do.


When making a roast, prepare an extra-large tray of pumpkin, potato, carrot, parsnip, onion, and even beetroot and use these in sandwiches and salads, and as snacks.


If children are fussy about certain flavours, you can easily sweeten a meal with vegetables such as carrot, cherry tomatoes or pumpkin.


Eat a rainbow! Each distinct colour vegetable carries its own set of unique disease fighting chemicals called phytochemicals. So make it a game by asking children how many colours they can get into the days’ meals. Remember we “eat with our eye,” so including different coloured vegetables makes a meal visually more appealing, as well as adding a variety of nutrients.


Teaching children how quick, easy and enjoyable preparing vegetables or fruits at home can be is a fundamental way to set them up well for their future relationship with food.


For more information go to



GET MORE F&V INTO YOUR MEALS: 4 tips to eat more in-season

Basket with vegetable and fruit, some pots in the urban garden, London city, UK.

Eating seasonal fruit and veg is positive for the environment and our health. Choosing to include seasonal fruit and veg goes hand in hand with eating locally grown produce and this can help reduce the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced in the production and transportation process (Gareth Edwards-Jones, 2010).


From a nutritional perspective, there is no evidence to suggest local foods are more nutritious than non-local food, but eating locally and shopping at the local farmers market has been shown to increase food appreciation, and stimulate positive social networks compared to shopping at the supermarket (O’Kane 2011). Also adding seasonal fruits and vegetables to your diet increase the variety consumed throughout the year. This is a source of different fiber, vitamins, and minerals all required for optimal health and wellbeing.

Extra benefits of eating foods in the season include:

  • They’re often cheaper than out of season options
  • It supports the local economy and our local farmers
  • Food often tastes better when in season
  • Reduces the use of fossil fuels used to run cool rooms

Despite these benefits, seasonal eating can be a little bit tricky especially if you are located in a rural or remote area in Queensland. Often what is grown in the regional food bowls are transported across the Country to central markets in larger cities and the town is left with little fresh produce, and unfortunately, this fresh produce often costs a lot more to purchase compared to the city counterparts.

To eat seasonally here are four top tip


1. Shop at the local farmer’s market:

Chat to the farmers about what is currently in season. If you are in doubt, ask the lovely staff what is currently in season and where it is from. Knowing more about the distance the food has traveled to get to your shopping cart and dinner plate can help to make informed decisions about whether or not you want to make a purchase.

2. Go directly to the farmer: 

Don’t have a local grocer or farmer’s market in your area? Why not go directly to the farmer? There are also some great companies like Aussie Farmers Direct and Food Connect that source local and fresh produce from independent farmers, support seasonal produce and cut out the middleman so more money goes back to the farmer. It supports local economies, farmers and makes seasonal eating a lot easier.

3. Download the seasonal wheel:

A seasonal wheel is an online resource that can be printed and stuck on the fridge. It provides a good summary of what is in season for South East Queensland. Download it here:

4. Start a veggie patch:

One of the best ways to know more about where your food comes from is to grow your own. Although this can require a lot of effort, balcony and pot veggie gardens are still a great way to grow your own fruit and veg and supplement cooking at home with freshly grown herbs and spices. Check out some useful tips and tricks.


Have some seasonal eating tips you wish to share? Comment Below:



Shot of a group of friends making a toast over dinner

Can you believe Christmas is already upon us?

With an abundance of delicious and treat foods available to enjoy over the silly season, often many families over consume sugary drinks during this period. Events in the park with friends on a late Sunday afternoon can result in too many laughs and too many drinks. Additionally, those Sunday BBQ’s at mums can lead to a little too much of the sweet stuff.

The team at QCWA Country Kitchens has put their heads together to come up with some delicious and healthy iced teas. Although some recipes below have sugar in them, compared to a standard bought iced teas which often have upwards of 4.5 teaspoons per standard 300ml glass (equivalent to 15 teaspoons of sugar per 500ml), making your own iced tea is a great way to reduce the amount of sugar consumed over the festive period.

 4 iced tea recipes to keep you hydrated this silly season:


Lemon Myrtle and Raspberry Iced Tea 

Teaspoons sugar per 300ml: 2.4

Serves 6                                Preparation Time:  95 minutes                        Cooking Time: 0 minutes

lemon myrtle iced tea


8 green and lemon myrtle tea bags or 2 tablespoons loose leaf tea

4 tablespoons of a sweetener of your choice

1 bunch of fresh mint shredded

2 litres of filtered water, boiled

1 punnet of fresh raspberry or frozen if preferred, to garnish

A few sprigs of mint, to garnish



COMBINE the tea, sweetener, mint and boiling water in a jug.

SET ASIDE for 30 minutes.

REMOVE the tea bags or strain the tea to remove the loose leaf tea.

REFRIGERATE for an hour until cool.

ADD mint, raspberries, and ice to serving glasses or jug.

POUR the ice tea mixture into the glasses or jug.


Courtesy of QCWA Country Kitchens Team, adapted from Madura Tea Recipes



Pineapple and Thyme Iced Tea 

Teaspoons sugar per 300ml: 0

Serves 8                                Preparation Time:  95 minutes                        Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Pineapple iced tea


2 litres water, boiled

8 teabags of green tea

½ fresh pineapple, skin removed and chopped to small 1 cm cubes

4 sprigs fresh thyme

1 lime, quartered and juiced

2 sprigs fresh thyme, to garnish



COMBINE the tea and thyme in a jug.

SET ASIDE for 15 minutes.

REMOVE the teabags and thyme or strain the tea to remove the loose leaf tea.

ADD pineapple, lime.

REFRIGERATE for an hour until cool.

POUR the ice tea mixture into the glasses or jug and garnish with thyme leaves.


Courtesy of QCWA Country Kitchens Team


Raspberry and Ginger Fizz 

Teaspoons sugar per 300ml: 0.3

Serves 4                                Preparation Time:  60 minutes                        Cooking Time: 0 minutes

Raspberry and ginger fizz


2 handfuls of raspberries, fresh or frozen

1 teaspoon sugar

1 handful mint, roughly shredded

3 tablespoons fresh root ginger, peeled and roughly chopped

1 litre of mineral water

1 handful fresh raspberries, to garnish



PLACE raspberries, sugar, ginger, and mint in a bowl or jug.

MASH until well combined.

ADD mineral water.

REFRIGERATE until cool.

SERVE over ice, garnished with fresh raspberries.


Courtesy of QCWA Country Kitchens Team, adapted from Jamie Oliver


Peach and Rosemary Iced Tea

Teaspoons sugar per 300ml: 1.8


Serves 8                                Preparation Time:  50 minutes                        Cooking Time: 5 minutes


Homemade peach and thyme iced tea


2 litre boiling water

4 tea English Breakfast or Earl Grey tea bags or 2 tablespoons loose leaf tea

6 large peaches, peeled and sliced

3 tablespoons sugar

2 stalks of rosemary, rinsed




COMBINE the tea and water in a jug.

SET ASIDE for 10 minutes then remove the teabags/strain the tea to remove the loose leaf tea.

PLACE peaches and sugar into a pot and simmer until the peaches have reduced

PUREE the peaches and sugar until a smooth consistency forms.

STRAIN the peach mixture and add it to the tea.

ADD the rosemary stalks.

REFRIGERATE for 40 minutes until cool.

POUR the ice tea mixture into the glasses or jug.


Courtesy of QCWA Country Kitchens Team

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