Calcium and kids.

Ok, so we’ve all been exposed to the milk adverts and as an omnivore I used to stress an inordinate amount at the fact that my eldest boy wouldn’t drink milk. I used to ply him with dairy yoghurt and cheese to relieve my paranoia that he wasn’t getting enough calcium and that all his teeth would fall out!

Newsflash, cow’s milk is not the only source of calcium in a healthy diet! Other, vegan friendly, options include fortified plant milks and breakfast cereals, almonds, tahini, oranges and of course leafy green vegetables.

I’ve never had much trouble getting the boys to eat the first few items there on the calcium list, but the green veggies? Forget it!

So this week’s mission was to try and find a child friendly way of getting the kids to eat their greens.

Spring Green Sauce

1 tbspn rapeseed oil

1 onion

2 cloves garlic

1 carton passata

2 carrots

1 tspn yeast extract

1 vegetable stock cube

Italian herbs of your choosing

1 BIG handful spring greens

Heat the oil in a saucepan and add the onion, finely chopped. Cook until soft and then add the carrot and garlic, also diced. Fry for about a minute and add the spring greens. Cook until wilted, this will only take a moment or two, and then add the passata, the stock cube, the yeast extract and a sprinkling of herbs. Simmer for about 20 minutes and then blend. (blending it does a great job of hiding the veg!)

Serve with pasta and a sprinkle of vegan cheese if you like.

If you fancy an extra protein boost you could add cooked butter beans or chick peas to the blended sauce.

I watched the kids eat this with a certain amount of trepidation but I needn’t have worried. Both plates were cleared and the eldest even ate a second bowl of sauce, even though there was no more pasta to go with it!


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