Now’s the time to make your kitchen more fun, and introduce your kids to some superfoods…

There comes a point in any parent and carer’s patience when those last vegetables on the plate don't seem worth the battle. Or the effort it takes to persuade the kids to try something different (it really is as tasty as ice-cream) isn't worth the trouble. In kitchens across the land, though, some experts (in food and in helping kids eat the right stuff) are putting the fun back into food. We asked them to share a few rainy day kitchen table ideas...

  1. Bake bread. Make it easy with a 90p bag of readymade bread flour from the supermarket which you mix with water to create half an hour of delicious kneading and knotting. One bag is enough to make three mini loaves and while kids punch and pummel, play a guessing game about what makes flour (cows? wheat in the field? sugarcane?) and what it does to their body when they get to eat it (helps them run and jump? helps them sing?) Let them make their own bread shape (a knot or a plait or a doughnut?) watch it rise and then – once baked – eat it warm from the oven.
  2. Make soup. A broth of good things and good fun once they've helped you chop vegetables into shapes. Peel and dice into sticks or rings and then they can use a butter knife to make them into something fun (a crocodile carrot or a sweet potato flower, or onion triangles).
  3. Select a sweetie salad with favourite fruits. See who can get the most slices out of a banana or whose tangerine has the most segments. Great counting games. Throw in fruits they may not have tasted, like black grapes (cut in half) or blueberries or kiwi.  
  4. Decorate cakes. Make them together if you can, one of you beating the butter and sugar while the other cracks and mixes eggs. Then leave the kids to decorate. They could cut out stars or moons from scrap paper, lay over the cake and sprinkle icing sugar over to create a sugary shape on top. Or mix a drop of fruit juice into icing sugar and see what colour they get. Or make flowers out of fruit slices. If you have any old birthday candles, let them add to the top and make it a wish cake. One blow each.
  5. Make music. Collect together a few old plastic cordial or drinks bottles and ask the kids to find anything in the kitchen that could turn them into instruments. Rice, lentils, even water. What sounds can they make while the cakes cook or the bread rises?

Did you know?

It can take up to 15 attempts before a child accepts a new taste or flavour. So don't give up, and don't stress out if kids don't eat up that new veg or fruit first go. One floret of broccoli at a time.