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Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie

Ok hands up who has a problem with fussy children eating their veggies? YOU ARE NOT ALONE! Did you know that in Ireland, the UK and the US, only 1 in 4 children eat the right amounts of vegetables every day! Just to put that into perspective in Ireland there are 880,000 children under the age of 12 which means 660,000 children don’t eat the right amount of vegetables every day. See, I told you that you are not alone! The upside is, vegetable recipe are super easy once you get used to making them.

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie for baby led weaning Recipe Images

When 5 a Day actually becomes 1!

The recommendation is that we are all supposed to be eating at least 5 portions of vegetables and fruit every day, and this is actually now thought to be closer to 7! So many children are struggling to even get 1 portion for veggies every day let alone 7 and this is a reality for so many parents. However, it is totally fixable, I promise!

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie for baby led weaning Recipe Images

How to get your kids to eat vegetables

  1. You must eat vegetables too! That’s right Mums and Dads! If your little child sees you eating vegetables at every meal, they will be more inclined to eat them too! Everyone eats the same dinner!
  2. Pack the veggies in where possible This dish is packed full of vegetables in a yummy sauce (which kids love) and topped with crispy potato. I loaded it with 10 different vegetables too so every single bite contains goodness. The vegetables also break down slightly in the cooking too which makes it super easy for little mouths to manage and great for picky eaters!
  3. Only cook ONE dinner! If you are looking at this recipe thinking ‘not a chance will my child eat that’, think again. This is dinner. You took the time out of your day to make this dinner and you are not going to make another dinner. This is what is on offer end of story! If your child is hungry they will eat, albeit eventually. This means no toast, yogurt before bed or bribery! Take a deep, deep breath! It will get easier I promise!
  4. Encourage ONE bite! Encourage your child to eat one little bite. This can take time and a lot of patience, but I have turned my 12 year asparagus hating son, into an asparagus lover by just doing this alone. It doesn’t matter how old the child, it works (and is even good on Daddy too).

Note: if your child is losing weight, or doesn’t care if they don’t eat anything for days on end and you feel the problem is getting worse, it is time to seek the help of a dietitian. 

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie for baby led weaning Recipe Images2

Finally, to the recipe! I am a huge fan of cottage pie and when it’s loaded up with veggies, I feel super good about feeding it to my kids. This vegetable recipe is such a comfort food and is definitely one for a double dinner. The recipe makes a large portion that is enough for a freezer dinner too.

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie for baby led weaning Recipe Images3

 

I would love to hear how you are getting your children eating more vegetables. Let me know in the comments below 🙂

If you are looking for more recipe for fussy eaters then this blog post has some brilliant ideas! Ultimate 25 recipe to get children eating more vegetables.

I really can’t wait for you to try this recipe and if you do don’t forget to tag #babyledfeeding. Any comments and feedback would be amazing too!

Aileen xoxoxo

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie for baby led weaning Pinterest

Veggie Loaded Cottage Pie

Prep time

20 minutes

Cook time

40 minutes

Servings

2 adults + 2 children

Freeze me Quick

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Ingredients

4 tablespoons rapeseed oil
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, crushed
400g minced beef
4 large carrots, finely chopped
2 red bell peppers, diced
1 medium courgette finely chopped
1 punnet mushrooms
2 large handfuls spinach leaves
1 handful fresh kale finely chopped
3 tablespoons tomato purée
400g tinned chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon English mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves picked and finely chopped
pepper, to season

For the mash

2kg potatoes (Maris Piper works best), peeled and cut into chunks
2 tablespoons butter
pepper, to season

Method

  1. Heat the rapeseed oil in a saucepan over a medium heat and fry the onions until they start to turn translucent. Add the garlic and cook for another 2 minutes, then add the minced beef and cook until it has started to brown.
  2. Add the carrots, peppers, courgettes and mushrooms to the pan along with the tomato purée, tinned tomatoes, mustard and vinegar. Give everything a good stir, cover the saucepan with a lid and simmer for 20 minutes until the carrots are soft enough to squash between your thumb and forefinger.
  3. Add in the chopped spinach and kales along wit the thyme then season with pepper.
  4. Take the lid off the saucepan and continue to simmer for a further 10 minutes to allow the sauce to thicken.
  5. While the meat sauce is cooking, place the potatoes in a pot of boiling water and cook for about 20 minutes, until they are soft through, then drain.
  6. Add the butter and pepper then mash until smooth.
  7. Place the meat mixture into a pie dish then top with the mashed potato. If freezing you can do so now. Otherwise, pre-heat your oven to 180ºC and cook for 30 minutes until golden brown and warmed the entire way through.
  8. Serve warm.
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Writen by Aileen Cox Blundell - number one bestselling author, award winning blogger and Mum of 3 kiddies who all eat their veggies.

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