Low Carb Veggie Fries – How to Get Kids to Eat Vegetables

Firstly, let me start by saying that I am not advocating a low carb diet in any way! I love my carbs (starchy food) – potatoes, rice, noodles and pasta. However, they are usually the very first thing my kids tend to eat which leaves little room for the other things on their plate they need to grow super strong – like vegetables!

As a Mum (and not a dietitian) it is really hard to know what a portion of starchy food looks like for a toddler. I wanted accurate advice from a professional and so I got in touch with the lovely Roisin Gowan the Paediatric Dietitian who helped me with my book.

How much starchy food should be Toddler be eating?*

These measurements are based on a toddler aged between 1-4 years old. Taller or more active children will eat the larger portions or less for less active children.


Boiled Potatoes – 1/2 – 1 1/2 egg-sized potatoes
Chips – 4-8 thick cut chips
Mashed Potato – 1 – 4
Potato Wedges – 2-4 medium wedges

Pasta and Rice

Boiled Rice – 2-5 tbsp
Pasta Cooked – 2-5tbsp


Granary Bread Slice – 1/2 – 1 medium slice
White Bread Slice – 1/2 – 1 medium slice
Bagel – 1/4 – 1/2 bagel
Naan Bread – 1/8-1/3 naan

Source: More JA, Emmett PM. Evidenced-based, practical food portion sizes for preschool children and how they fit into a well balanced, nutritionally adequate diet. J Hum Nutr Diet. 2015 Apr;28(2):135-54. doi: 10.1111/jhn.12228. Epub 2014 Mar 24.

Food should be a balance and carbs should never be eliminated from your children’s diet. However they should also not fill up totally on them either. A portion of carbs, a portion of protein and lots of veggies.

Based on these portion sizes, I wanted to create a low-carb recipe for children that would be not only delicious but would also give them a portion of veggies. These low-carb fries are absolutely delicious and are a perfect baby led weaning recipe too! Easy for little hands to manage, full of flavour and the kids loved them. Like really, really loved them 🙂

For this recipe I used a mix of carrot, parsnip and butternut squash which are all low-carb vegetables and non-starchy and mixed them in a delicious blend of paprika and onion powder. Then served with my absolute favourite sour cream from Dunnes Stores and parsley – which my toddler still picks off..grrrr!

These fries are perfect, sweet and light and compliment to any carb portion you give to your toddler. Life changing almost, well not quite but, your kids will love these, especially if they are a fussy eater.

All of the ingredients in this recipe are really inexpensive and available in your local Dunnes Stores.

For more ways to get your children eating vegetables you can read this blog which has tonnes of great tips too.

Taste and Rate (pretty please)
If you try this recipe, let us know how it goes! Leave a comment, rate it, and don’t forget to tag a photo #babyledfeeding on Instagram or Facebook.

Aileen xoxox

      • PREP TIME
      • 10 minutes
      • COOK TIME
      • 30 minutes
      • TOTAL TIME
      • 40 minutes
      • SERVES
      • 2 adults and 2 children

What goes in...

  • 1 tbsp sweet paprika
  • 2 tbsp onion powder
  • 3 tbsp polenta
  • Juice 1 lime
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 4 tbsp rapeseed oil
  • 8 carrots
  • 2 parsnips
  • 1 butternut squash
  • To Serve
  • Sour Cream
  • Parsley

How to make it...

  1. Pre-heat oven to 180ºC (350ºF).
  2. Add the paprika, onion powder, polenta, juice of the lime, garlic and rapeseed oil to a baking tray. Use a spatula to mix really well until it has turned into a paste, then set aside.
  3. Peel and slice the vegetables into fries shapes, then toss into the paste using your fingers to make sure that all of the vegetables are totally covered.
  4. Roast in the oven for 30 minutes or until the vegetables are soft on the inside but crispy and golden outside.
  5. Serve with a dollop of sour cream and sprinkle over some finely chopped parsley.