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Tomatoes

What do pizza, ketchup and baked beans all have in common? They are all made with tomatoes, and kids usually love them! This incredibly flexible vegetable can be used raw in salads, is the basis of many sauces, is great in stews, and can even be juiced. No wonder it is the world’s number one, numero uno, vegetable – collectively, we humans eat 170 millions tonnes every year! Tomatoes are at their best over the summer, but a ripe tomato is always a winner. They are ever so different raw and cooked, however, so if a child isn’t a fan of it one way, you may still be able to convince them of its delights the other way.
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Understanding Veg

Hang on, hang on – it’s not a vegetable, it’s a fruit! Well, botanically speaking it is, but in nutritional and culinary terms it’s a vegetable – it makes no sense, but we don’t care, because they are great.
Today the biggest tomato fight in the world happens each year in the small Spanish town of Buñol. The festival, called La Tomatina, involves some 40,000 people throwing 150,000 tomatoes at each other! Search out the videos online – it’s insane.

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Nutrition

Tomatoes are a source of vitamin C, which keeps our immune system working properly so we can fight illness and flu.

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Shopping Guide

Try shopping for tomatoes that have a good weight for its size and ideally should be firm, whilst giving into any real pressure. Look out for dark spots and blemishes.

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Storage

Whole tomatoes are best kept on the counter until ripe, then either eat straight away or move to the fridge for up to 1-2 weeks. Once cut, wrap tightly or place in an airtight container and keep in the fridge for a couple of days.

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Serving Suggestion

This incredibly flexible vegetable can be used raw in salads, is the basis of many sauces and is great in stews.

Coming In:

April

At Its Best:

May - December

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Engage

Here are some of our favourite ways to engage kids with tomatoes:

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Your Food

Find your go-to meals in our family favourites section and see what veggies work best with them.

We’ve gathered together 15 of the nation’s favourite meals and given you step-by-step ways to make small improvements, helping you to make healthier dinners the easy way, and even showing you which veg work best with which recipes.
 
Find out how to add more veg to your suppers here.
 
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If You Like Tomatoes…Try

Does your child enjoy tomatoes? That’s great! Tomatoes are usually soft and have a sweet-and-sour flavour, so why not try a similar texture and/or taste…

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Serving

The moments before food is offered can be a perfect opportunity for engagement that can help make it more likely a child will eat it!

The first thing to do is remove the pressure. If the veg doesn’t get eaten, it’s not the end of the world. There will be other days, other dinners, other chances. Fun is key here – try not to worry about mess, perfect table manners, or playing with food. Instead, focus on making the process of getting the food to the plates, readying the table, and the actual eating relaxed.

The best principles for success here are the Three Rs (role modelling, rewarding, re-offering) which you can read about here.

But there is one more way you can serve for success, and that is giving your child a role. You don’t have to do this every time, just encourage them in their strengths through it when you can.

Here are some of our favourite ideas:

Design a menu

Come up with a silly name or story for a dish

Help with making a meal plan and choosing veg for dinners or snacks

Help to serve up the meal on dishes, lay the table or create a centrepiece to be involved in the physical ‘serving up’ process

The Wonderful World of Veg

Check out our vegepedia. When to buy in-season. How to store them to keep for longer. How to engage children with each veg, and simple ideas of how to prepare and cook them for maximum taste and minimum waste. Select a veg…

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