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The vegetables have been taking over the jollof from Africa. Those crafty vegetables think they can stay hidden in the rice but the veg warriors are ready for the hunt. Your mission is to help the kids find them, eat them to defeat them and then let out our victory cheer…

Let’s get ready to rumble!

Tea-time adventures turn a meal into a game you play together. It’s about finding the fun in the food because that encourages children to eat it. It’s not so much about the recipe which puts the food on the plate (that’s up to you), but the fun which gets the food from the plate into their bellies.

This is a jollof rice recipe. We have suggested a simple jollof with plenty of vegetables served with an African stew. You can use any recipe you wish, or just go with the jollof rice alone. If you’re not so sure you want to try jollof, then just turn your regular rice pink with a squidge of tomato puree and a little water (or just ketchup will do), and add plenty of chunky veg – a frozen mixed veg works brilliantly here.

To get started, tell your kids that as part of Eat Them to Defeat Them you have a challenge called Rumble in the Jungle and ask if they would like to watch the video. Watch the video above together and repeat the rally cry, “let’s get ready to rumble”, with as much enthusiasm as you can muster.  Then ask the children if they want to help Chef Andrew to defeat the veggies.

Before you serve your jollof, you might want to watch the video again. As you serve, repeat the rally cry catchphrase, and then when you or your kids eat the vegetables you can say things like “you’re going down veggies” or “let’s defeat them”. During the meal, avoid any pressure and keep the mood fun. 

Once the meal is over, praise, praise, praise – but don’t mention health. “Well done, we defeated the veggies”. Remember, for veg-resistant children a sniff, a lick or a nibble is good progress – praise it. Then add a sticker to your Eat Them to Defeat Them wall chart, if you don’t have one you can download one here. Ask the kids if they enjoyed the challenge, and would they like to try another. Good luck.

Stew & Jollof Rice


Serves: 4

Prep time: 20 mins

Cook time: 45 mins



1 tbsp oil

1 onion, diced

200g chicken or veggie alternative

1 400g tin chickpeas, drained and rinsed

250g sweet potatoes, peeled, diced (or use pre-diced frozen sweet potatoes or squash)

200ml water

400g tomatoes, chopped (or 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes)

1 tsp garlic puree or 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped (optional)

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

1 tsp paprika

1 veg stock cube (optional)

1 tbsp honey

30g sultanas (optional)

1 tbsp soy sauce

1 tbsp sweet chilli sauce

1⁄2 bunch coriander, finely chopped (optional)

Jollof rice:

1 tbsp oil

1⁄2 onion, diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 yellow pepper, diced

50g peas (frozen is fine)

1 mug rice (ideally basmati, but you can use others and just check package instructions for how long it takes to cook)

400g tomatoes, chopped (or 1 400g tin chopped tomatoes)

2 mugs vegetable stock or water

½ tsp cayenne pepper (optional)

1 tbsp curry powder

2 tbsp tomato puree

Veg Portions / Serving: 5


Here’s our recommended recipe, or you can simply adapt your own recipe – just keep the veg chunky and serve with a reminder to the children to Eat Them to Defeat Them and say “Let’s get ready to rumble!”


Place a saucepan on the stove over medium heat, add the oil and onion, and cook until the onion begins to soften (about 5-10 mins), then add the chicken and cook until browned, about another 5 mins. If using veggie alternative, check packet for instructions, but most cook quickly so add to the pan at the next stage.

Add the sweet potatoes, chickpeas and water, bring up to the boil and cook for 2-3 minutes before adding the tomatoes, garlic, cumin, cinnamon, paprika, vegetable stock cube (if using), honey, sultanas (if using), and soy sauce (and veggie alternative, if using). Reduce the heat to a simmer.

Add the sweet chilli sauce and chopped coriander (if using) to the pan and continue to cook gently until the sauce begins to thicken, about 5-10 mins.

Place another saucepan fitted with a lid on the stove to heat and add the oil, onion, peppers, and peas, continue to cook until the vegetables soften and begin to colour, about 5-10 mins. Stir the rice into the pan and add the chopped tomatoes, vegetable stock or water, cayenne pepper (if using), curry powder and tomato puree. Thoroughly mix the ingredients together, reduce heat and simmer for about 12-20 minutes or until the rice is tender and the liquid is absorbed (add an extra splash or water if it’s not cooked when water is all absorbed). Remove from the heat and serve.

Have the kids help you measure and weigh ingredients, fill the mug for the rice with rice and water, and stirring things together (show them how to safely stir over the heat and keep a close eye on them). For more tips on cooking with kids check out Kids in the Kitchen on Simply Veg.