It’s not been a perfect summer, but the weather’s definitely turned now and the kids are inside more. Happily though, the change in season means there’s loads of new produce coming through. Suddenly you’ll find that local and farmers’ markets and supermarkets are going to be full of gorgeous winter vegetables – potatoes, beetroots, tomatoes, leeks, courgettes and parsnips to name but a few. The list is huge, so it’s a great time to take the kids shopping with you. It may sound like a chore, but getting them involved can make it all a lot more fun. Send them off to get the ripest punnet of tomatoes, or pick the biggest parsnips from the boxes. They’ll learn loads from what you tell them to look out for, and take ownership of the food you take home,– which makes them more likely to eat their veg at dinnertime.
A great way to keep them occupied beyond the supermarket is to buy something you can use to cook with when you get home. If you buy all the ingredients for a beautiful wintery pie – such as Jamie’s blackberry and apple pie or turkey and sweet leek pie – you can get them involved in making the dough – mixing it, rolling it out and cutting it to go on top of all that lovely filling. Kids love to be treated like grown-ups, and when they sit down to dinner that night and get to say they helped to make the pie, they’ll be as proud as you are.