You probably use tinned baked beans already, but how much do you use other types of tinned beans and lentils? From a practical point of view they could not be easier to use, and just need heated through.
They provide protein, fibre, iron and B vitamins, and a portion of beans, lentils or pulses counts towards your five portions of fruit and veg per day. If you would like to increase your child’s nutrient intake then look no further!
- Get more tinned beans (and nutrients) by choosing those in unsalted water.
If your child likes traditional baked beans, start with small pale-coloured tinned beans, such as haricot beans. Once your child has got used to these then you can try different varieties like larger cannellini beans, or small and dark black beans.
- Add a small amount of the beans to familiar meals like savoury mince or casserole, around 5 minutes before the end of the cooking time. They will blend in to these meals more easily and provide a soft and creamy texture. Over time you can increase the amount of beans.
- Some good meat and bean combinations are: cannellini beans with beef, chickpeas or green lentils with lamb, and haricot beans with pork or sausages.
Beans and lentils are very filling, so you don’t always need to serve potatoes or rice with them. Instead add wholemeal pitta bread and you will tick even more nutritional boxes, and save yourself more time!
Next time: ways to talk about healthy eating with kids