Vegetable soda bread from Get Your Kids To Eat Anything – book review

This delicious vegetable packed soda bread recipe comes from Get Your Kids To Eat Anything by Emily Leary – a fantastic book to banish picky eating and make family mealtimes interesting & fun!

I am extremely blessed in that my daughter Kipper will eat just about anything. Not tomatoes – she hates tomatoes! – but pretty much anything else. But I realise that many other parents are not so fortunate, and that children can be picky almost to the point of starvation! I recently asked my Facebook followers to name one food that their kids won’t eat, and received the following replies:

“Only one?”

“One! I wish!”

“One of mine wouldn’t eat any fruit or veg save apples and watermelon.”

So it should be no surprise that Emily Leary’s book “Get Your Kids To Eat Anything” was so hotly anticipated ahead of its release!

Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by Emily Leary.

Easy stages are a recipe for success

Emily, who blogs at A Mummy Too, has spent years advising parents on how to tackle their fussy eaters and encourage good eating habits. She has collected all her experience into this book, which guides parents through a 5-phase programme that will change the way they approach family meals. Successful completion will broaden children’s culinary horizons and make mealtimes more interesting and less stressful for everyone involved.

Vegetable soda bread from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything.

The programme is broken down into the following:

Phase 1: Put the unfamiliar into the familiar.
Give ‘safe’ family favourites a new twist or a fun makeover to pique your kids’ interest.
Phase 2: Educate.
Learn with your kids! Experiment with flavours and have a go at growing your own food.
Phase 3: Discover the fun in food.
Encourage your kids to get creative with some exciting new dishes.
Phase 4: Step into the unknown.
This section includes some surprising recipes to nudge kids out of their comfort zones.
Phase 5: Cement variety.
Techniques to ensure family mealtimes never become boring or routine.

Vegetable soda bread from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything with a selection of salads.

Delicious recipes the whole family will love

As well as background information and instructions, each phase includes numerous delicious recipes. These include plenty of vegetarian options like Puy lentil shepherd’s pie, Tomato and wild garlic focaccia, peach and plum breakfast bagels, and Smoked cheese and apple quesadillas.

There are also plenty of great illustrations and charts to fill in, including reflection journals, tasting charts, and of course weekly meal planners. The book holds your hand all the way through Emily’s programme to give you the best chance of success!

Vegetable soda bread from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything, fresh from the oven.

Busy in the kitchen!

Since there was no point trying out the method on my already quite adventurous eater, Kipper and I decided to test out the recipes instead. We made this delicious “Sticky hands vegetable soda bread” as part of an informal Sunday lunch with friends. Kipper grated the courgette and carrot while I got everything else ready. Then she helped to mix the dough together.

Annoyingly, I found we didn’t have quite enough wholemeal flour to make the soda bread recipe exactly as written so I had to substitute a little bit of white flour. We also substituted natural yogurt for the buttermilk. I don’t know how different our vegetable soda bread was from the original but it was certainly delicious! Kipper ate two thick slices for her lunch and asked if there was any left for breakfast.

Get Your Kids to Eat Anything: The 5-phase programme to change the way your family thinks about food by Emily Leary, is published by Mitchell Beazley, RRP £16.99. It’s available from Amazon and other bookshops.

Sticky hands vegetable soda bread recipe from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything by Emily Leary.

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Sticky-hands vegetable soda bread

This easy, no-knead, no-prove bread has vibrant flecks of colour thanks to a generous handful of carrot and courgette. Expect to get messy, sticky hands as you make the dough – it’s all part of the experience!
Course Bread, Side Dish
Keyword carrot, courgette, soda bread
Prep Time 30 minutes
Cook Time 1 hour
Total Time 1 hour 30 minutes
Servings 4
Author Emily Leary


  • 50 g carrot, shredded (1¾ oz)
  • 50 g courgette, shredded (1¾ oz)
  • 400 ml buttermilk (the thick kind) (14 fl oz)
  • 1 medium free-range egg
  • 350 g self-raising wholemeal flour (12 oz)
  • plus 50–100g (1¾–3½oz) for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda


  • Preheat the oven to 220C (400F), 200C fan, Gas Mark 6. Line a 500g (1lb) loaf tin with nonstick baking paper.
  • Grab 2 bowls, and tip all the wet ingredients (carrot, courgette, buttermilk, egg) into one, and the dry ingredients (flour and bicarbonate of soda) into the other.
  • Mix each bowl well.
  • Form a well in the middle of the dry ingredients, then pour the wet ingredients into it. Mix until well combined.
  • Dust your work surface with the extra flour and tip the dough onto it. Gently form the dough into a sticky rectangle, just firm enough to hold its shape and place in the prepared tin.
  • Score some 1cm (½ in) deep lines in the top and bake for 50–60 minutes.
  • To test if the loaf is baked through, take the loaf out of the tin and tap on the bottom to see if it sounds hollow. Leave to cool inside the tin with a clean tea towel over the top (this helps to soften the crust a little).


Try adding nuts and seeds, or experiment with other veg: grated beetroot will turn your loaf pink!

Vegetable soda bread from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything.

If you’d like more family recipes using carrots and courgettes, try my courgette and carrot pasta, carrot & parsnip kugel, or creamy courgette puff pastry tart. And for more family-friendly savoury breads, how about loaded cheesy breakfast focaccia, or quick and tasty malawach – Yemenite fried flatbread.

Cook Blog Share I’m linking this post up with #CookBlogShare.


  1. I am ‘lucky’ like you and have 2 kids who will eat almost anything. I say ‘lucky’ – the fact is their mum’s a food blogger and plonks down her latest creation in front of them and says (in slightly kinder words) ‘it’s this or starvation’. Turns out that’s been quite a good strategy – haha! They are now very happy to eat all sorts of weird and wonderful food and give me useful critiques too – like ‘this needs less chilli / more garlic etc.’ They are turning into proper little foodies!

    This bread looks absolutely amazing. I am a HUGE fan of soda bread… but I’ve never tried putting veg in a soda bread loaf before – that needs to be tried! Thanks for linking up to #CookBlogShare. Eb x

    • LOL! This is the exact strategy that has created our adventurous eater too. There must be something in it! We love soda bread as it’s so quick and easy and super yummy but I must admit that it’s usually pretty plain in our house too. This recipe was quite a bit more adventurous than our standard loaf but it was really delicious. We’ll definitely make it agin!

  2. jacqui Bellefontaine

    OMG that bread looks fabulous. I dont have fussy children to feed but I do have two strapping young men living at home at the moment and they are always hungry and cant get enough bread so Im going to be giving this a go.

  3. This bread sounds great, as does the book!

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