The range, which went on sale last week, kicked off with star-shaped butternut squash bites, and will be rolled out to include other produce including smiley sweet potato faces.
The supermarket chain said: ‘Traditionally a technique used for products like tinned alphabet spaghetti and frozen potato dishes, this is the first time this approach has been used for fresh fruit and veg.
‘We have taken learnings from how children relate to foods with interesting shapes and sizes, and hope it will help make meal times more engaging and fun – and encourage them to explore a wider range of vegetables.’
Tesco vegetable buyer Elizabeth Hall added: “We want to give parents a helping hand with encouraging their kids to eat more vegetables. We’ve taken a lot of the hassle out of preparing vegetables like butternut squash, which might deter busy cooks at home, whilst also making them more appealing for children. We hope that by adding a touch of novelty, we can make vegetables a nutritious and fun part of every meal.”
The move has been welcomed by the National Farmers’ Union (NFU). Ali Capper, chairman of the NFU’s Horticulture Board, said: “Congratulations to Tesco for addressing how we can instil a love of fruit and vegetables in children from a very young age. We have long been calling on food manufacturers to create fun-shaped fruit and veg for children in smaller-sized portions, which we believe could have a role in helping to reverse the current obesity crisis.”
The Butternut Squash Stars are available in 200 Tesco stores across the UK and cost £1.50 per 250g pack.