5 meals for fussy eaters

Turn mealtimes into a fun activity with these recipes that kids can customise themselves

It’s dinnertime… you shimmy to the stove and whip out the meal that’s been slow-cooking since this morning. Your family does a choreographed dance, laying the table, pouring drinks, high-fiving! Then you land in your seats and talk about your day while every single plate is licked clean.

OR… maybe, you live in a house like mine with children who only like to eat SNACKS. They come to the table with a device stuck to their nose and the only way you can get them to eat anything is by serving up a dishful of threats and bribes.

If you’re stuck in a rut with a house full of picky eaters, take the battle out of mealtimes with these recipes that kids can customise themselves. And because they’re quick and easy to prepare, they give a bit of time back to you.

1) DIY Pizzas: buy pizza bases and toppings and let your little chef do the rest!

What you’ll need: pizza bases, tomato pasta sauce, grated mozzarella and your chosen toppings: some instant child-friendly options include mushrooms, olives, tinned sweetcorn, ham, pineapple chunks and cherry tomatoes

What you do:

1. Set up all the ingredients on the table and show your children how to spoon and spread tomato sauce onto a pizza base.
2. Now they can sprinkle with mozzarella and add their favourite toppings.
3. Pop in the oven for about 8-10 minutes. Then present your child with their very own pizza.

2) Top-your-own-pasta: prepare this pasta in sweet tomato sauce and let your kids do the rest.

(Serves 6)

What you’ll need: tomato pasta sauce (find out how to make your own veg-packed sauce on BBC Good Food, 400g pasta, parmesan, then your chosen toppings: jar of pesto/canned tuna/shredded ham/cooked chicken/more parmesan

What you do:

1. Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions and then toss with the sauce and a sprinkling of Parmesan. Put into a big bowl on the table along with bowls of the other ingredients.
2. Now call your fussy family to the table and tell them they’re building their own meal tonight. They can scoop the pasta and add whichever extra toppings they like.

See the original recipe

Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

3) Roll-your-own fajitas: a healthy take on this Tex-Mex fave.

(Serves 4)

What you’ll need: 2 tsp ground cumin, pinch cayenne pepper, 2 tbsp vegetable oil, 1 onion (halved and sliced), 3 red peppers (cut into strips), 300g rump steak (sliced), a small handful of fresh coriander, 8 flatbreads. Toppings: 100g cheddar cheese (grated), salsa, guacamole and/or sour cream

What to do:

1. Ask your kids to measure the cumin, coriander and cayenne into a bowl and then mix with a pinch of salt and pepper.
2. Follow this easy recipe to prepare the meat and vegetables. 
3. Heat the wraps while your kids bring the bowls of meat, vegetables, toppings and wraps to the table so everyone can help themselves.

See the original recipe 

Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

4) Easy homemade nuggets: kids only like beige food? Get them to make this healthy version!

(Serves 2)

What you’ll need: 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 skinless chicken breast fillets, 25g fresh breadcrumbs, 25g Weetabix, BBQ sauce (or make your own)

What to do:

Your child can help with all of these stages, but please remember that if they touch raw chicken they mustn’t put their fingers in their mouth and they will need to wash their hands straight away.

Mayonnaise provides a really easy way to coat the chicken in the crumbs. For a step-by-step guide, visit BBC Good Food.

Serve with BBQ sauce and chips or salad.

See the original recipe

Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

5) Get-ahead tacos: easy slow-cooker chilli jam-packed with veg, plus child-pleasing toppings

(Serves 2-4)

What you’ll need: slow-cooked chilli (find out how to make it here, tacos, plus your preferred toppings: e.g yoghurt, grated cheese, sliced avocado

What to do:

Serve in a bowl with the toppings so your family can build their own tacos.

See the original recipe

Photo courtesy of BBC Good Food

 

 

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