Mealtimes are a battlefield in most households as parents try every trick in the book to get the kids to eat. Take a break from playing the ‘dinner police’ by dishing up some of these meals which have the tick of approval from little ones. Full bellies and empty plates, here we come!
Choice chicken meals
Chicken is THE kid-friendly meat (after mince, of course!). Give these recipes a whirl the next time you are wondering what to make with the defrosted chicken.
1. Healthy Chicken nuggets
FACT: Kids LOVE chicken nuggets. But if the frozen packaged ones (coated in who knows what) give you the mum-guilts, try making these nuggets, which use only quality ingredients.
- See here for the Chicken nuggets recipe
2. Apricot chicken
Your nanna was onto something when she served up this old-fashioned favourite to you as a child – she just knew you would love the sweet apricot nectar sauce. Well, guess what? Your kids will too!
- See here for the Apricot chicken recipe
3. Chicken satay skewers
Thread meat on a stick and you have a novel dinner that kids will gobble up. These chicken skewers are marinated in a yummy peanut sauce that young palates love.
- See here for the Chicken satay skewers recipe
4. Honey soy chicken noodle stir fry
The combination of sweet honey with salty soy sauce is always popular with kids, but toss in noodles? Bam! You have yourself a dinner winner.
- See here for the Honey soy chicken noodle stir fry recipe
5. Slow cooker chicken drumsticks
Everyone loves chicken drumsticks and they’re even better when coated in a sticky bbq sauce. Being a ‘set and forget’ slow cooker dish, it’s also an easy one for the chef of the house to cook.
- See here for the Slow cooker chicken drumsticks in BBQ sauce
Pasta is the go-to ingredient when you need a quick, kid-friendly dinner that is guaranteed to get eaten. Try these pasta kid-faves.
6. 3-ingredient mac and cheese
What’s better than pasta swimming in a cheese sauce? Nothing as far as kids are concerned. But when the recipe has just three ingredients, we also have a hit with mums!
- See here for the 3-ingredient mac and cheese recipe
7. Spaghetti bolognese
Nothing beats good ol’ spag bol and this tasty recipe has the added goodness of hidden grated veggies. Your kids won’t even notice them while slurping it up!
- See here for the Spaghetti bolognese recipe
With layers of cheesy béchamel sauce, yummy tomato-y meat sauce and sheets of pasta, you can’t go wrong with this classic family dinner.
- See here for the Lasagne recipe
9. Leftover spaghetti pizza
Got some leftover spaghetti in the fridge? Use it up by making this kid-friendly ‘pizza’.
- See here for the Leftover spaghetti pizza recipe
10. One pan chicken alfredo
Save on the washing up by making this easy pasta dish all in the one pan. It has a lovely cheese and garlic sauce, which children adore.
- See here for the One pan chicken alfredo recipe
Pizza is always featured in the ‘kid meals’ section of menus for a few reason: it’s super tasty, easy to eat for little hands and sure to give parents time to enjoy their meal in peace. Give these pizzas a try at home.
11. Pussycat pizzas
Cute! What child could resist eating these adorable cat-shaped pizzas? Dinner eaten? You betcha.
- See here for the Pussycat pizzas recipe
12. Cheese pizza
Kids love pizza, but not the gourmet ones with sundried-this and roasted-that that us adults prefer. Save yourself some time and dosh and disappointed looks by making this simple, no-fuss pizza.
- See here for the Cheese pizza recipe.
13. Ham and pineapple pizza muffins
Topped with every child’s favourite pizza topping – ham and pineapple – these ‘pizzas’ are made even more kid-friendly by using individual-sized English muffins. Bonus, they are super quick to make.
- See here for the Ham and pineapple pizza muffins recipe
14. Pizza pops
Shove a stick in it and call it a pop and suddenly it gets eaten faster than you can say “dinner’s ready”!
- See here for the Pizza pops recipe
15. Noughts and crosses pizza
Who said kids shouldn’t play with their food? Oh, that’s right, WE DID! Well, this recipe for noughts and crosses pizza, which is dinner and a game in one, is the exception.
- See here for the Noughts and crosses pizza recipe
Marvellous mince meals
Mince – be it beef, chicken lamb or pork – is incredibly family-friendly, affordable and fast to cook. Try these meaty mince meals that kids love:
16. Mini lamb burgers
The perfect size for little hands to hold, these lamb burgers are flavoured with mustard and Worcestershire sauce and poked into a teeny tiny kid-sized bun.
- See here for the Mini lamb burgers recipe
17. Tasty tacos
Every child loves a ‘build your own’ meal and tacos are the ultimate when it comes to this! With a made-from-scratch seasoning, this recipe beats the preservative-laden one that comes in the box any day.
- See here for the Tasty tacos recipe
18. Chicken meatballs
Super popular with kids, these balls of yum can be threaded on skewers, rolled into flat bread or dipped into your child’s favourite sauce (they are especially nice with tzatziki).
- See here for the Chicken meatballs recipe
19. Shepherd’s pie
Potatoes teamed with mince, what child is going to turn their nose up at that?! This shepherd’s pie recipe has a secret ingredient that will make it a favourite in your family.
- See here for the Healthy shepherd’s pie recipe
20. Curried mince
Kids devour a curry if it’s mild AND made with mince instead of hard-to-chew chunks of meat. This recipe is made even more kid-friendly by the addition of pineapple, which adds a sweet and sour flavour.
- See here for the Curried mince recipe
Fantastic finger food
Sometimes kids just can’t be bothered with a knife and folk. While means they’ll happily eat what’s put in front on them with their mits. Here are some child-friendly finger food to serve up as dinner.
21. Fun sushi balls
Sushi is already a winner with kids, but their dinner will be even more appealing if you pop a funny face made out of seaweed on it!
- See here for the Fun sushi balls recipe
22. Crispy chicken dippers
- See here for the Crispy chicken dippers recipe
23. Chicken lettuce cups
Chicken mince parcelled in a crunchy lettuce leaf will be a novel enough meal to stop the kids from passing up on dinner.
- See here for the Chicken lettuce cups recipe
24. Vietnamese rice paper rolls
You might have trouble getting the kids to eat this one if you make it for them, but get them to build their own and it’s a sure thing that they will.
- See here for the Vietnamese rice paper rolls recipe
25. Lemony fish bites
Let your kids get their hands messy helping you to crumb these bite-sized fish fillets and they’ll gobble up their dinner no questions asked.
- See here for the Lemony fish bites recipe
Kids love anything novel and serving up breakfast for dinner (brinner!) will deliver full bellies at the end of mealtime. But brinner doesn’t have to mean slapping the cereal boxes and carton of milk on the table (not that there’s anything wrong with that!). Try these yummy ideas.
26. Baked eggs
More than just a dippy egg with toast, these baked eggs sit on layers of ham and are sprinkled in kale and parmesan cheese. Just be sure you cool them down before serving to the kids as the ramekins get quite hot.
- See here for the Baked eggs recipe
27. Savoury pancakes (using bulk pancake mix)
Who decided pancakes are a sweet treat only? Omit the sugar from this basic recipe and add some veggies, such as corn and zucchini, and you have a brinner meal the kids will gobble up.
- See here for the Bulk pancake mix recipe
28. Sweet corn fritters with tomato relish
Toddlers and older kids love corn fritters, so try serving this special breakfast treat for dinner one night. You can make the yummy relish, or simply buy one in a jar the next time you are shopping.
- See here for the Sweet corn fritters with tomato relish recipe
29. Potato, bacon and egg pies
Filling and scrumptious, these little ‘pies’ can be made for breakfast, brunch, lunch boxes or … brinner! Try adding some grated veg or frozen peas to up the nutrition factor.
- See here for the Potato, bacon and egg pies recipe
30. Homemade baked beans
Littlies love tinned baked beans but if you are a bit wary of what’s gone in them, then try making these homemade ones. Once you realise how easy it is, you’ll never buy the canned version again.
- See here for the Homemade baked beans recipe