Top Recipes for Fussy Eaters (including babies, toddlers, husbands or distant family members)

Top Recipes for Fussy Eaters

(including babies, toddlers, husbands or distant family members)

It’s 5pm, you are in the kitchen, frantically preparing dinner. The kids are alternating between hangry shouting and gnawing your ankles. Finally you plate up and get everyone to the table. The first thing your toddler does when he sees the healthy risotto you made is scream - ‘I want chippies!!’ And proceeds to throw himself on the floor. Meanwhile your 4 year old crosses her arms and states with absolute certainty ‘I am NOT eating THAT!’ 

Emilie playing the ‘I’m not eating that’ game at her first birthday fruit smash photoshoot (disclaimer she had eaten quite a bit by this stage!!)

Emilie playing the ‘I’m not eating that’ game at her first birthday fruit smash photoshoot (disclaimer she had eaten quite a bit by this stage!!)

You glance up at that angelic family photo on the wall and remind yourself they can behave …sometimes! Then you look over at your husband in the hope that you will find some gratitude in his eyes, to see him picking at his plate delicately and muttering something about the repetitive presence of courgette in his meals. You are not alone. This is pretty much most days in our house ( minus the toddler and add in a boss baby instead!) But despite those dreaded family mealtimes there is hope. And no it doesn’t come in the form of microwave chips and all day breakfast in a tin. Well maybe sometimes it does. But mostly there is hope of delicious, nutritious food your picky family will love...

Mum and dad getting messy too at Isabel’s cake smash

Mum and dad getting messy too at Isabel’s cake smash

Mushroom Bolognaise

Yes you heard me. And this doesn’t even seem to phase my 4 year old who hates mushrooms. Basically pasta is generally a winner and add a tomato based sauce and you will find the kids shut up long enough to actually eat something. So this recipe ticks the boxes for delicious and nutritious because mushrooms are one of those things that are really good for you (one of the few foods high in vitamin D too) and are often rejected by kids because of their texture. On your way to to making your usual sauce for bolognaise when you would usually add in the mince/ Quorn etc add in a punnet full of finely chopped ( or wizzed in the blender making sure to leave a little chunkiness) chestnut mushrooms and fry as you would normally. The mushrooms are so meaty and savoury I find it doesn’t take anything away from the satisfaction of eating spag bol , and in fact my family have grown to love it more than the meat version we used to make. The added bonus is that this recipe is dairy free- and you could use gluten free pasta to adapt it too. The sauce is vegan unless you sprinkle cheese on top. I’d say that’s a win for both tired Mummas and for planet earth.

Jamie Oliver’s Homemade Chicken Nuggets

Because all non-alien children love a chicken nugget and even though you might think these are a phaf, actually they are super easy and the recipe makes loads to stock up your freezer with too. It’s a classic Jamie chuck it all in and swish it round kind of recipe. Chicken has long been hailed as a healthy protein choice with its low fat content compared to other meats and normally has a lower environmental impact than red meat such as beef. We likey. Just pair with some quick veg from the freezer or beans and you’re good to go. The recipe below uses cheese and yogurt but these could both be swapped for dairy free alternatives. There are plenty of yogurt alternatives to choose from and Violife now make a vegan Parmesan replacement.

Hidden Veg Macaroni Cheese

I love macaroni cheese. It’s just so comforting and artery clogging. But to think that some sneaky vegetables could make it healthy but still delicious is surely in the realms of unlikelyness next to me visiting a spa anytime soon or peeing without an audience. But I kid you not it IS possible. Butternut squash and sweet potato are both fairly sweet veggies so they work really well with the cheese, and the cauliflower? Well that has a pre-existing agreement with cheese. This one could easily be adapted with gluten free pasta, and is good for a vegetarian midweek meal.

Slow Cooker Chicken Tikka Masala

Not to be confused with a recipe that actually has to be made in the slow cooker. Because I make it and I don’t have one. Just simmer in a big pot on the hob on a low heat -for as long as you can bear waiting- to make the chicken nice and tender. I use chicken thighs and legs whole instead of breast meat as I find they don’t need cooking for as long before they become soft and delicious and also all those bones just add to the wonderful flavour of the curry. There is never an argument in my house when we are having hurry hurry chicken curry for dinner. And even better when you can just pull out a pot from the freezer and boil up some rice or lentils to go with it. Delish. A great dairy free swap I sometimes make is adding coconut cream instead of yogurt at the end. Still delicious and it enhances that sweet coconut flavour too.

Slimming World Prawn Risotto

And finally for the last recipe I asked Vicki our resident family photographer here at Photographvie what her go to meals are for her kids. Amongst a few of the classics- spaghetti bolognaise being one- she tells me her kids never refuse prawn risotto. I have to say both mine gobble prawns like some kind of starved sea predators so this one’s definitely going on my list. The great thing about this recipe is that you can sneak in grated or finely chopped veg without the kids really noticing. Once it’s cooked the textures are all similar so the toddler’s inbuilt healthy food detection alarm is fooled. Yes you can celebrate this small victory with a large glass of vino.... this is also prescribed if it goes horribly wrong and sticks to the pan while you’re pulling bunchems out of the baby’s ears or trying to unharness the dog from the latest Lego- Ninja Bat-mobile.


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