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Have you got a fussy eater in your house? It's hard finding recipes that will tempt picky children and lead to clean plates all round. Try some of these easy recipes below and adapt them by removing or replacing any ingredients you know your little ones won't like.
1. Hidden veg sauce
Hidden vegetable sauce is a hero in the eyes of fussy eater owners nationwide. Oh, the things you can hide in this ... !
Use this sauce alongside anything you know your child likes to eat such as pasta, rice or jacket potatoes.
Using a blender or food processor would be the easiest way to go. We really like this best-selling model by Nutribullet, which is available at Amazon.
2. Homemade pizza
Children of all ages love making pizza.
Often it's just as good cold, which is a bonus if you have a slow, as well as fussy, eater in your house!
3. Shepherd's pie
A traditional family favourite – popular with fussy eaters and mums alike because you can hide a multitude of vegetables in the sauce.
Easily adapted for vegetarians or made to go further by adding a can of baked beans.
Check out our Shepherd's pie recipe
4. Veggies with a dip
Vegetable batons with a tasty dip, such as hummus, are simple to make and fun to eat.
Toasted pitta, bread sticks and rice cakes make good dippers, too.
5. Mexican lasagne
If you have a fussy eater who doesn't like the slippery texture of pasta, this is a great alternative.
It's also an ideal make-ahead dish as it's super-easy to reheat and tastes as good – if not better – made ahead of time.
You'll need a lasagne dish, preferably one that's suitable for both cooking and serving. We love this durable and versatile set of two (includes two different sizes) that will take your delicious lasagne from oven to the table. You can find it at Amazon in various colours.
Eggs are a handy fridge standby and you can disguise all sorts of things in a delicious frittata ... including last night's leftovers!
Another dish that is great eaten hot or cold (ideal for slower fussy eaters or packed lunches).
7. Butternut squash soup
A batch of homemade butternut squash soup is a good freezer failsafe – dunk bread into it or add croutons for a bit of crunch. Make sure it's not too hot for fussy eaters, so it can be eaten straight away.
9. Sandwiches and wraps
Let your child pick the fillings (within reason!) for sandwich or wrap success.
If they don't like butter or spread, try cream cheese. Begin with what your child likes, and try adding new things gradually.
10. Fish pie
A great dish for even the fussiest of eaters that the whole family can share. Offer your little one a manageable-sized portion of potato topped fish pie and fingers crossed they'll ask for more!
11. Cheesy mash
Not a complicated recipe, we grant you, but one it's definitely a household favourite. Everybody loves cheese (don't they?) – usually even the fussiest of kids!
Get our cheesy mash recipe
We recommend using a sturdy potato masher for this recipe. This one from OXO has a larger base for quicker and more effortless mashing and you can get it here at Amazon .
12. Chicken nuggets
Healthier and much tastier than the shop-bought variety, these chicken nuggets are bound to entice even the fussiest of children.
Tip: Use wholemeal breadcrumbs for the coating to give them even more fibre. Find more tips and variations via the recipe link above!
This set of three 'roaster and chop' tray set is just what you need for prepping and cooking this delicious meal and you can get it here at Amazon .
13. Homemade vegetable crisps
Who doesn't like crisps? These root vegetable crisps are a far healthier option than shop-bought packets.
Use parsnips, sweet potatoes and beetroot for a tasty variety that are also very visually pleasing.
Make paper cones to put portions of the crisps in, and the kids will feel like they're eating from a genuine 'packet' of crisps.
14. Chicken pasta salad
A healthy lunch made with simple, but nutritious ingredients. Use iceberg lettuce if your child is a little intimidated by the watercress, and keep the chicken plain if your child isn't a fan of spices and herbs.
15. Banana muffins
These yummy easy banana muffins for kids are a great way to use up ripe bananas, and should tempt any fussy eater.
Check out the tips and variations in the recipe for some ideas for even healthier alternatives!
16. Potato wedges
All kids love chips, and these potato wedges for kids are a great healthy alternative.
Leaving the skin on keeps more of the nutrients in.
Make a mild salsa dip to go with them.
Sweet potatoes make tasty wedges, too.
17. Pizza bagels
Mini pizza bagels make a quick and easy meal that both kids and adults will love.
Just cut your bagels in half, top with cheese and your kid's favourite toppings, and still them under the grill until the cheese melts.
Kids can also help to make them by choosing the toppings, which will make it much more likely they'll actually eat them after all their hard work!
- pepperoni slices
- cucumber (added cold at the end)
18. Cheesy biscuits
These light and crispy cheesy biscuits are so simple to make. The perfect snack that all the family will enjoy, kids especially.
They are great to eat with dips or even dunked into a bowl of soup.
Use different shaped cookie cutters to make them even more appealing – cheesy unicorn anyone?
19. Baked bean curry
A very mild curry and an introduction to different spices and flavours for children with fussy tastes. The great thing about this baked bean curry recipe is that it's super quick and easy to make and the flavours can be easily adapted to suit everyone.
20. Fish fingers
This homemade fish finger recipe is delicious, healthy and cheap. Everyone loves fish fingers, and cod is a great way to introduce children to seafood. Use wholemeal breadcrumbs for a crunchy topping, to make these even healthier and full of fibre.
21. Chicken pesto pasta
With the pesto coating the pasta, your fussy eater is unable to pick the meal apart and it introduces them to flavour, without being too intense.
You'll need a colander to strain your pasta when cooked. We recommend this one, which is designed with heavy-duty handles and self-draining solid ring base. You can find it at Amazon.
22. Banana flapjacks
This is a great way to use up ripe bananas. Banana flapjacks are great for energy and a good source of potassium. Simple and tasty, these should tempt any fussy eater.
23. Chicken risotto
Risotto is so easily adaptable that you can change the flavours to make it more appealing to your kids.
We have snuck some peas into this chicken risotto , but wilted spinach would also make a nutritious meal.
24. Easy vegetable pasta
This is so easy to make and with few ingredients, there is less for your children to dislike!
It's comfortably creamy, but be sure to break the broccoli into teeny-tiny pieces, so it's unrecognisable.
25. Macaroni cheese
Pasta provides a good source of complex carbohydrates, so macaroni cheese is a great option to boost your child’s energy levels and calcium intake.
You will need a baking dish for this recipe. We recommend this enamelled stoneware dish from Le Creuset, which is ideal for baking and serving. You can find it here at Amazon in multiple colours.
26. Apple crisps
If you're looking for a healthier snack options, these apple crisps are great!
Your child won't even realise they're eating fruit!
27. Banana bread
Bananas are great for giving a sustainable boost of energy, making this banana bread recipe perfect for kids.
28. Kids strawberry smoothie - Raw Chi
This delicious smoothie includes no dairy and a whole lot of fruit. It's always a winner with kids!
Kids strawberry smoothie - Raw Chi
You will definitely need a food processor to make this healthy and delicious smoothie. We love this muti-tasking food processor, blender and mixer by Nutribullet as it's high-speed AND powerful. You can find it at Amazon .
29. Cauliflower rice
Cauliflower rice is a carb-free and healthy option for children, and if you're lucky they won't even realise it's veg!
30. Cucumber and yoghurt boats with red pepper sails
These cucumber sailing boats are so fun and cute your child won't even realise what they're eating!
50 Fun Foods
A great way to encourage your fussy eater to try new foods is to make it fun. Print off our 50 Fun Foods chart then get your child to try one new thing a day, marking off what they like and dislike as you go. When you've finished you should (hopefully!) have a long list of foods your child has tried and liked.
If your child doesn't like a food the first time they try it, don't give up! It can take as many as 10 tries of a new food before a child decides they like it, so perseverance is key.
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