As lovely as it would be, there’s no quick-fix cure for fussy eating.
The subject of food and feeding is something we have to focus on as parents from weaning right up to their teenage years, but at the same time it shouldn’t dominate family life and cause unnecessary stress every day.
That’s why I try to make all my recipes as quick and easy as possible, using simple ingredients that you can buy in any supermarket. Minimal stress, maximum taste and a happy family!
Created with fussy eaters in mind but with food that the whole family will enjoy, the recipes are designed to expand your family’s diet and get everyone eating a little healthier and with a lot more fresh produce.
There will be some recipes that your kids will love and others that they’ll hate – that’s inevitable – but it’s the small changes that you make that will have the greatest impact over a period of time.
Pancakes are a classic weekend breakfast and my Fruity Pancake recipe uses only bananas to sweeten the batter.
Serves: 4 (makes about 8 pancakes)
Prep time: 3 minutes
Cook time: 12 minutes
2 medium-ripe bananas
50g rolled oats
50g plain flour
pinch of ground cinnamon
150g mixed berries, roughly chopped
1 tbsp coconut oil
1 Peel and mash the bananas in a bowl then add the eggs, oats, flour, milk and cinnamon. Mix well with a spoon. Fold in the berries.
2 Melt half the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Using an ice cream scoop or spoon, heap the batter into the frying pan. You should be able to fit 4 pancakes into the pan at a time.
3 Fry the pancakes for about 3 minutes on each side until they are lightly browned.
4 Transfer the cooked pancakes to a plate. The pancakes will still be quite soft on the inside because of the fruit, but leave them to cool for a few minutes and they will firm up.
5 Meanwhile, melt the remaining oil in the pan and cook the rest of the batter, making another 4 pancakes.
Cheesy chicken fritters
These fritters make the perfect finger food for lunch served with some raw veggies on the side.
Serves: 4 (makes 8 fritters)
Prep time: 7 minutes
Cook time: 16–20 minutes
100g cream cheese
60g grated Cheddar cheese
50g plain flour
1 tbsp chopped chives
350g skinless chicken breasts, cut into small pieces
1 tbsp olive or vegetable oil
salt and pepper, to taste
crisp lettuce leaves, to serve
creme fraiche, to serve
1 Mix together the eggs, cream cheese, grated cheese, flour and chives in a large bowl. Add the chopped chicken and season with salt and pepper.
2 Heat the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat. Use an ice cream scoop or spoon to transfer four portions of the chicken mixture to the frying pan. Press them down with a spatula and cook each fritter for about 4–5 minutes on each side until they are fully cooked through.
3 Transfer the fritters to a plate lined with kitchen paper and cook the remaining fritters.
4 Serve immediately, in lettuce ‘cups’, with creme fraiche for dipping, or leave to cool at room temperature.
5 The fritters will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to two days.
Broccoli & cheese quesadilla
I always think of a quesadilla as a Mexican-style toasted sandwich! It’s a great way to sneak veggies into lunch. You can change the recipe depending on what vegetables you have in the fridge.
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 5 minutes
150g cooked broccoli, chopped
75g grated Cheddar cheese
1 tbsp cream cheese
50g drained tinned sweetcorn
25g red pepper, chopped
2 large wholemeal tortilla wraps
salt and pepper, to taste
1 Mix together the cooked broccoli, grated cheese, cream cheese, sweetcorn and red pepper in a large bowl. Season with a little salt and pepper.
2 Place one of the tortilla wraps in a large frying pan and spread the broccoli and cheese mixture on top, leaving just a small gap at the edge of the wrap.
3 Place the other wrap on top and press down gently.
4 Cook for 2 minutes over a low heat, being careful not to burn the wrap, then flip it over and cook for a further 1–2 minutes on the other side.
5 Remove the quesadilla from the frying pan and cut into 4, 6 or 8 triangles. Serve immediately.
These loaded nachos are a regular Saturday night treat in my house. My kids love how much fun they are and it’s nice for us all to share food out of one big dish.
Prep time: 10 minutes
Cook time: 17 minutes
3 large tortilla wraps
1 tbsp olive or
500g lean minced beef
1 tsp ground cumin
1 tsp smoked paprika
1 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp mild chilli powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder
150ml beef stock
50g grated Cheddar cheese
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and
1 yellow pepper, halved, deseeded and
10 cherry tomatoes, quartered
2 spring onions, finely diced sour cream, chopped fresh coriander and lime wedges, to serve
1 Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C Fan/Gas Mark 6 and line 2 baking trays with baking parchment or foil.
2 Stack the tortilla wraps on top of each other and cut the stack into 8 triangles, as if you were cutting a pizza, to make 24 triangles in total.
3 Brush both sides of the tortilla chips with a little oil and place them on the baking trays (if there’s not enough room on the trays you may have to bake them in batches).
4 Bake the chips in the oven for 5–6 minutes, turning them over halfway. You want them just turning crispy but not too brown.
5 Meanwhile, heat the remaining oil in a frying pan over a medium heat, add the mince and fry for 4–5 minutes until browned. Add the spices and garlic powder and mix well. Add the beef stock and simmer for 10 minutes until the stock has reduced right down.
6 Once the tortilla chips are all baked, put them into a baking dish (I use a 27 x 22cm dish). Add the cooked mince on top then scatter over the toppings – grated cheese, peppers, cherry tomatoes and spring onions. Bake in the oven for 5 minutes.
7 Remove from the oven and serve the loaded nachos in the dish with sour cream, fresh coriander and lime wedges on the side.
One-pot salmon linguine
I’m a big fan of one-pot pasta meals and this salmon version doesn’t disappoint. It’s so quick and easy to make and is a great way of making a small amount of salmon go a long way.
Prep time: 2 minutes
Cook time: 10 minutes
250g skinless salmon fillet, cut into large chunks
300g linguine, strands broken in half
400g tin coconut milk
500ml hot vegetable stock
1 red pepper, halved, deseeded and diced
75g baby corn, halved
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 shallot, diced
1 tsp medium curry powder
1 Put all the ingredients in a large saucepan or shallow casserole dish and bring to the boil over a medium heat.
2 Reduce the heat and simmer for 8–10 minutes until the spaghetti and salmon are cooked and all the stock has been absorbed, stirring regularly. Serve immediately.