Fussy Eater Meals

Fussy eaters… we all have at least one in the house! Most children are a little bit fussy with their eating – it’s completely normal (and don’t worry, they do grow out of it)! While you wait for the phase to pass, here are a few of my favourite recipes for the fussy eaters in my family.

Tomato soup with hidden veggies

This recipe is from a kids’ cookbook that I bought for the children a while ago (DK Complete Children’s Cookbook), but I’ve adapted it slightly to include more hidden veg. I like to serve it with these cute toast stars, but you could also serve with bread rolls or cheese on toast. You could even make your own croutons, by cutting shapes out of sliced bread, drizzling the bread shapes with olive oil and popping them in the oven for 10 minutes. Whatever the kids are happiest to mop it up with!

Ingredients:

  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 1 carrot, chopped
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 1 garlic clove, crushed
  • 1 tbsp plain flour
  • 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • 1 tsp mixed herbs
  • 450ml vegetable stock
  • Squeeze of lemon juice
  • A couple of thick slices of bread of your choice

Method:

  1. Heat a tbsp of olive oil in big saucepan and add the onion and carrot. Let it soften for about 5 minutes, then add red pepper. After a couple of minutes, add the garlic and flour and cook for 1 more minute.
  2. Add the chopped tomatoes, tomato puree, stock, herbs and lemon juice and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20-25 minutes. Remove from the heat and cool. If the soup is too thick, add more water.
  3. Whizz up the soup with a blender and leave to one side.
  4. Toast a couple of pieces of bread, and butter them. Use cookie cutters to cut out shapes. Serve with the soup for dipping!

Easy Avocado Pasta

Ingredients:

  • 250g uncooked pasta
  • 1 garlic clove
  • Handful fresh basil leaves
  • 1 to 2 tbsp lemon juice, to taste
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 ripe medium avocado, pitted
  • 1 tbsp water
  • Salt & pepper

Method:

  1. Cook the pasta according to the instructions on the packet.
  2. While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. In a small blender or food processor, combine the garlic and basil and pulse. Add the lemon juice, oil, avocado, and 1 tablespoon water and process until smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Drain the pasta and put it in a bowl. Add the avocado sauce and stir until combined. Serve!

Veggie Risotto

This is one of my favourite family recipes – kids love it and it’s also a great way to use up leftover bits in the fridge. Sometimes I add chopped mushrooms, or cooked chicken. You could add prawns or chorizo – it’s a very adaptable recipe!

Ingredients:

  • 50g unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 litre vegetable stock (you may not need all of this)
  • 250g arborio rice, uncooked
  • 200g cherry tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 courgette, grated
  • Salt and pepper
  • Large handful of freshly grated Parmesan, plus extra to serve

Method:

  1. Heat a little oil in a large pan and add the onion. Fry for a few mins until softened
  2. Add the butter and the risotto rice. Stir around for a minute or so – until grains of rice start to go translucent in the centre.
  3. Add the stock a ladle at a time, stirring in between. Wait til the rice has absorbed the stock before adding more.
  4. After 10-15 mins, add the grated courgette.
  5. When the rice is almost cooked, add the cherry tomatoes and cook for a few more minutes.
  6. When the rice is fully cooked, remove from the heat, season and stir through the parmesan.
  7. Serve with a squeeze of lemon and a sprinkle of parmesan.

Baked Rice Balls

This is a slightly healthier version of the Italian arancini balls, and a nice idea for using up leftover risotto. It’s also a great way to hide veggies inside something beige!

Ingredients:

  • 600g risotto (homemade or shop bought)
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 50g flour
  • 100g panko breadcrumbs

Method:

  1. Cook your risotto according to the packet instructions. If it doesn’t already have some veg in it, stir in some frozen peas/ and sweetcorn.
  2. Pre heat oven to 180c and line baking tray with baking paper
  3. Place the flour in one wide, shallow bowl, the beaten egg in another, and the breadcrumbs in another.
  4. Take a small handful of risotto and roll into a ball. Roll the ball in flour, then egg, and finally coat with the breadcrumbs. Repeat until you have used up all your risotto.
  5. Place the balls on a baking tray, lightly spray with olive oil and cook for about 20 minutes until golden and heated through.

The most delicious veggie pasta sauce

Ingredients:

  • Olive oil
  • 1 red pepper, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, whole
  • 3 vine tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 1 tbsp tomato puree
  • Tomatoes, chopped
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp mixed Italian herbs
  • Fresh basil
  • 3 tbsp cream cheese

Method:

  1. Heat some olive oil in a pan and add the red pepper, garlic, tomatoes, paprika and Italian herbs. Cook for 5-10 minutes until softened.
  2. Transfer to a small blender, add the basil, tomato puree and cream cheese. Whizz til smooth. Add a little water if the sauce is too thick.
  3.  Serve straight away with cooked pasta, or allow to cool and store in the fridge (up to 3 days) or freezer for another time.

Hidden Veggie Turkey Burgers

I’ve made these before in mini patties for packed lunches, but they are also perfect for dinner! Packed with lots of hidden vegetables and super tasty – the kids will love these!

Ingredients:

  • 1 egg
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp Dijon mustard
  • 1-2 spring onions
  • 500g turkey mince
  • ½ cup carrot, grated
  • ½ cup courgette, grated
  • 3 tbsp flour

Method:

  1. Add the egg, soy sauce, mustard and spring onions to a large bowl.
  2. Add the turkey mince and combine well. Add the carrot and courgette and mix together. Sprinkle the flour evenly over the mixture and combine. Allow to sit for 5 mins.
  3. Heat some oil in a pan.
  4. Scoop out handfuls of the mixture, form into burger patties and drop in the pan. Cook for about 5 minutes on the first side. Turn them over carefully (they are delicate!) and cook for another 5 minutes.
  5. Serve in a burger bun, with chips or salad. These can be stored in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 4 days, or frozen.

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