Kids can be frustratingly fussy at dinnertime. Our advice? Get them involved in the kitchen – this will give them an element of control when it comes to what ends up on their plates, and should generally help boost their interest in food.
Who knows, you might even be able to sneak an extra portion of veg past them…
We’ve compiled some of our favourite weeknight dinners that are fun to make with kids, and super tasty to boot.
chicken and mixed pepper fajitas
Kids love fajitas because of the 'build it yourself', laid-back vibe. Enlist their help to smash up those avocados and bring all the different components of this tasty dish together – warm, soft wraps, spicy chicken, crunchy coleslaw and creamy avocado.
pork and pineapple kebabs
Whether you opt for chicken, halloumi, pork or veg, you can't beat a kebab. Once you've marinated and diced up the ingredients, let the kids thread them onto the skewers themselves.* This pork and pineapple dish is all the more gratifying because of how speedily it comes together, with around 8 minutes of cooking time.
crumbed chicken with butternut squash waffles
This crumbed chicken will be a hit with kids on every level. First of all, they'll love bashing the chicken breasts until flat. Put the breadcrumbs, flour and eggs in separate bowls for easy dipping – and encourage kids to mix up all of the shredded veg into a tasty coleslaw.
vegetable pizza with sweet potato wedges
We can't imagine many kids turning up their noses at a dinner of pizza and chips! We've given our version a healthier spin by using sweet potatoes and throwing plenty of veg onto the pizza – as a result, this dish counts as two of your five a day.
Easy peasy fishcakes
These fishcakes are both super fun and super tasty. Crushing up the cornflakes for the coating and shaping the patties are both brilliant jobs for little hands, and made even easier if you’ve got biscuit cutters you can use. Don’t feel obliged to stick to just fish shapes — hearts, squares, stars and any other shape cutter you’ve got would work, too.
Chicken and sweet potato boats
Sweet potato mash, BBQ chicken and sweetcorn all wrapped up in a crispy potato skin. This might look like indulgent, but one serving actually packs an impressive 3 of your 5-a-day! Plus calling them boats definitely adds to the fun factor. Get the kids to help mix the cooked ingredients together and stuff the filling back into the boats. Dinner's ahoy!
Green pea falafels
These tasty patties are flavoured with fresh herbs and mild spices, and coloured with beautiful green peas. Put the flatbreads, tahini yogurt, salad and falafels on the table and let everyone assemble their own for an element of fun.
Spinach and ricotta pancake cannelloni
Who doesn’t love pancakes? Swap pasta for pancakes in this classic Italian dish for a delicious twist that will have everyone going back for seconds.
There are plenty of jobs here for the kids to get involved with, from whisking the batter to filling the (cooled) pancakes and layering up the baking dish. Just make sure any hot jobs, like cooking the pancakes and putting the bake into the oven, are done by a grown-up.
turkey meatballs with red pepper sauce
Pasta and courgetti come to life in this flavour-packed sauce loaded up with fresh, sweet red peppers and tomatoes. Spiralising the courgettes is a great job to delegate to one of your little helpers — they'll love watching the courgette 'noodles' come out the other side.
*Remember that skewers can be sharp and little ones may need extra supervision!