Hands down, creating healthy, child-friendly meals that taste good is one of the biggest challenges of parenthood. I’ve slaved for hours over what I thought was the perfect meal, only to be met with disappointment. It’s heart breaking!
Fortunately, I’ve since learned the error of my ways. Creating fantastic meals for your children doesn’t have to be complicated. In fact, usually the more simple dishes get the best response. Result! Here are four awesome child-friendly recipes that any Dad can make.
Not only are tacos quick, easy and tasty, but children love to get involved and help make them, too. Just be prepared to do some tidying up afterwards!
500g beef mince,
1 teaspoon of dried cumin,
1 teaspoon of dried paprika,
1 teaspoon of dried oregano,
1 cup of passata,
2 cups of chopped lettuce,
1 cup of chopped tomatoes,
1 cup of grated cheese,
1 peeled and chopped avocado OR guacamole,
First, preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius. Cook the mince in a large pan over a high heat, adding the herbs and spices. Add the passata, and stir well to ensure all of the ingredients are thoroughly combined. If your children are reluctant to eat vegetables, this is a good opportunity to sneak some extra onions or peppers into their meal – just cut them up into really small pieces first!
Reduce the heat and simmer for approximately 10 minutes, adding water to loosen the mixture if required. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
Warm the tacos in the oven for around 5 minutes. For hard shells, leave uncovered, but wrap them in foil if you want to keep the shells soft.
Put each of the toppings in a small bowl, and let the children build the tacos once the shells have been warmed. A tasty, fun meal that can be enjoyed by the whole family!
Baked Macaroni and Cheese
This childhood favourite is really easy to make, and can be prepared in a matter of minutes – perfect for those nights you need to create something tasty in a hurry.
2 cups of full-fat milk,
2 tablespoons of butter,
2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour,
250g of cheddar cheese,
450g of macaroni, cooked according to the instructions,
Salt and pepper (to taste).
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
In a saucepan, heat the milk until it’s hot, but not boiling, then remove from the heat. Whilst the milk is heating, melt the butter in a large pan over a low heat, and whisk in the flour until it forms a smooth paste. Cook for a minute, ensuring that you keep the mixture moving to prevent it from catching.
Gradually add the warm milk to the paste, whisking continually until it’s all combined. Cook for 5 minutes, until the sauce thickens.
Next, add half of the cheese and the seasoning. Mix well, until it’s evenly combined and the cheese has melted. Stir in the pasta, and transfer to a large baking dish. Add the remaining cheese to the top of the pasta.
Bake in the preheated over for 20 minutes, and serve.
Apple and Banana Popsicle
This recipe, taken from Parent.Guide, is one of my favorites. First of all, it doesn’t get much simpler. Second, the kids love it. Finally, it will get you bonus points for sneaking extra fruit into the little one’s diet. Could this be the perfect summer snack? I think so.
2 apples (peeled, cored and chopped),
1 cup of natural yogurt.
First of all, you’ll need to steam the apples until they’re really soft. When they’re ready, use a blender or food processor to blend all of the ingredients until completely smooth.
Finally, divide the mixture into Popsicle molds, and freeze.
These treats are perfect for children of all ages, and can be given to young babies to help combat any soreness associated with teething.
Strawberry and Banana Smoothie
For a simple, but healthy, dessert or snack, smoothies are an excellent choice. The Healthy Ideas Place suggests this is another great way to get your kids involved in the kitchen, as making the perfect smoothie doesn’t take much skill or preparation. Here’s their strawberry and banana smoothie recipe to get you started.
4 cups of frozen strawberries,
¾ cup of milk,
½ cup low-fat Greek yogurt,
2 tablespoons of honey (optional),
7-9 ice cubes.
Simply add all of the ingredients into the blender, and blend until smooth. Make sure your blender can cope with ice first though! If it can’t, use unfrozen strawberries and leave out the ice, to be on the safe side.
Thanks to Helen Cunningham, a Dad Network follower and subscriber for sending us in these gorgeous recipes and writing the post for us. I know what the wife can expect for tea tonight; A macaroni taco with a smooth popsicle for pudding!