5 dinners your kids will actually eat.


Throughout my early twenties (before I studied nutrition), I moonlighted as a personal chef and caterer. So, although I don’t yet have kids myself, I’ve shopped for, prepped and cooked hundreds of dinners for many busy families.

The secret to a repeat customer?

Simple meals and familiar ingredients cooked in ways the kids will actually like and eat.  Of course, this needn’t mean fish and chips and spaghetti Bolognese; the following recipes are testament to the fact that simplicity can still be exciting and delicious.

From a nutritional perspective, you’re looking for meals that are easily digestible and which combine all three macronutrients – protein, natural sugar (carbohydrate) and a little fat. This achieves two important things:

  1. It provides kids’ cells with everything needed to grow, regenerate and produce energy efficiently; and
  2. It balances blood sugar to ensure a restful, uninterrupted night’s sleep.

Monday: Mexican Mince-Stuffed Sweet Potato

An extremely easy (and crowd-pleasing) weeknight dinner. Leave the toppings for the kids to decide: diced avocado, corn kernels, Greek yogurt or a fresh tomato and coriander salsa are all great.

Get the recipe here.

Tuesday: Warm Tuna, Mango and Rice Noodle Salad

Of all grains, white rice and rice noodles are the most benign and easily-digested (there’s a reason they’re a staple in Asian diets!) They also provide a highly efficient stream of glucose for growing, active bodies.

To jazz up this salad for any adults eating, add some fresh coriander and mint leaves and some sliced red chilli. If you don’t like (or can’t get a hold of) tuna, substitute salmon or chicken.

Get the recipe here.

Wednesday: Sweet and Sour Chicken Meatballs


Take advantage of summer’s best fruit – ripe apricots and sweet, juicy pineapple – to make a delicious sweet and sour sauce. This recipe makes enough meatballs for two meals. Bake half and freeze the remaining half in a long, shallow container, so that they’re ready to defrost and bake on a night when you don’t have time (or simply can’t be bothered!) to cook. If you like, you can also double the sauce recipe and freeze half.

Get the recipe here.

Thursday: Savoury Baked Oats with Corn, Tomato and Mozzarella


This is a great alternative to baked pasta (and is infinitely easier to make). Cheesy, crunchy and with bursts of sweetness from the corn, kids will absolutely love it.

Nutritionally, oats are fantastic – they contain a substance called beta-glucan, which has been shown to improve our blood lipid profile, increase immune function and also regulate appetite.

Get the recipe here.

Friday: Make a plate

The best (and most loved) dinners are often the simplest. Why not put together a plate of your kids’ favourite components? Think protein, starchy vegetable or grain, a little fat, plus a fruit and green vegetable. You’ll cover all your nutritional bases, balance their blood sugar for a restful night’s sleep and save yourself the stress and effort of slaving over a hot stove. Everybody wins!

Get the recipe here.

This post was originally published on Need more dinner suggestions? Try these: 

Cassie is a qualified nutritionist who consults with clients both in person at her Sydney practice and abroad via Skype. Her philosophy towards health is grounded in clinical research and the fundamental workings of human physiology. In her spare time, Cassie is a passionate foodie, personal chef and caterer.

Get your copy of Don’t Quit Sugar here.

What simple recipes do you have, you know your kids will eat? 

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