what do your kids eat for dinner?

I love how when you’re with mums you do often end up talking mum topics! And I was chatting to one lovely mum and she asked was dinner time a struggle in our house. Short answer, no. Do I have some fussy eaters? Oh yes. You should see when I try to serve them salad. But generally they eat most of what is put in front of them (well most of the time) and they know that there is nothing afterwards. Tillie learnt that one early on. There was a time I had to take her to the Dr because she just wouldn’t eat dinner. She’d come to the table, look at it and walk away.

sunday picnic indoors

But she got there in the end and recently she ate roast chicken and the veggies, gave me the plate, hugged me and thanked me for such a yummy dinner and being the best ‘cooker’ in the world. See…light at the end of the tunnel, mums. But generally I cook what they love to eat and if retro daddy doesn’t like what we’re having that night then we have a salad or something else later on. So here we go

sushi….if they can wait for the rice to cool then we love to make sushi. Tuna and avocado is a favourite of theirs. I’ve got some sushi recipes here and here.

sushi rice with tuna/mayo and avocado slices and tamari on top – basically it’s sushi in a bowl. Delicious. Leftover chicken heated up is also good with just some tamari on top of the bowl of rice and chicken.

tuna macaroni or macaroni cheese...they would eat this 24/7 given the chance

pasta with tuna in the thermomix…basically a tomato/tuna dish cooked from scratch in the thermomix and tastes like a proper marinara. Delicious and it’s shirts off to eat this one as it gets messy but totally worth it

lasagne.…worth the time and effort. I just shared our favourite lasagne here and a quick vegetable lasagne is here (way back from the archives of 2009!)

Chicken pie…always a winner, just shared it last week here and originally here.

sausages in bread….my kids also love the sanitarium veggie sausages in some bread, tomato sauce is essential. Today I’m making tomato sauce in the thermomix for the first time. It’s only taken me 2 years to get there.

frittata or zucchini slice…oldie but a goodie but always gets eaten unless I overdo the spinach or add peas then look out. Zucchini slice is great with feta, bacon and whatever vegies you have going. This is a great gluten and dairy free recipe here. And my all time favourite frittata and we’re going back in the archives again for this one….2009…sweet potato and feta frittata.

mexican is always popular! tacos, nachos, burritos, quesadillas. Always get eaten here.

risotto….no peas allowed anymore as keira convinced the rest of the kids that peas were yuck. This chicken one is a winner with the kids and this vegetarian one is great for adults/when you have guests.

good old fashioned roast chicken and vegies…takes some time but always gets eaten in this house.

veggie of beef burgers. I made some great kids beef burgers here and a while ago discovered some great quinoa burgers here which I stuff full of veggies for the kids and they love them.

baby burgers for my baby elodie

and lastly homemade pizzas….the kids make their own pizza bases and then top it themselves!

great weekend activity and always popular…and messy! I use the pizza dough recipe in the thermomix book that comes with your machine and it’s always a winner. Haven’t tried making my own gluten free pizza bases but keep one or two frozen bases for elodie in the freezer.

What has worked at your house with fussy eaters and dinner time? I’d love to hear and am sure you will help out a mum or two in need…….


  1. Yum, now I’m hungry! We are fairly adventurous but on a limited budget so try to do quite a few meatless meals these days. My 4 year old girl is the fussy one at the moment but we have the same rules, if you don’t eat what is put in front of you, you don’t eat at all. I usually don’t allow afternoon snacks for the younger kids, it fills them up too much. I’m amazed as the children get older how much they can eat so we do lots of fruit and try to make any treats homemade and healthy :)

    • yes the afternoon snacks are closely monitored! too many and they wouldn’t eat dinner! finn is actually my biggest eater and I don’t know where he puts it but he does put a lot away:) :)

  2. Ahhhh feeding kids….ain’t it a saga at times…sighs BUT I refused to fight about food. Every dinner included vegetables that they did eat an long with a taste on their plate of veggies they didn’t like but didn’t gag over. So the rule was one taste or one piece of the questionable veg but the rest must be eaten and then 1 scoop of ice cream for the ones that did their one taste. Over a couple of years they all had their preferences but they kept trying the one taste until eventually they ate almost everything. A couple of things made them gag so I never asked them to eat it or served it up to them and now they actually love those ones. But we don’t do fighting over food….very simple. The rules are the same one taste and every meal I made sure that each child had some veg that they liked. And as for renegade eaters who may have caused a mutiny…well they ate alone 😉 even now I encourage one frightened eater to just taste something and it’s ok if he doesn’t like it. Fear and control are really big players in fussy eating. Your kids show a lot of potential from the types of food you serve up…they seem pretty adventurous and you can come cook for me any time :)

    • they are pretty good my lot and they do love japanese, thai, food when we’re out and will try it! but yes love it when one kid says I’m not eating that and the rest try to follow!!!!!!

  3. Leftover, if any, make good patties to serve with salad. Add some glur or perhaps lentils and cook spoonfuls in oil. Another variation on meatballs is hedgehogs. Add uncooked rice to the mixture, cover with diced canned tomatoes and perhaps some tomato soup. Cover with foil and bake about an hour. remove foil and cook till done. The rice sticks out like spines but cooks.

    Make scone dough, NOT the icky sweet stuff with lemonade. Pat out thinly into rectangle. Spread with leftovers or tuna mixed with some mayo and whatever herbs they like. Roll up like swiss roll. Slice evenly and put on baking tray. A sprinkle of cheese and bake. Leftover curry works here and mince but we prefer the tuna.

    Patties can be made with 2 minute noodles. I haven’t done this but know people who swear by it.

    Scotch eggs. My adult sons still beg for these and also make them themselves. I use sausage mince and pullet eggs if I can find them as they are tiny. Harris Farm used to sell them. Smooth mince around the shelled boiled eggs. Roll in breadcrumbs. I bake them, but others fry them. Great hot or cold and good for impromptu picnics in the backyard. Serve with sauce.

    Toasted sandwiches crammed with healthy food.

    • yum what great tips Jan! I’m going to have a try a few of those! I must get a jaffle maker again, that was one of my biggest things I loved growing up was either spaghetti and cheese or cheese and pickles. yum!


    • That should be “add some flour” for patties. A bit stressed here and I missed that one.

  4. spaghetti bolognese and add pureed vegies to the sauce.

  5. Oh gosh I wish that would happen in my house. I have an 11 year old vegetarian girl who has such a limited diet is is frightening..no cheese, no pasta, no rice. Doesn’t like pizza, won’t even eat hot chips. She has been difficult right from the moment she popped out wide open to say hello. These are great recipes but believe me you don’t have fussy kids at all!

  6. Great to hear that you follow the traditional family meals and values most Aussie families grew up on. The family dinner table is the only way to serve good healthy nutritional meals. They don’t need to be fancy. As you know meat and 3 veg can be on the table in the same time as it takes to go get take away and bring it home to cranky kids that could be occupied helping with the whole cooking process. Some Mum and Dad time too. Take away should be a treat. Some should be totally avoided too! I always preferred to take our girls out occasionally. I know you do sometimes even with your 5.

  7. Corrie, thankyou so much for this post – I remember sitting being so overwhelmed by feeding Lilla that I burst into tears. We had a slow {but memorable} start to solids and being a first time mumma that struggled to breastfeed etc I was so paranoid about her getting enough. Thought I was doomed to have a fussy eater but after a bit of perserverance and ‘just going with it!?’ turns out I have a food monster on my hands and she can’t get enough. Love some of your meal ideas, and that you all eat together. I remember fondly sitting with my whole family at dinner time and love that we are doing that with our little family now. Love reading your posts – and love the recipes… just need to convince my husband that a thermomix would look great in my kitchen!

  8. Love your food posts and you’ve given me a few ideas for this week:) thank you!
    My kids love chicken Wellingtons and if any left over will have them cold. (Chicken breast, cheese and bacon wrapped in a pastry parcel) I serve these with baked veggies and it’s always a hit!

  9. raina babos says:

    I was very lucky that my kids ate almost everything that I put in front of them. I sometimes wonder if kids pick up their parents dislikes. We are a mixed culture family and have friends from many different countries, so from very early on they were exposed to all sorts of food. I just assumed that they would eat what I made! They had individual likes and dislikes that were easily managed.

    • I think this is part of it. The ideas I supplied above weren’t because I thought my boys were fussy eaters. They had to have a taste, even a quarter of a teaspoon of something new. One adult son won’t eat peas. He used to eat as many peas as he was years old. His older brother will still eat only raw beans. I didn’t then and don’t now go with the idea of hiding veges. There may have been chopped veges in soup or sauces but they were obvious. I just expected them to eat things and they did. Told their great aunt they couldn’t eat devon sausage as it had no taste. Did she have salami? On the rare occasions we had Chinese or Vietnamese, they ate our spicy choices leaving their parents the bland food. we learnt quickly.

  10. Love your meal choices Corrie – good variety and not too complicated. I have one celiac, one with a peanut allergy and one vegetarian who will eat fish. Complicated but doable. We all eat the same food – so gf flours, pasta etc. My oldest has taught me to roast veggies as they taste better. Only one problem – all of them HATE onions. Too bad… I have tried cutting them small, big and in between… They always find them.

  11. Cheryl-Anne says:

    Thanks for your ideas Corrie, especially mac & cheese. My kids love tacos and we have them weekly with salad veges from the garden. Hard and soft shells and chrispy, crumbed chicken pieces instead of the beef mixture.

  12. My daughter (7) is adventurous in her dinner tastes now and loves thai and indian curries best. This makes me especially happy as she was a reflux baby, and feeding was a major problem for her first 14 months. If the curry is hot, she piles on the natural yoghurt! My son (3) is less likely to eat spicy things but I just keep some meat and veg without sauce for him to have with rice and baked beans if needed. I keep some small containers of left over dinners he does like eg bolognaise in the freezer in case we are having something spicy for dinner.
    Fried rice, zucchini and haloumi fritters, burritos, salmon fish cakes or salmon rice bake, pan fried salmon and veg, chicken or veal schnitzel, corned beef as well as all your options are favourites!

  13. Wow Corrie,
    I live on my own and the recipes are perfect for me. I’ll be trying them all soon. I have made the chicken and mushroom pie twice this week already. Cheers xxx

  14. Hi Corrie,

    I had the fussiest babies ever. All three had silent reflux which I think gave them a fear of eating. Feeding them as toddlers was a nightmare. I can now say though, that they are all great eaters. I do have a saying “you don’t have to like, you just have to eat it – we cooked your favourite last night, tonight is your Dad’s etc”
    I can’t imagine feeding five is easy though, you do well.
    Along with my motto of liking vs eating I have also reminded them that it takes 21 times to taste a vegetable before you like it.
    We have lots of vegetable and salads in our house and now the kids will complain if there isn’t enough. Last time that I made Chicken Pie (with the veges inside) they all got up and made themselves a huge bowl of coleslaw in the Thermomix afterwards because there weren’t enough veges! Wow, I wish I had a crystal ball when they were toddlers. Also, I have a great Thermomix steak pie filling you might like http://www.mymelbournethermomix.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/rich-steak-pie
    Cheers Tx

  15. Great topic and great dinner ideas thanks for this and yes I do deal with fussy eaters! I have made your Zuccinhi slice with feta it is beautiful I have made this many times.

  16. I am so grateful my children are good eaters, and have been since each started solids. They are happy to try new dishes, and they eat almost everything which is great because I love to cook and try new recipes. Last night we had a very simple dinner of Flathead marinated in coconut milk and lime, with smashed up avocado with lime juice, and a salsa of mango, coriander and lime which they made their own wraps with tortillas. Normally they don’t like avocado but we tried showing them that just because they don’t like one ingredient, it can be yummy when made a different way and they absolutely devoured them.

  17. Meals are a bit tricky at our house because I can’t eat dairy or eggs, so a lot of the meals my kids like, like anything Italian or Mexican, I can’t eat, and I don’t want to do two meals (can’t these days cos working full time). So we have a lot of meat and 3 veg cos its natural, wholefoods, non allergenic, and also fast and/or low maintenance. This is a hard one to get some young ones to eat, but I’ve discovered that if you do the “just try one bite”, they will end up loving a roast (for instance) as teenagers. My 18yo knows if he wants to make nachos, he is welcome to. He goes for the easy option, a tin of red kidney beans, nacho chips, cheese, sour cream, etc. and the younger one loves it to. Older one also loves sushi. I taught him how to make it when he was little and he’s been a convert ever since.

  18. Corrie, everything looks yummy! It is hard to find something our 3 children will eat. Our eldest and youngest are our fussy eaters. There are many times they won’t even try it. Most days I dread making dinner. The effort that goes into making healthy meals and than to have children complain is disappointing. Last night I made Sweet Potato and Feta Frittata (minus feta, didn’t have any). It was delicious however not everyone was impressed. Think it was too healthy for them. Bonus, I have leftovers to eat for lunch today. Now to decide what to cook for dinner tonight. Wish me luck!

  19. Meatballs! I’ve switched to turkey mince because it’s leaner and no one has noticed. My kids love meatballs and would eat them every night. Mini burgers too, I use beef mince and add tomato sauce, a Thermo pulverised onion and parsley, and salt and pepper. For larger burgers I use the Tupperware burger press and containers, they are perfect! Great for any meat patties. Cobb salad, make your own combo from a big platter of chopped up ingredients.

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