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Ten Tips to Make Dinners Kid Friendly

Boy and Dog Eating Pasta

Ten Tips to Make Dinners Kid Friendly

  • You can hide heaps of goodness in mashed potato. You can for example add minced beef, pork or chicken in with the boiling potato, along with purple sweet potato then mash it all altogether. You can add milk powder, or olive oil to provide extra oomph to diets for children who don't want to eat. It's most likely your child won't realize the difference.

  • You can grate vegetables and add them to existing recipes to give them a higher vegetable content: Vegetables like carrot and zucchini, for example, grate easily and can be added to recipes like pasta (especially spaghetti bolognese) but also to quiches, pies and casseroles. The addition of grated vegetables, especially potato, also adds thickness to sauces without using flour.

  • You can substitute mince (chicken, beef or pork) for diced beef, pork or chicken in recipes to make it easier for children to chew. For example in: curries, an assortment of pies, enchiladas and burritos, pizza on Lebanese Bread, Sang Choy Bow, Chow Mein, macaroni, stuffed potatoes, rice paper rolls to name a few

Farmers' Market Visit

Common Sense When Feeding Kids

  • Plan meals ahead so you have healthy foods available that your kids will actually eat.

  • Provide meals at regular times of the day.

  • Make meal times pleasant, ideally together at a table so you can share your day.

  • If you introduce new foods when your child is really hungry you have more chance of them being trialed.

  • Don't encourage your child to load up on water or other beverages just before a meal.

  • For young kids if all else fails, distract & feed.

Couple Cooking

  • If you have a fussy eater, involve the child in the food preparation, especially when choosing a new food to try. This increases the likelihood they'll be willing to trial a greater range of food. Also, if you retry foods every so often you may be amazed that your child is willing to eat something that three months ago they didn't enjoy.

  • Making the food into novelty shapes, like putting food into animal shapes can make it more appealing. For example: Arranging the pasta or rice into an animal shape (like a fish or rabbit face) and adding vegetable eyes, nose and mouth. It'll take an extra one to two minutes but will make any meal much more interesting to a child.

  • Make a food collage. Such as:  rice or cauliflower clouds, broccoli trees, a yellow zucchini slice for a sun, hamburger patties in animal shapes, carrot-framed houses, half cherry tomato flowers, etc. The only limit is your imagination. If you can get your child involved all the better.


  • Tell your child a story (about food) and let your child try the different ingredients from the book. Some examples: The Very Hungry Caterpillar,  Possum Magic, The Greedy Hippo, Handa's Surprise, Dragons Love Tacos, The Little Red Hen, Mr Brown's Apple Tree, I Will Not Ever Eat a Tomato, I Don't Like Cheese to name a few.

Healthy Breakfast
Healthy Diet

  • Offer very simple graze plates every so often based on the foods your children like for an easy summer meal. For example: sardines, cheese cubes, grapes, thin-sliced apple, blueberries, banana rings, orange segments and add 'Dip in eggs' with toast fingers.

  • Add a simple range of dipping sauces to make thinly cut vegetable sticks more appealing. For example: hummus, guacamole, aioli, etc.

  • Add spices at the end of the meal after you've cooked the childrens' portions. Or make a large batch of children's Mex or Spaghetti. Remove half and freeze it into meal-sized portions for them. Then add extra ingredients to the remainder such as chilli, garlic, basil, mushrooms, olives, etc and then freeze it for the adults. Heat both meals in the microwave for dinner later on. As time goes on add increasingly larger parts of the second spaghetti to the children's spaghetti until you are eventually able to give them the same meal as you.

Italian Dish

For easy family dinner recipes, click on the following links:

Best Parenting is a high quality parenting website designed with child and family success in mind. This site provides free resources for busy parents who want best practical advice on: effective child rearing strategies, easy healthy family meals, self-care tips for time-poor parents and fun learning games to help best educate children while also encouraging positive relationships within the family.


One of the best pieces of parenting advice to help support healthy cooperative families, is to provide regular nutritious meals, eaten together as a family as often as possible. Best parenting advice provides a range of quick and easy family dinner recipes supplied by busy working parents. These are the recipes asked for: because they taste great, they're quick and easy they're family friendly and they're foolproof.

This site provides examples of what worked for me over decades and you are welcome to use these ideas as you see fit but you do so at your own risk. This site does not provide any guarantee that this information will work in every circumstance with every family or every child. It is your responsibility as a user of this site to ensure that you adhere to any recommended safety suggestions either implicit or explicit on this site and supervise your children while playing any games suggested. Best Parenting is not affiliated with any other groups, clubs, religious organizations or educational systems.


Best parenting takes time. The best parenting advice ever is simple: Do your best, don't give up and love your children, no matter what.

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