Quick and easy family friendly meals
Nothing’s going to make cooking more of a drag than having to make multiple separate meals for different members of the family, so it’s always great to have some meals ideas up your sleeve that are healthy, family friendly options.
What do family friendly meals look like to me?
Everyone’s family situation is different, so there’s never going to be a ‘one-size-fits-all’ solution, so I base my family friendly meals on flavours and textures that suit my family, and work with meals that can be easily adapted to suit different tastes. I’ve shared some examples of my favourite meals for the whole family (and ones which are always popular on the blog), as well as tips on how I adapt these when I cook them.
This is a great, easy, convenient one-pot meal. Subtle herb and lemon flavours mean it tastes great, but the simple flavours appeal to kids as well as adults. Rice and chicken make a great basis for the meal, and you can top off with whichever green veg are your family’s favourite. We have had this with asparagus, broccoli, green beans, sugarsnap peas, mange tout, or even just frozen peas!
There’s plenty of flavour in this chicken casserole, and I find by finely dicing the vegetables to hide them in the sauce, my children will eat all sorts of things that they would normally pick out (parsnip, sweet potato). The other great thing about this is you can really mix up the vegetables you use, either to empty out the fridge, or just to vary the choices that your family are eating. Butternut squash, swede and other root vegetables are great in this. Top tip: if you are short on time, pick up one of the pre-chopped casserole veg mixes from the supermarket, which will save you the chopping time!
A vegetarian option for the whole family. I called this ‘Golden wonderpot’ to try to sell it in to the kids- I knew if I told them it was chickpeas and sweet potatoes they would be fussy about it! It’s basically a dhal, but I deliberately kept the flavours very mild so they weren’t too much for my girls, who aren’t yet into spice or very strong flavours. This is creamy, and the chickpeas and lentils are easily manageable for kids. I serve this up with mini nan breads. If you make a great big batch, it also freezes brilliantly! If you like a bit of spice, just add some chilli sauce over your portion!
Another super popular one-pot meal! If I’m making this for the kids too, I just leave out the chilli powder from the spice mix, and add either dried chilli flakes, or a spicy sauce like sriracha to my portion. I also sometime swap out the kidney beans for black beans, which are slightly smaller than the red kidney beans.