Do you want your kids to eat more veg and less sugar? Try these healthy, delicious, game-changing recipes courtesy of the most popular children’s food writers.

Fussy eating isn’t the reserve of weaning babies. Toddlers, tweens and all ages in between will have bouts of food refusal. Illness, stress, growth spurts and genuine food addictions can and do play havoc with children’s eating habits.

If you want to put a stop to teatime tantrums and meals fraught with stress, look online. The internet is awash with blogs, recipe sites and health care sites filled with advice and strategies to tackle fussy eating behaviours. Not sure where to look? Here are six healthy recipes for your fussy kid, devised by some of the most popular children’s food writers.

Curried Fish Fingers With Sweet Potato ChipsEmily Leary

Children hate change. Instead of thrusting new foods in front of them, put the unfamiliar into the familiar. Tweak recipes, rather than going full throttle and experimenting with totally new foods. For example, this curried fish finger with sweet potato chips recipe is a different take on a familiar, and probably favourite, food type. Make it as spicy as you like by upping the cumin level or adding a little chilli powder. Emily Leary wrote ‘Get Your Kids to Eat Anything’ and created a five-phase programme to change the way families think about food and to help them educate children in new tastes and textures. Her recipes include strawberries and cream pasta, healthy fondue with vegetables, oven fajitas with cauliflower ‘tortillas’ and baked egg breakfast rolls.

Fruity Frozen Yoghurt Bark

Lucinda Miller

Coping with a picky eater can be frustrating. The first golden rule is to make food fun, for adult and child alike. Easier said than done. Many a harassed parent has found solace in the pages of Lucinda Miller’s book ‘The Good Stuff: delicious recipes for happier healthier children’. Her no-cook pud of fruity frozen yoghurt bark is fun to make with the kids, can be whipped up ahead of time and works as a healthy ready-to-go treat. Lucinda’s book brims with similar delicious recipes for fussy eaters and caters for tricky diets like gluten-free, dairy-free and paleo. Her Brain Boost Buckwheat pancakes and gluten-free courgette brownies are winning recipes.

Mini Chicken And Apple Balls

Annabel Karmel

Delicious hot or as a cold finger food in a lunchbox or picnic, these mini chicken and apple balls must be one of Annabel Karmel’s most popular recipes. All ages devour them. The grated apple gives a delicious flavour to these chicken balls. The best-selling children’s cookery author and mother-of-three runs a ready meals brand for toddlers sold in supermarkets. She knows it can be easy to get locked in a battle of wills when you’re contending with a fussy eater and has written top ten tips for coping with a fussy eater. On her site, users can search by age, meal and main ingredient to find a recipe to appease their fussy eater.

Power Packed Fruit and Veggie Muffin

Super Healthy Kids

The age-old trick of hiding vegetables has its pros and cons. While it sneaks in the vitamins and adds nutrition into a child’s diet, the downside is that it does not teach children about the importance of eating a balanced diet. In an ideal world, you should foster a love of food, as well as getting children to actually eat nutritious meals. This famous recipe for fruit and veggie muffins is packed with hidden goodness (broccoli, courgette, carrots, banana, apple) and whole grains. The superfood muffins taste buttery sweet and can be frozen. Often reluctant eaters complain about texture but because the fruit and vegetables are all chopped finely here, the texture is smooth. Tempted? Why not try the lurid green sweet spinach muffins?

Creamy Salmon Pasta

Ciara Attwell

Combat fussy eating by gently experimenting with flavour, smell and texture. This creamy pasta dish, made with salmon, frozen peas and cream is simple. It encourages children to eat fish, and not just the breaded kind. Food writer Ciara Attwell founded the food blog, My Fussy Eater, in 2014 in an attempt to get her picky daughter, then aged three, to eat a better and more varied diet. She has since shared over 500 recipes on her site. Both her first cookbook and her app, created for parents of reluctant eaters, have been number one bestsellers.

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By Annabel Jack
March 2020

Annabel Jack

Contributing Editor

Annabel is a regular contributor to The GWG, with a taste for finest in food, fashion and interiors.