Easy dinner ideas and recipes for the whole family
There’s a lot to be said for encouraging your kids to eat the same meal as you, at the same time. Not only does it spare you from the hassle of having to prepare two (or maybe more) dinners every night. But eating together is one of the biggest predictors of healthy eating habits in children.
“Studies have shown that young children who are fed the same food as the rest of the family eat more fruit and vegetables, consume a diet lower in fats and salt, and snack less.” says Clinical Nutritionist Jessica Clayden.
The benefits of cooking one meal include:
- Meals designed specifically for children are often lower in nutritional value
- Reduces the mental load of wondering what to cook for dinner
- When cooking for young kids it’s best to omit adding salt, which has a positive impact on reducing sodium intake for other family members.
- Eating family meals exposes kids to many tastes and textures which can limit fussy eating.
- Sitting together with your family also has social benefits and teaches kids table manners. But if sitting down together isn’t feasible, it’s still beneficial for children to eat the same thing as the rest of the family.
Here are some of our favourite family friendly meals. If cooking for kids under 12 months remember to skip the salt and add to the adults or older kids’ servings only.
Tip: If your baby is still on purees, leave a little of the meal in your Thermomix® and blend to a consistency suitable for your baby.
Family meals also don’t have to be at dinner! If getting the whole family together at the end of a busy day seems too hard then why not try to make breakfast or even snacks your ‘together time’.
Looking for more family meals? Every one of Louise Keats’ recipes in her cookbook Something for Everyone is designed to feed the whole family.