Kevin Dundon's creative back-to-school recipes for fussy eaters
If you're looking for some lunchbox inspiration and supper ideas to whet the appetites of even the fussiest eaters, here is a helping hand with the tough task of preparing lunches.
Children who are fussy eaters can make meal times a bit of a war zone.
But there are ways to encourage them to eat. A great tip is getting them to help pack their lunchbox the night before, they are more likely to eat their own creations than throw them away.
Be inventive: having exciting and healthy treats in their lunchbox will also encourage them to tuck in.
Here are some recipe ideas for the fussiest eaters
Mini Rolled Club Sandwich:
INGREDIENTS (makes 4)
4 pieces of sliced pan
4 slices of cheese
4 slices ham
3 thin slices of cucumber, same length as a bread slice
100g cream cheese
50g sesame seeds
Remove the crust of the sliced pan and, using a rolling pin, roll and flatten each slice of bread on a counter top or parchment paper.
Spread some cream cheese over each slice of bread. Place the cheese, ham on top of each slice, filling as much of the bread as you can.
Put a cucumber slice on the very edge of the each slice. Roll the bread over the cucumber slice and all the way along until the bread is fully rolled.
Add a little more cream cheese if the end does not stick firmly. Coat the top of the roll with some extra cream cheese and sprinkle some sesame seeds over.
Cut each bread roll in half and place in lunchboxes. You can use smoked salmon, cooked chicken or beef as an alternative.
Mini Quiche in Bread Bases
INGREDIENTS (makes 12)
12 slices wholemeal bread, crust removed
2 tbsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely chopped
1 carrot, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
100g cooked chicken, chopped
1 stem of broccoli shoots, mini florets (optional)
50g grated Cheddar cheese
Salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 180˚C/fan 160°C/gas 4 and grease a 12-cup holder muffin tray.
Using a rolling pin, roll the bread flat and fit into the muffin tray. Drizzle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place in the oven for 10 minutes to slightly toast the bread. Remove from the oven and leave aside until needed.
Heat a large pan and add a tbsp of olive oil, the shallots, carrots, garlic and cook for approximately 3-4 minutes over a medium-low heat. Add the chicken pieces and broccoli florets and cook for a further 1 minute or so. Remove from the heat and set aside until needed.
In a bowl, combine the eggs, milk and season with salt and pepper. Next, fill the bread bases with the cooked vegetables and chicken mixture. Top with the grated cheese and pour in the egg mixture gently, so as not to overflow the muffin cupholders.
Place in the oven and bake for 15 minutes until the egg mixture is set and the cheese has turned golden brown. Remove from the heat and serve either hot or cold.
Animal-Faced Rice Cakes
INGREDIENTS (makes 4)
4 plain rice cakes
4 tbsp peanut butter (use cream cheese as an alternative)
½ carrot, thinly sliced then trimmed into triangles or rounds for ears
2 slices of cheese for cheeks
½ cucumber, thinly sliced lengthways for whiskers
8 dried cranberries, for eyes
4 raisins, for nose
Spread each rice cake with peanut butter. Using a small pastry cutter or small glass, cut the cheese slices into eight circles for the cheeks. Place the carrot and cheese circles onto the peanut butter.
Arrange the cucumber pieces, cranberries and raisins to make the face. Serve as an afternoon treat or pack into lunchboxes.
Simple Tortilla Pizza
INGREDIENTS (makes 4 pizzas)
1 celery stick
½ courgette, peeled and grated
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp olive oil
200g minced beef
1 tbsp tomato puree
1 tsp sugar
Salt and pepper
4 wholemeal tortilla bases
2 mozzarella balls
100g Cheddar cheese, grated
12 cherry tomatoes, halved
In a food processor, add the carrot, celery stick, mushroom, courgette, shallot, garlic and pulse until a smooth texture.
Drizzle the olive oil into a large sauté pan, add the minced beef and cook over a medium heat for 5 minutes.
Add the puréed vegetables, tomato purée and the tomato passata and simmer for 10-15 minutes until reduced and thickened and the meat cooked through.
Remove from the heat.
Preheat the oven to 220˚C/fan 200°C/gas 7.
Place the tortilla bases onto a non-stick baking tray. Divide and spread the tomato and beef mixture and add some mozzarella and Cheddar cheese, along with a few cherry tomatoes.
Cook in the oven for 8-10 minutes until the cheese melts and bubbles a little bit. Slice into wedges and serve.