21 Dinners (most of) My Kids Will (usually) Eat

Every now and then we have a dinnertable crisis in our house.

When I say we, I mean I.

I get fed up of cooking what feels like the same five dishes over and over again, and I get frustrated when I cook something different and then the kids won’t even try it, especially if it’s something I have made three dinners’ worth of for the freezer.

So, after one of these dinnertime debacles I sat the boys down at the table and I got them to tell me dinners that they like, and that they promised if I made that they would eat. Easy. They have asked me to refer to the list a couple of times to check whether they really said that they like it, but it’s been mostly going OK.

So, here is the list of 21 real life dinners that my children have told me that they will eat. Some only one child will definitely eat, some require modification like, no vegetables being removed, but I’m hopeful. You’ll notice a lack of certain food groups, my children enjoy carbs, to get them to eat anything else is a bonus. Here, technically is three weeks’ worth of dinner ideas, although in our house we just repeat the most enjoyed (and most easily freezable) more often than that.

Yes, there’s what you might call “junk food” listed, but if you have it once in a while it’s grand, and sure there’s 21 dinners to choose from. You can also make healthier versions of the meals that might initially seem less healthy. Here they are, in no particular order.

21 dinners pic

  1. Meatballs and Pasta: 100% success rate, I buy premade beef ones and add my own homemade tomato and veggie sauce.
  2. Sausages and Mash: Veg on the side (no surprises there).
  3. Pizza: They prefer the Aldi one from the chiller to home made, ah well.
  4. Chicken Nuggets/Goujons – homemade, frozen, butcher’s, they love a goujon, served with mash, oven chips or in a wrap (that’s three dinner ideas right there).
  5. Fajitas: With chicken, grated cheese and optional salad veg, I prefer homemade spice mix, they prefer the blue mild one from Old El Paso.
  6. Fish Pie: I make a simple fish pie which is one of my six-year-old’s favourite dinners. It’s on his brother’s “no way” list
  7. Shepherd’s Pie: The smaller boy’s favourite, he’ll even eat the carrots in it (most days)
  8. Chili Con Carne: My kids love all mince dinners so this list contains a lot of them, chili con carne is a firm favourite, made from scratch.
  9. Chicken and Broccoli Bake: one will eat around the broccoli but it’s still eaten.
  10. Fish Fingers/Goujons: What? If they’re good enough for Jamie Oliver, they’re good enough for my small girl who tasted them for the first time last week and ate three.
  11. Burgers: Home made are best, but the butcher makes great ones too. Grill them or cook on the barbecue, lob on some homemade wedges and it’s a feast, keep it more wholesome and serve with mash and vegetables.
  12. Sausage, Bean and Leek Casserole: A bowl of comfort, except when one child declares that he’s “off leeks at the moment”.
  13. Courgette Carbonara: Our staple quick dinner that always leads to clean plates.
  14. Spaghetti Bolognese: I use a Rachel Allen recipe that’s divine, tomatoey and vegetabley and sweet and meaty, no other recipe I’ve tried tastes as good.
  15. Pasta Pesto: This makes the cut about once a week as a handy dinner, I prefer the Aldi one from the chiller, they prefer the jar. To make things exciting sometimes we use red pesto.
  16. Greek Chicken and Couscous: I make a dish inspired by the one from Jamie Oliver’s 15 minute meals. Depending on what variations I use the kids will eat it.
  17. Chorizo and Chickpea Stew: I’ve one unsure about this and two who just love it.
  18. Pasta Pomodoro: Pasta (preferably fusili) in a homemade tomato and vegetable sauce
  19. Cheesy Broccoli Pasta Bake with Pancetta: Again, one eats around the broccoli but this goes down well despite that.
  20. Tomatoey Pasta Bake: Pasta, Pancetta, homemade tomato pasta sauce sprinkled with cheese and oven baked.
  21. Cowboy Stew: More sausages, and beans too.  

If you’re looking for more dinner inspiration check out my “Week in Dinners” page where I list what we ate for a week for dinner, and where other bloggers shared their weekly menus too in a linky, lots of food for thought. Sorry.

I’m still in shock that there are 21 dinners that they will eat!

What are the dinners that you know will get eaten at your table?

PS My lovely Zazzle giveaway is still open- check it out on my Facebook page on the Giveaway tab.

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23 thoughts on “21 Dinners (most of) My Kids Will (usually) Eat

  1. love this – am always on the lookout for new ideas, and I already know mine have tried and liked from of your recipes, but I’d forgotten about them again until I saw this list

  2. Spaghetti pizza always worked for me, so it was a “go-to” meal. Very simple: Throw a package of cooked spaghetti in a 9×13 dish, top with pepperoni or other sausage, a jar of spaghetti sauce, tons of mozzerella, and whatever other pizza-ish toppings people will eat, and bake for about 20 minutes at 350 degrees F (sorry – don’t know what your oven equivalent temp would be!) 🙂 -Amy

  3. Hi.. Just reading the cowboy stew receipe.. When you say you can freeze batches do you mean with or without the sausages in it? I mean do you make-up the beans / veggies part and freeze that and then when going to use it up next time do you fry up “fresh” sausages to mix in or use ones that were fried & then frozen within that batch ? Thanks

  4. Sine ad, I just love your blog! Keep it going. Lasagne is a firm favourite in my house with macaroni cheese up there too! Chicken and bacon pasta is also a winner especially when served with a cheese sauce. All home made of course! Chicken cacciatore with pasta or rice too…. As you can see pasta is a winner! Roast dinners work a treat too.

    1. Hi Kat, thanks so much for taking the time to comment. My boys won’t touch lasagne and I love it, so I never really make it. Roast dinners are a bit of a waste too as they’re not great on the meat, and I hate to see it left on the plates, they’ll do roast chicken alright. Pasta is always a hit, my small girl even asks for it by name

  5. Hi Sinead, I love your blogs about dinners. I’m always looking for ideas of what to feed my gang who are as fickle as bedamned. I’ve just started a blog and have written a week of dinners type post inspired by your blog. I’ll be using your list for inspiration when trying to work out what on earth to serve the girls.

  6. Great post, I must do this with the kids and see what they come up with…a lot of the ‘definite favourites’ are being rejected at the minute which is a complete head wrecker!! Feeling inspired now to get them involved in choosing some. Thank you x

  7. I wish my kids would eat such adventurous meals, But having them ranging from 3yr to 12yrs and all wanting different things. i thing I’d be looking at a nervous break down by the end of the week. Great post will try a few of your lovely meals out on the family.

  8. I have only just discovered your (brilliant) blog while desperately searching for meal ideas for my very fussy toddler. Thanks for the inspiration, there are loads of recipes I’m going to try!

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