One of the ‘jobs’ I like least as a mum is working out what food to cook for the family through the week. I find the planning much worse than the actual cooking. To help myself with this I have been saving recipes over the last couple of years that tick the boxes I look for. Quick, low effort, healthy, hearty and that the kids will actually eat!

I wanted to put together a list of my fave recipes so I can scan it for meal inspiration. I thought I’d do it here in case it’s useful to any other mums out there. 

If you have any fave kid friendly recipes I’d love to know about them and share them here. Please email

Prep early and cook or warm later

For when you have a bit of time early in the day but don’t want to be giving your time to cooking later on when the kids are hungry and tired.

  • Turkey Burgers and sweet potato chips I served this with coleslaw and small corn on the cobs
  • Honey mustard creme fraiche chicken. This is one of our faves. I tend to prep it all early and put a mini portion in a separate tray for the boys where i add the creme fraiche before i put any mustard in. I also give the sauce a good stir incorporating the creme fraiche a few mins before the end of the cooking time.
  • Cheats chicken pie. Always a winner.
  • Pesto chicken kebabs with pasta I served this with a plain tomato pasta as my boys won’t eat roasted veg
  • Bean and sausage hotpot. I use haricot beans as i’m not keen on butter beans. I also just use a teaspoon of normal sugar instead of treacle/brown sugar and go easy on the mustard depending on your diners!
  • Thai pork and peanut curry. Prep the sauce early and then just cook the rice later
  • Chicken and spicy rice. I buy chicken thighs/legs rather than jointing the chicken and just use bought chicken stock.
  • Quick cottage pie. If I am making this early to warm later I let the ingredients cool before putting the mash on top of the ‘pie’. You can get it in the fridge quicker this way.
  • Lancashire hotpot. Really tasty Mary Berry dish that is quick to prep and then you can leave it in the oven for 2.5hrs and time it for when you get back in with hungry kids!

Slow cooker

I use the slow cooker loads as I find it the lowest effort way of having a healthy meal on the table when you need it. I’m not a massive fan of ‘the generic casserole’, so I try to find recipes which are a bit different. Serve up with fresh veg when you can.

  • Slow cooker ribs. I serve with sweet potato wedges, sweetcorn and coleslaw
  • Creamy chicken with biscuits. I surprised myself with actually bothering to make the biscuits. The kids liked them. The husband did not!
  • Teriyaki Chicken. My boys enjoy this so long as I go easy on the ginger.
  • Slow cooker spaghetti bolognese. This make a really nice spag bol. Pretty sure I didn’t bother with all the pre-frying and just chucked it all in. Half this recipe if you don’t want to be freezing loads!
  • Slow cooked Irish Stew. Yummy winter warmer. Try to use a cut where the bone doesn’t disintegrate in to lots of bits as that can be a pain!
  • Lamb shanks with Juniper. I use this recipe mainly when we have people over as lamb shanks are pricey! Very tasty and very easy.
  • Slow cooked gammon. Literally just chuck a gammon joint in the slow cooker with half a cup of water and leave it to cook for the day. I serve with basic ‘dauphinoise’ potatoes (just par boiled potato slices cooked in the oven for a bit with a cheese sauce) and veg
  • Moroccan spiced beef stew. My boys don’t like couscous but i’m pretty sure they would like this dish if they did! This has gone down well when we are entertaining.
  • Pork chops with garlic and mustard. Go easy on the garlic, I seem to have a habit of over doing it with this recipe.

Make it and eat it now.. and make it quick!

Emergency feed the family quickly recipes

I’m feeling ‘a bit’ creative

For the times when you have a surge of energy and feel like putting a bit of creative effort into cooking! There is a reason I don’t have many recipes in this section 🙂

  • Salmon fish cakes. Slightly fiddly but well worth it if you have the energy. They don’t actually take that long to make, just a few different bits involved.
  • Pasta and meatballs. A nice Jamie Oliver recipe