Fast Family Friendly Meals for Fussy Kids

7 family meal ideas that take under 20 mins

7 Easy to Make Family Meals that are Fussy Eater Approved (Play with Food)

Family meal ideas that don’t cost you oodles of time. Time poor parents – this one is for you! 7 great ideas to add to your mid-week meal repertoire!

My 5 Minute Tahini and Beef Noodles.  You can make these with spiralised zucchini (Zoodles). I love using soba noodles for a quick dinner option. They just need some boiling water and voila. The tahini stir-fry sauce is a winner and made from of my pantry staples: tahini, maple syrup and soy sauce.  You could easily substitute the tahini with another nut or seed butter. To spice it up for my hubby and I, I put out a bottle of sriracha sauce or chilli flakes on the table for self-service.

Beef and Tahini Zoodles by Play with Food

My 5 minutes Beef and Tahini Noodles

Good Food Week’s Spiced Chicken and Quinoa Bowl – Hint: if you make the quinoa ahead of time this recipe could be done in under 10 mins!

7 family friendly meals in under 20 mins

Spiced Chicken and Quinoa Bowls by Good Food Week

Simple Fish Soup is a great one for spreading out a fillet of fish across 2 toddlers and a hungry mummy at lunch time. I love serving this with some flat breads, sour dough or some of these ideas to encourage toddlers to enjoy more soup.

Chicken, Broccoli and Almond Stir-Fry with Rice Noodles uses our “go to” sauce again. I just wanted to include it again here to show the versatility that using the same sauce has across different proteins and vegetables. Having a “go to” sauce is convenient, cost-effective and the added advantage of knowing what exactly goes into it.

Chicken (or Ham off the Bone), Pineapple, Capsicum and Cheese skewers with baked sweet potato. This is a simple meal that the whole family can construct and eat at the table together. Sweet potato sliced into thin rounds, doused in olive oil and sea salt flakes takes between 15 – 20 minutes to bake in the oven. Cook through some diced chicken and lay all the ingredients out on the table for self-assembly. My article on why skewers have this amazing lure for kids also includes more skewer recipe inspiration too.

Crumb free chicken parmigiana’s are pushing the 20 minute mark. Serve them with some crusty bread and salad to make it easy on you too.  The kids love getting involved in this recipe!

Lucky number seven is today’s new recipe,  Vietnamese inspired Chicken and Noodles. To make it really authentic, serve it alongside Nuoc Cham (Vietnamese Dipping Sauce).

Vietnamese Chicken and Noodles

Vietnamese Inspired Chicken Noodles
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Simple meal to give a twist to your mid-week meal repertoire. Serves 2 kids + 2 small adult portions.
Cuisine: Vietnamese
Serves: 4
  • 1 tbsp oil (peanut, rice bran or olive oil)
  • 2 de-boned chicken thighs
  • 1 clove chopped garlic
  • 1 packet of vermicelli noodles
  • 500ml low sodium chicken stock
  • ½ tsp white pepper
  • ½ tsp ground ginger
  • ½ tsp ground coriander
  • 2 carrots
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 sprigs of fresh coriander
  • Serve with lime wedges, Vietnamese dipping sauce, lettuce and cucumber.
  1. Brown the chicken in oil within a large pan that fits a lid. Once brown on both sides, add garlic, ginger, white pepper and ground coriander.
  2. Cover with chicken stock and simmer for 10 minutes.
  3. In the meantime, peel the carrots into strips to make thick noodles (or you can use a spiraliser).
  4. Once the chicken is cooked through, shred it with two forks. Add the carrots, peas, noodles and fresh coriander and replace the lid. Add a touch more water if it is drying out. Stir every now and then for 2-3 minutes until the peas are warmed through and the noodles are cooked.
  5. Serve from the middle of the table.


Do you have a “go to” pantry staple sauce?  What is your fave family meal that is ready in under 20 minutes?

x Simone



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