Handy Hints

Cooking tasty, healthy meals for your family doesn't need to cost you lots of time or money. Select a topic below to find out how you could make a change.

Fussy Eaters

Side dishes

Get the kids to try a little of something new by putting it alongside their favourite dish.

Picnics are fun

Have a picnic at home with the kids. Try cold meats, chopped veg, cucumber, carrot and fruit.

Let the kids shop

"Give the kids a mini-shopping list, and let them pick out the ingredients and cook them with you at home."

Charlie, Fife

Fussy Eaters


"My pair love soup, and it can easily hide a multitude of veg. Also, thick blended soups keep them fuller for longer."


Fun with vegetables

A great way of making veg more fun, is to ask each of your wee ones to pick out their own vegetable every time you go shopping. Include a bite-sized amount of one veg with each main meal, so they are happy to try it. Don't make a big deal if they don't like it first time, it can take a while! 

Talk about cartoon characters' favourite foods


"I always look out for my kid's favourite cartoon characters eating foods they don't like, and point out that they must be good if they're eating it. Garfield loves lasagne, so now my kids love it too!"


Have a bright and colourful meal plan

"We sit down and make a colourful meal plan with the little ones every week. That way everyone gets their say, and it's a great way of balancing out healthy/unhealthy options too. We also get them to help out with the shopping and meal prep - it's a great way of introducing them to cooking and new foods."


Tell stories about the food


"I tell my wee boy that this is special 'dinosaur food', or special 'space man food', and make up a little story to go with it. He eats it right up to be just like the dinosaurs and space men."


Hide the lumps


"I make cauliflower cheese and tell them it's macaroni cheese, and they love it. Another tip is to finely grate or purée lots of vegetables into stews and pasta dishes, so children don't know it's there, or taste the 'lumpy bits'. "


Hide the veg

"I always grate some veg over the kids meals and they never notice! Sneaky but it works."

Claire, Glasgow

Omelette success


"Recently I've started giving my kids omelettes. I whisk up eggs with sweet corn, cheese, broccoli and ham, and they love it. It's a great way of getting them to eat veg. Sometimes I even cut it up into pizza slices to make it even more fun!"


Reward jar


"I got my daughter to try new things by introducing a star jar, which meant she got a reward whenever she tried different foods."


Hide the veg

Chop or grate the veg into teenie weenie pieces, and hide it in a pasta sauce.

Presentation is everything


"Make eating fun by cutting food into star shapes, or by making funny faces on the plate with the food. Works a treat!"


Carrots can be delicious


"Grate some carrots into a bowl with a little orange juice, brown sugar and honey. Mix it together and decorate with little star shaped cucumbers. Kids love it."


Get the kids involved in cooking


"Get your child involved in making the food more! Fussy eaters tend to try more things if they've made it themselves, even if it's mixing or rolling the chicken in breadcrumbs!"


Follow the leader

Kids will follow your lead, so try and eat together, even if it's just once a week.

Pea game

"Put a bowl of peas between you and your child, and take turns picking up a pea and placing it on your tongue. Say: "See this pea? You'll never see it again!", and show your child the pea on your tongue one last time before it disappears down your throat. Magic!"


Give dishes fun names

Give your dishes fun names like Princess/Prince Pasta or Superhero Soup.