Domini Kemp: Tasty meals to keep all the family happy

Putting together nutritious meals that children and adults will enjoy is not as difficult as you might imagine

 

Finding something that the whole family is willing to eat for dinner can be like pulling teeth – without anaesthetic.

Okay, so I’m exaggerating a little, but there are plenty of parents, me included, who at times want to tear their hair out because their little ones – and even not so little ones – won’t eat today what they wolfed down yesterday, or can’t be bothered even to try something new.

Don’t even get me started on how some kids can bring the art of dinner-table stubbornness to near superhuman levels. I really don’t know how they do it.

Then I remember that my co-pilot on these shoots, Gillian, was the worst eater as a child. And I mean she was farcically bad.

Ketchup on crackers is one favourite that personally makes me shudder, and she often likes to tell me that a vegetable never passed her lips until she was 16! (I know this is true because I’ve met her mother).

I take comfort in the fact that not only is she now a competent cook, but she will eat or try almost anything.

She even likes cauliflower now, though sadly turnip is to be forever spurned. So don’t despair, there is hope out there for all parents.

But back to what to cook that will work for both you and the kids.

To be fair, my two children are really pretty good and, as long as they are getting the right balance of nutrients, I’m happy. So any recipe that can manage to keep both adults and kids content is a winner.

I’ve done lots of experimenting on this front, with some success and a few failures and given that my youngest is only five, I imagine I’ll be experimenting for some time yet.

This week’s recipes are child- and adult-friendly, and full of nutrition. The salmon burgers are simplicity itself and the mayonnaise binds them well and makes them uber delicious.

The word burger always suggests frying, but here they’re grilled on lightly oiled foil, so the underside goes golden brown. The trick with these is to get the seasoning right, so lots of chives, some salt and a few good twists of pepper. You can always fry up a tiny bit as a sample and re-season.

To go with them is a salsa made from fresh corn, shaved off the cob; avocados, which are full of vitamins and oils; and sweet, ripe cherry tomatoes.

This salsa is just the right blend of the crunchy and the soft and yielding, all bound lightly with a dressing that doesn’t overwhelm the ingredients – or the kids.

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