3 Recipes for fussy eaters

A huge majority of children go through at least one lengthy stage of fussiness when it comes to food, which can be frustrating for parents. Not even the pickiest palate will be able to resist these yummy recipes compliments of Annabel Karmel and Noeleen Foster.


Blackberry and apple crumble
This recipe is bursting with fruit and is comfort food at its best. If you can’t find fresh blackberries, you can use frozen instead. Interestingly, frozen fruit and vegetables are often more nutritious in a crumble recipe than fresh since they are frozen within hours of being picked – locking in all the vital nutrients.

Makes 6 Portions
Suitable for Freezing


  • 175g plain flour
  • Generous pinch of salt
  • 100g butter
  • 75g demerara sugar
  • 50g ground almonds
  • 25g butter
  • 350g apples, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 350g pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • Finely grated zest of half a lemon
  • 50g castor sugar
  • 200g blackberries


  1. Mix the flour and salt together, and rub the butter into the flour using your fingers until most of the butter has been absorbed. Finally rub in the demerara sugar and ground almonds.
  2. Melt the 25g butter in a saucepan, add the chopped apples and pears and cook gently until just beginning to soften. Stir in the grated lemon zest, sugar and blackberries.
  3. Transfer to an ovenproof dish (a round pyrex dish with a diameter of 17cm and depth of 7cm is ideal). Sprinkle over the topping and bake in an oven pre-heated to 200°C for 30 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.

Pigs in a blanket

Makes 8


  • 8 Vienna sausages
  • Roll of puff pastry


  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C and grease a large baking tray.
  2. Roll out the pastry on some flour, so that it doesn’t stick to the surface, and divide into 8 blocks.
  3. Slit the Vienna sausages from top to bottom to prevent them from swelling.
  4. From one corner to the next, roll your Vienna inside each pastry block.
  5. Secure the pastry with a tooth pick, then brush lightly with some milk and bake until golden brown.

Funny-faced beef burgers
Your own yummy burgers will be better than any fast food, and you and your children can have lots of fun decorating the burgers with silly faces.

Preparation time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 15 minutes, plus pasta cooking time


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot, finely chopped
  • 1/4 apple, peeled, cored and grated
  • 1/2 small clove garlic, crushed
  • 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
  • 1/4 tsp thyme leaves or finely chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp honey
  • 150g minced beef (90% lean)
  • 2 tbsp grated Parmesan
  • 1 tbsp tomato sauce
  • 1 tsp oyster sauce
  • 20g fresh breadcrumbs (1 slice, crust removed)
  • Sunflower oil, for frying

Per portion

  • 30g spaghetti or macaroni
  • 3 tbsp tomato sauce


  1. Sauté the shallot in the oil for 2-3 minutes, until soft.
  2. Add the apple and garlic and cook for 2-3 minutes, until the apple is soft.
  3. Add the balsamic vinegar and cook 1-2 minutes, until evaporated and stir in the thyme and honey. Transfer to a bowl and allow to cool slightly.
  4. Add the remaining ingredients to the bowl and mix together. Form into 4 burgers, around 5cm in diameter.
  5. Cook the pasta according to packet instructions. Drain and toss with the tomato sauce.
  6. Heat a large non-stick frying pan and grease with a small amount of oil. Cook the burgers over a medium heat for around 4 minutes per side, until cooked through. Alternatively, grill for 4-5 minutes per side.
  7. Arrange some pasta on a plate to act as hair (spaghetti for straight, macaroni for curls) and sit the burgers under the hair. Add eyes made from circles cut from cheese and topped with a small round of olive. Add a nose from a mini cherry tomato, carrot or ketchup and a mouth from tomato or pepper. Serve any leftover pasta in a separate bowl.

Tip: The burgers can be covered and refrigerated until needed. They can also be frozen for up to one month – wrap each burger individually in clingfilm and freeze on a tray. When solid, transfer to a bag or box. The burgers can be removed individually and defrosted overnight in the fridge or for 1-2 hours at room temperature. Cook and serve as above.

Click here to download your fussy eater reward chart.

scroll to top
Send this to a friend