Real Food Kids Will Love: Three Healthy Dinners That Take Less Than 20 Minutes from Prep to Table

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July 30, 2019

Annabel Karmel is the mother of three children and the UK’s leading expert on feeding children. Her latest family-focused cookbook will show you how to make family mealtimes fun and healthy with over a hundred easy-peasy recipes. REAL FOOD KIDS WILL LOVE (August 20, 2019, St. Martin’s Griffin) features dishes designed to be enjoyed by the whole family, while remaining simple, healthy, and not too salty or sugary for young children. Some of the recipes are easy enough for kids to help with the prep, and involving kids in the cooking process is a great way to encourage healthy eating. Here are three of Karmel’s quick, easy and healthy recipes to get you started.


Makes 4-6 portions

Warm up bellies with a soothing bowl of soup—the flavors of the tomato and pesto really are a match made in heaven. Serve with a wedge of crusty bread for some serious dipping.


  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1/3 cup chopped sun-dried tomatoes (packed in oil)
  • 2 x 14.5 oz (411 g) cans chopped tomatoes
  • 11/2 cups vegetable stock
  • 1 tbsp ketchup
  • 1 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 4–6 tbsp fresh green pesto
  • salt and pepper
  • crusty bread, to serve


  1. Heat the oil in a saucepan over a medium heat, add the onion and garlic and fry for 5 minutes until softened. Add the sundried tomatoes, chopped tomatoes, stock and ketchup. Season with a little salt and pepper and add the sugar.
  2. Cover, bring to a boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 15 minutes.
  3. Blitz until smooth using an electric hand-held electric blender.
  4. Spoon into bowls and drizzle each serving with a swirl of cream and pesto.

You can freeze the soup (once cooled) for up to 2 months. Defrost, then reheat in a saucepan until piping hot.


Makes 6 portions

Sweet cherry tomatoes, pesto, grated cheese and diced cooked chicken—a simple match made in heaven to top freshly baked ciabatta.


  • ½ baked ciabatta loaf, cut into
  • 6 slices
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tbsp mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp fresh green pesto
  • 1 tbsp chopped fresh basil leaves
  • 1 cooked chicken breast, diced
  • 6 cherry tomatoes, finely chopped
  • ¼ cup grated Cheddar cheese
  • salt and pepper


  1. Preheat the oven to 400°F (200°C).
  2. Brush the ciabatta with the olive oil, place on a baking sheet and bake in the oven for 5 minutes until lightly golden.
  3. Combine the remaining ingredients in a small bowl, season lightly with salt and pepper and spoon on top of the slices of bread. Put them back into the oven for about 8 minutes until the topping is warm. Serve immediately.


Makes 4 portions

There’s no reason why the whole family shouldn’t join in on curry nights, especially when the recipe is this quick to prepare! This Instant Chicken Curry is a must-try dish with just the right amount of mild spice and flavor.


  • 1 ½ cups diced cooked chicken
  • 2 tbsp canned corn kernels
  • 1 tbsp frozen peas
  • cooked rice, to serve

Curry Sauce:

  • 1 x 14.5 oz (411 g) can coconut milk
  • 2 tbsp mild curry paste
  • 1 tbsp mango chutney
  • ½ tsp grated fresh root ginger
  • 1/3 cup chicken stock
  • a few drops of soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp cornstarch
  • salt and pepper


  1. To make the curry sauce, put the coconut milk, mild curry paste, mango chutney, ginger, chicken stock, and soy sauce in a saucepan over a medium heat. Whisk until simmering.
  2. Mix the cornstarch with a little cold water in a small bowl until smooth, then add it to the sauce. Whisk, bring to a boil and cook for about 2 minutes until the sauce has thickened. Season to taste with a little salt and pepper.
  3. Add the chicken, corn kernels and peas to the sauce and simmer for 3–4 minutes until the peas are cooked. Serve with rice.

From Real Food Kids Will Love. Copyright © 2019 by Annabel Karmel and reprinted with permission from St. Martin’s Griffin.

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