Parents are always feeling guilty. These days not only do we worry about feeding our children the right food, while they are bombarded with an onslaught of unhealthy horrors through both advertising and peer pressure, but also - especially when both parents are holding down busy jobs - it's oh, so much easier just to slap a ready meal in the microwave.

Now, however, two busy women Angela Nilsen and Jeni Wright have come to the rescue by collecting together 101 Recipes For Kids in a new book, from BBC GoodFood.

Tried and tested, the recipes include familiar favourites such as Banana Splits and Fairy Cakes as well as introducing more exotic dishes to tempt modern young palates such as Chinese Egg-Fried Rice and Mexican Tortilla Wraps.

Angela says: "Temptation is all around - so it's easy for kids to end up eating too many high fat, high sugar, high salt, high additive, ready-made snacks and meals, especially when parents feel they don't always have time to pay as much attention as they would like to what the children are eating.

"But start young by offering children a good balance and a variety of healthy foods. Get the children involved in the choosing and shopping so they are aware of what they are eating. Then make time to eat and share each meal."

She adds: "If you let children help with the cooking, introduce them to the raw ingredients and how to prepare them, you are empowering them for life. They will not have to rely on ready-meals and by being involved with meal preparation their acquired understanding will give them the confidence to make healthier choices."


Packed with slow-release carbohydrates this salad combines two kids' favourites: sausage and pasta, and packed into airtight containers makes a handy packed lunch.

(Serves two) (Time: 25 minutes, plus cooling)

  • 2 chipolata sausages.
  • 85g/3oz dried fusilli or other short pasta shape.
  • 2tsp olive oil.
  • 2 cherry tomatoes, cut into wedges.
  • 2 spring onions, finely chopped.
  • 2tbsp home-made or ready-made tomato salsa.

1. Heat the grill to high and grill the sausages for about 15 minutes or until cooked through, turning them occasionally. Leave to cool then slice into bite-sized pieces.

2. Cook the pasta in a pan of boiling water for 8-10 minutes or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain into a sieve and hold under the cold tap till cool.

3. Shake the pasta well to remove excess water, then tip into a bowl and stir in the oil to prevent the shapes sticking together. Mix in the sausages, tomatoes, onions and salsa. Taste for seasoning.


A healthy dish that's high in vitamin C, this colourful rice salad is a good way of getting lots of veggies and seeds into a child's diet.

(Serves two big kids or four small ones!) (Time: 30 minutes)

  • 100g/4oz basmati, long grain or brown rice.
  • 1 small red pepper, seeded and finely chopped.
  • 1/2 cucumber, seeded and finely chopped.
  • 1 large carrot, grated.
  • 6 dried apricots, chopped.
  • 2tbsp toasted pumpkin or sunflower seeds.
  • 2tbsp olive oil.
  • Juice 1/2 orange.

1. Cook the rice according to the packet instructions. Drain, rinse and drain again.

2. Tip the rice into a large bowl and add all the other ingredients. Mix well and season to taste.


A childhood favourite that is enjoyed at any age. These dainty little cakes can be decorated for a young girls' birthday party or for teenagers too.

For the cakes:

  • 140g/5oz butter, very well softened.
  • 140g/5oz golden caster sugar.
  • 3 medium eggs.
  • 100g/4oz self raising flour.
  • 25g/1oz custard powder or cornflour.
    For decorating:
  • 600g/1lb 5oz icing sugar, sifted.
  • 6tbsp water or half water and half fresh lemon juice, strained.
  • Edible green and pink food colourings.
  • Crystallized violets.
  • Crystallized roses or rose petals.
  • Edible wafer flowers.

1. Pre-heat the oven to 190C/Gas 5/Fan 170C. Arrange the paper cases in bun tins. Put all the cake ingredients in a large bowl and beat for about two minutes until smooth. Divide the mixture among the cases so they are half-filled and bake for 12-15 minutes until risen and golden.

2. Mix the icing sugar and water until smooth. Use a third on eight of the cakes. Divide the rest of the icing mixture in two, then colour one half pale green and the other half pale pink and use it to ice the rest of the cakes.

3. Decorate the white-iced cakes with crystallized violets, the pink ones with the roses and the green ones with the wafer flowers. Leave to set. Will keep for up to 2-3 days when stored in an airtight container in a cool place.