A few weeks ago, we received Emily Leary’s new book ‘Get Your Kids to Eat Anything’* which is a how-to guide to getting your children to eat anything using a gentle method of introducing new colours, flavours, and textures in to their favourite meals; from burgers to fish fingers.
Using Emily’s clever 5-phase approach, you’re also invited to explore new foods such as baked eggs, soda bread, and fondue, using a explanation of what you’re going to learn and achieve.
We’ve been pretty lucky with T in that he’ll generally give anything a go once, however over the past few months he’s gone off cooked mushrooms and anything remotely ‘leafy’ or ‘sluggish’ resulting in Sharon and I often having to dice certain textures really small if we need to include them in our meal.
Therefore, having Emily’s book on our shelf has been a welcome tool to reinventing new ways of introducing a certain food, or in this case, texture. You can read our full review of the book here, but if you’d like to know what our favourite meals have been so far, please continue below:
*contains affiliate links
Our First Meal
Our first meal from Emily’s book was their version of Bean Burgers. We’ve tried a variety bean burgers in the past, however no matter what we’ve tried they’ve either come out the oven incredibly dry or they’ve fallen apart. This, however, is not the case with Emily’s recipe thanks to the addition of sun-dried tomatoes and lots of other moist-making ingredients.
They’re not the prettiest of patties prior to cooking, but they’re so easy to make. Plus, because the recipes are simple, T got involved with the process too.
Emily’s recipe makes around 6 decent sized patties, however if you’re little ones are younger or don’t quite have the same appetite as T, then you could probably make a larger batch by making smaller patties.
Our six patties gave us a burger each and lunch the next day. We finished ours with hummus and rocket in a gluten-free seeded roll, but you can add cheese and/or avocado if you like!
You can find the full recipe in their book – which is out now – however here are a few of our other favourite recipes that Emily has kindly let us reproduce.
Curried Fish Fingers with sweet potato chips
This recipe is great when you start to introduce your family to more exciting foods because it looks familiar but has great new flavours to explore. Sweet potato fries are a great colour and naturally sweet, so will win over younger palates with ease.
PREP TIME: 30 MINS • COOK TIME: 25 MINS
For the chips
500g (1lb 2oz) sweet potatoes
1 tablespoon cornflour
1 teaspoon garlic granules
1 teaspoon paprika
1 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of pepper
For the fish fingers
240g (8½oz) skinless cod fillets
50g (1¾oz) plain flour
1 medium free-range egg, lightly beaten
50g (1¾oz) dried breadcrumbs
pinch of pepper
½ tablespoon garlic granules
½ tablespoon ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground turmeric
½ tablespoon ground coriander
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), 180C fan, Gas Mark 6.
Peel the sweet potatoes and cut into chips about 1cm (½in) thick. Put them in a bowl and mix in the cornflour with your hands. Add the garlic granules, paprika and olive oil and mix again, then tip onto a nonstick baking tray in a single layer and sprinkle with pepper.
Bake for 10 minutes, then turn and bake for a further 10–15 minutes until crispy on the outside and soft in the middle.
Meanwhile, slice the cod into 2cm- (¾in-) thick fingers.
Set up 3 bowls: the first containing the flour, the second the egg and the third the breadcrumbs. In a small dish, mix the pepper, garlic granules and spices together, then stir half into the flour and half into the breadcrumbs.
Dip a fish piece into the flour to lightly cover. Shake off the excess, then dip into the egg to coat, then into the breadcrumbs to cover. Repeat with every piece of fish, placing on an oiled baking tray as you go. Spritz all over with oil spray.
Bake for 12–14 minutes until just golden (break one open to check the fish is cooked through). Serve with the chips.
- If your family are keen on spice, try upping the cumin level and adding a little chilli powder for a more pronounced kick.
- Once you’ve got the hang of the crumbing method, you can flavour the crumbs to your liking. How about a lemon and herb crumb for breaded chicken goujons?
Our go-to meal for when we’re feeling a little lazy is often fish fingers, chips or waffles, and peas, so when we saw that Emily had created her own, much tastier version, there was no way we weren’t going to give it a try – and we’re so glad we did.
They’re super easy to make and incredibly delicious. Plus, you can exchange white fish for salmon if you’re looking for something even healthier. We had ours with some mango chutney!
Savoury lunchbox muffins
Irresistible muffins, packed with vegetables, cheese, sage and cumin, these are perfect to make at the weekend and then enjoy in packed lunches. If you’re following the Phase 2 activities, you can use home-grown sage plucked proudly from your very own herb garden.
2 medium free-range eggs
150ml (5fl oz) whole milk
100ml (3½fl oz) olive oil
120g (4¼oz) Cheddar cheese, grated
2 teaspoons garlic granules
1 teaspoon dried sage or finely chopped sage leaves from your herb garden
1 teaspoon ground cumin
250g (9oz) frozen chopped vegetable mix
250g (9oz) self-raising flour
oil spray (if not using muffin cases)
salt and pepper
Preheat the oven to 200C (400F), 180C fan, Gas Mark 6. Beat the eggs in a large bowl. Add the milk and olive oil and beat again. Next, stir in the cheese, garlic granules, sage, cumin and vegetables.
Fold in the flour and some salt and pepper – the mixture will become stodgy, but don’t worry!
Line a 12-hole nonstick muffin tray with muffin cases (or lightly spray each muffin hole with oil). Spoon the batter evenly into the muffin cases, making sure each one is level.
Bake for 20–25 minutes, until golden on top.
Cool for a few minutes in the tray, then transfer to a wire rack to cool completely.
Store the muffins in an airtight container in the refrigerator.
- This basic muffin batter works well with almost any vegetables, fresh or frozen, as well as with chopped ham.
This recipe takes me back to when T was weaning from six months, where I’d batch bake a number of snacks and breakfasts ready to defrost the night before a busy day. It was a brilliant way of using left over veggies (or weetabix!) and it meant I could create healthy (and cheap) snacks on days when we’d be out all day.
This recipe is no different. Simply use any old frozen or fresh veg to create a brilliant lunchbox or picnic filling. In my recipe, I added a few seeds on top for extra protein.
So there’s two of my favourite recipes from Get Your Kids to Eat Anything, if you’d like to give Emily’s book a go I’ve added a link below (affiliate link, meaning I’ll get a few extra pennies if you purchase via my link).
If you already have Emily’s book, which recipes are your favourites?