The chances are, there will be at least one day this summer when your house is full of kids that aren’t yours. Keeping your children occupied will inevitably mean hosting some of their friends, whether you planned to do so or they just seem to turn up. Not only does this mean you’ll be picking up after a few extra people, when it comes to lunch or dinner, you’ll also have more mouths to feed.
While it’s easy to plan for feeding a larger group of people than usual when you know that will be the case, if the fact that your kids’ friends are staying for tea is sprung on you, it can make things a bit more difficult. This is when it pays to have a few ideas up your sleeve for kid-friendly banquets that are quick and easy.
Even the fussiest eaters love a plate of chips, which is lucky as they are one of the easiest things you can whip up in a hurry. However, if you’re cooking chips in a deep fat fryer, they are far from the healthiest option, which other parents may not appreciate.
Luckily, cooking chips in an ActiFry is simple, easy and a much healthier option. Simply pop them in your ActiFry with just a spoonful of oil, turn it on and let it go to get delicious crispy chips that your kids and their friends will love.
In fact, they are so easy to make once you’ve chopped the potatoes, you could even let your kids make them for their friends to save you the trouble.
The best thing about frittatas is you can throw almost anything into them, making them ideal if you’ve not been to the supermarket this week – so long as you at least have eggs. So long as you have a large frying pan, you can feed several people with a single frittata, especially if you team them with your healthy chips.
Simply cook all the vegetables you’re putting in your frittata – they can be fresh or frozen – before pouring your egg mixture over the top. Once the bottom of the frittata is cooked, sprinkle some grated cheese over the top and pop under the grill until the rest is cooked.
Slice your frittata up and it’s good to go. If there’s any frittata leftover, you can pop it in the freezer so it’s ready to go the next time you need something quickly. The best thing about this meal is that it can be incredibly healthy and the kids won’t even realise.
When it comes to meals that you can cook in bulk quickly and without spending a fortune, pasta bake is pretty much the king. There are so many different types of pasta bake you can make so you’re sure to find an option for even the fussiest eater, not to mention being able to use whatever you have in your kitchen cupboards.
So long as you have pasta, tinned tomatoes and some herbs, you can whip up a quick and easy pasta bake that can feed the masses with no trouble. Try adding tuna, cooked chicken breast or even cooked sausages to bulk out the bake and introduce some protein. Vegetables can also be added to help it go that little bit further.
Just be sure to cover the top of your pasta bake when it’s cooking to stop it going dry and then be generous with the cheese during the last 10 minutes in the oven. The only problem is, your pasta bake will probably be such a hit you’ll end up having to cook it a lot!
Just like chips, pizza is pretty much a winning choice when feeding kids. While you can easily pop a frozen pizza in the oven, it won’t be very healthy and probably won’t keep your children and their friends entertained. This is why tortilla pizza is a great option when you’ve a lot of mouths to feed.
Instead of a pizza dough base, simply use a flour tortilla to create each pizza. This will create a thin and crispy base that is tasty and also a lot healthier – not to mention cheaper. Set out bowls of various toppings and let the kids create their own pizzas, although you’ll want to make sure no one overloads theirs.
Pop the pizzas on baking trays and put them in the oven until all the toppings are cooked and the bases are nice and crispy. If you have tortillas left over, you can cut them up to create tortilla chips, which you also bake in the oven. These can be eaten as they are, with dip or turned into nachos.