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Food and snack recipes you can be sure the kids will love

It’s important to make sure you have food recipe’s under your belt that you know the kids will eat.
Cooking snacks and dinners are not meant to be difficult, it’s can be very rewarding when you see your children eating nutritious meals – that you cooked. If your a separated dad, getting the children, breakfast, lunch and dinner (and snacks) is fundamental in part of the caring and nurturing of your children. There are a few other recipes you can find by clicking here on the dads online site. Here are just a few other easy meals that will get you going…

  1. Grilled Cheese Toastie:

    • Ingredients:
      • Bread slices
      • Butter
      • Cheese slices
    • Instructions:
      1. Butter one side of each bread slice.
      2. Place a cheese slice between two slices of bread (buttered side out).
      3. Heat a skillet (frypan) over medium heat and cook the sandwich until both sides are golden brown and the cheese is melted.
  1. Homemade Chicken Nuggets:

    • Ingredients:
      • Chicken breast, cut into bite-sized pieces
      • Flour
      • Eggs, beaten
      • Breadcrumbs
      • Salt and pepper
    • Instructions:
      1. Dredge chicken pieces in flour, dip in beaten eggs, then coat with breadcrumbs.
      2. Place on a baking sheet and bake in a preheated oven at 400°F (200°C) for about 15-20 minutes or until golden and cooked through.
  1. Pasta with Tomato Sauce:

    • Ingredients:
      • Pasta (e.g., spaghetti, penne)
      • Tomato Bolognese sauce
      • Grated Parmesan cheese
    • Instructions:
      1. Cook pasta according to package instructions.
      2. Heat tomato sauce, and serve it over the cooked pasta. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese.
      3. I myself enjoys a good Spaghetti Bplognese so add 500g of mince meat cooked up and grate some zucchini and carrot into the mince meat.
  1. Mini Pizzas:

    • Ingredients:
      • English muffins or small pizza crusts
      • Pizza sauce
      • Shredded mozzarella cheese
      • Toppings like pepperoni, bell peppers, and mushrooms
    • Instructions:
      1. Spread pizza sauce on the muffins or crusts.
      2. Sprinkle with cheese and add your favorite toppings.
      3. Bake in a preheated oven at 375°F (190°C) until cheese is bubbly and golden.
  1. Fruit Kabobs:

    • Ingredients:
      • Assorted fruits (e.g., strawberries, grapes, melon, pineapple)
      • Wooden skewers
    • Instructions:
      1. Wash and cut fruits into bite-sized pieces.
      2. Thread the fruit pieces onto wooden skewers to make colorful fruit kabobs.
Slice of toast bread with peanut butter and banana isolated on white, top view, copy space. Sweet sandwich, unhealthy food.
  1. Peanut Butter and Banana Sandwich:

    • Ingredients:
      • Bread slices
      • Peanut butter
      • Sliced bananas
    • Instructions:
      1. Spread peanut butter on one slice of bread.
      2. Top with banana slices and cover with another slice of bread. Cut into fun shapes with cookie cutters if desired.

These recipes are simple to prepare and are sure to be a hit with kids!

Dads Favourite Shepherds Pie Recipe

Dads, if you’re after a dinner recipe that will please the family, and the kids will ask for more, then this is it.
Im cooking it again because “Odette” loved it and licked the plate clean. Surely that in itself is an awesome review for Dads Cooking.

OK, here is the recipe

  • Serves about 8
  • Prep time approx 20 min
  • Cook time approx 50 min
  • Total time required approx 1.10 min

Meat Ingredients

  • 2 tablespoons of Olive oil
  • 1 large brown onion
  • 1.5kg of lean mince meat
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped rosemary
  • 3 teaspoons of finely chopped thyme leaves
  • half teaspoon of salt
  • half teaspoon of pepper
  • 1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 teaspoon of minced garlic cloves
  • 2 tablespoons of plain flour
  • 2 table spoons of tomato paste
  • 1 cup of beef stock
  • 1.1/2 mixed frozen peas, carrots and corn kernels

Potato Ingredients

  • 10 medium size washed potato’s peeled
  • 8 tablespoons of butter
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
  • smash of milk
  • 250g mozzarella cheese

Cooking the meat mixture

  1. add the olive oil to a large frypan over a medium heat for a couple of minutes then add the diced onion and cook for 5 minutes or until the onion becomes translucent.
  2. add the mince meat to the frypan and break apart whilst browning the meat.
  3. add the parsley, rosemary, thyme, salt and pepper. Stir in well and cook for approx 8 minutes until meat is brown.
  4. add the Worcestershire sauce and garlic, stir in and combine for a couple of minutes continuing to break apart the mince.
  5. add the flour and tomato past and stir into the mince meat.
  6. add the stock, frozen peas, carrots and corn. Stir in and bring the liquid to a boil and then turn down to a simmer for 5 minutes, stir occasionally.
  7. turn off the stove and let meat mixture rest.
  8. Preheat oven to 180c

Cooking the potato mixture

  1. place potato in a large pot and cover the potato in water.
    1. bring water to the boil. reduce to a simmer, cook until potato are tender to touch with a fork – approx. 10-15 min
  2. drain the water out of the pot, let them sit in the pot for 1 min so the remaining water evaporates.
  3. add butter, salt, parmesan, milk and mash together until mixture is mashed together with no lumps.

Putting Dads Sheperds pie together

  1. pour the meat mixture into a large casserole dish and spread evenly to all edges of the dish
  2. spoon the mash evenly over the top of the meat and to all edges of the dish.
  3. sprinkle the mozzarella over the top of the mash evenly .

Cook time

  • bake uncovered in oven for 25-30 minutes.
  • If casserole dish looks full to the top, it might be a good idea to place on a baking tray so the liquid doesn’t bubble over into the oven whilst cooking.
  • the mozzarella will brown up and create a nice tasty top to your shepherd pie
  • remove from oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving
  • If your not ready to eat, cover with glad wrap and rest in the fridge until your ready to put it in the oven. Take off the glad wrap and follow the above steps to heat it up for dinner.

We would love to read your comments below on how it went?

Enjoy Dads 🙂


Rest in the fridge

Cauliflower and Zucchini Soup

cauliflower and zucchini soup

I got onto this recipe when I stayed at the Golden Door retreat, every time I make it, the kids practically lick the bowl clean. It’s really awesome! For the soup lovers that like it a little hot, drop a small dollop of chilli mixture in the center and stir it through.

saute onions and leekgrill the zucchiniboil and simmer for 30 minIngredients – serves approx 15

  • 2 large onions – chopped
  • 1 leek – chopped, white part only
  • 3 Zucchini’s – cut in half and grilled for 20 minutes
  • 1 large (or 2 small) Cauliflower – chopped
  • 1/4 cup of cashew nuts – chopped
  • 2 garlic cloves – roasted (place on try with zucchini’s)
  • 3 litres of Vegetable stock
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Combine onion, leek and salt in large saucepan with some water to saute for 5 minutes.
  • Add everything in and bring to boil and then let simmer for 30 minutes
  • Remove soup from heat and allow to cool
  • Blend soup in food processor or blender until smooth
  • Reheat gently and serve

soup for a cold winters nightThere is nothing better than a great soup on a winters night, it will make a great meal for the kids and you. I would love your feedback on how you all enjoyed this cauliflower and zucchini soup?

Don’t forget the crusty bread to go with it.


Toasted ham sandwich – in the frypan

If you’re like me, I’m always trying to impress the kids with some Dads Cooking. This might not sound like a biggy but the difference you get in taste between a toaster and a fry-plan is huge, when you cook your toasties in non-stick pan – you will never go back 🙂

Ingredients Serves 1 or 2
50g butter, 2 teaspoons
4 thick slices white bread
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard (optional)
100g thinly sliced leg ham
80g Gruyere cheese, thinly sliced
Pineapple pieces (optional)
dressed salad leaves, to serve

Set 1 teaspoon of butter aside. Place 2 slices bread on a board. Combine mustard and remaining butter in a small bowl. Mix well. Spread over bread. Top with ham and cheese and pineapple if required. Season with salt and pepper. Spread remaining bread with mustard butter and sandwich together.  Press down firmly.

Heat half the reserved butter in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Place 1 sandwich in pan (see note). Cook for 2 minutes each side or until golden. Repeat with remaining butter and sandwich. Serve with salad.


Dads Pancake Recipe

Nothing better than making your own pancake mix, its easy, you can make them for yourself, your partner or surprise the kids with a yummy food treat – get the kids to help you, they’ll love too!
During these times that we must “Stay Home”, we have to be creative and find different things to do and that includes cooking up different recipes.

My favorite is making them for breakfast, I smother them with butter, peanut butter and sliced banana with a drizzle of honey over them. Pretty much anything can go on top of a pancake? I’d be very interested to know your favorite topping?

Here’s the recipe that serves approximately 8 pancakes :

  • 1 cup of self raising flour into a large bowl
  • 2 teaspoons of sugar
  • 1 egg
  • Milk – Just enough to make the mixture not to runny
  • Lots of butter and favorite toppings

Add all dry ingredients to a bowl.
Get a whisk and add the milk slowly to the bowl while your “whisking”.
Continue to whisk until all mixture is mixed through well and it just wet enough to be the right runny consistency.

Heat up fry-pan to 3/4 heat with a teaspoon of butter smeared across the pan. The first pancake is usually always a test and often can not turn out.
Pour in some mixture, wait for bubbles to appear on top. When bubbles appear its time to flip the pancake over.

Wait for the bubbles to appear then flip over

I know you’ll enjoy this pancake recipe and it will be a good one for your Dads Cooking book. Let us all know how your pancakes turned out.

Poll: What do you want to know?

Dads Online is about to turn 5. Since the beginning we have written about many topics. I remember the early days we were all about: connecting with your children after absence, When you just cant be there, Parenting plans, Dads have feelings too, ways to make your child feel secure, What to say to the kids, The first night alone, When you have to visit the ex, Travel games, Being happy alone, Making chocolate crackles plus 100’s more.

There is so much more to talk about but I want to make sure that I am answering questions and concerns that are important to you.

Below is a survey I would love for you to be apart of.  Select the area’s of’ importance to you and we will provide tips and information that will benefit us all. If you have a topic that is not mentioned please contact us or enter it into “other” on the poll and let us know.

A lunchbox to satisfy Dad and the kids

Uncle Toby Fruit BoxIts not the first time I have posted on putting together a healthy School lunch box but this is also my lunch box. When I make the school lunch I also make a duplicate for me 🙂

Fresh fruit is always a winner and I love this time of year. The better fruits are now coming into season and appearing in the shops and markets not to mention half the price. I do a big fruit shop on a Sunday,   rock melon and pears (a house favorite) are normally a little hard and it takes a day or two to loosen up and be juicy and firm (not hard).

I purchase in bulk the plastic containers (they get damaged) to use as the fruit box and then I enjoy cutting the fruit each morning to see how good I make it look. I must say today was visually amazing and also the fruit was so juicy, I could have eaten 2 boxes! Its sometimes a challenge where to go after the fruit box is put together when trying to keep in the theme of healthy. I add a fresh sandwich or sometimes a scroll from a bakery the day prior.

If I left it up to my child she would have only biscuits for lunch. At the moment she is off bread and scrolls and seems to just like fruit and a Uncle Tobys muesli bar, Uncle Tobys have reformulated their bars and they are good. My daughter said that they were good and her favorite is the choc chip. I tried the yoghurt & honeycomb today and it was a nice surprise that the whole bar wasn’t covered in yoghourt. Instead it was a drizzle so I could taste the grains and it wasn’t as dense as before, it felt lighter and healthier.

This hasn’t been a paid advertisement just a shout out to a company with a good lunchbox item.

Banana and peanut butter sandwich

peanut butter and banana sandwichIngredients (serves 1)
2 slices of your favourite bread
1 tbs peanut butter
1 banana, sliced
2 tsp honey

This snack is universal, breakfast or lunch 🙂 Came across it in a cafe in St Kilda Melbourne the other day, so simple and delish!

Spread 1 slice of bread with 1 tbs peanut butter. Top with 1 banana, sliced, and drizzle over 2 tsp honey. Top with another slice of bread.  Toast it if you prefer?  …Enjoy.

Golden Door Muffins

The Golden Door Retreat on the Gold Coast, Queensland.

The Golden Door Retreat in Queensland.

I now know what indiscriminate exercise means 🙂
When I visited the Golden Door in the Brisbane hinterlands for a Dads 5 day health and wellbeing stay.

I was allocated cabin 16 which was wonderful but it was located close to the top of the highest hill, each day after lunch or dinner I would venture back up this hill which in itself was a work out. It was all part of the adventure. The meals were amazing, all vegetarian (I’m not) but I must admit they were good.

The whole idea of the 5 days was to eat healthily, workout and get back onto a healthy road. It worked, there was around 20 in the group, we were locked in behind gates, a nurse was on duty for the first 3 days incase anyone had bad widthdrawl? There was no smoking, drinking or treats of any kind. I am still not a Vege, but I do enjoy the occasional meal. One treat I did like and often cook are there Golden Door Muffins. The kids always ask for more…


Ingredients (makes 12)
2 Apples peeled and finely chopped
3 ripe bananas, chopped
85g (1/2 cup) pitted dates, chopped
55g (1/2 cup) sultanas
125ml (1/2 cup) maple syrup
3 tables spoons of finely chopped pecan nuts
310g (2 1/2 cups) wholemeal self raising flour
1 teaspoon bicarbonate of soda (baking soda)
1 teaspoon of ground cinnamon

Preheat oven to 180c (350F)
Mix all ingredients together by hand and ensure all is combined well.
Add 13fl (1 and 1/2 cups) of water and fold together.
The mixture should not be two wet, if it is add a little more flour.

Lightly spray a 12 hole muffin tray with oil and spoon mixture into try holes.

Bake for approx 25 minutes


Pancakes with banana and maple syrup


On those mornings that your wondering what to cook for the kids? or just want something different to make. Try this easy pancake recipe (better than the packet mix) kids can even help. The first time i tried I ruined a couple but then found out that its normal until the pan gets an even heat through it.  Have fun and Enjoy!

1 cup self raising flour
1/4 cup sugar
1 egg
2 Banana’s (or any fruit you and your children like.
Maple Syrup

Sift flour and sugar into mixing bowl
Add egg and approx 1/4 cup of milk and stir
Continue to add milk until mixture is smooth (no lumps) and desired consistency is achieved.
Texture should be thick, smooth but pour easily

Heat frying pan, add a little butter (so mixture does not stick)
Cook until holes appear on top of the pancake, flip and cook on other side until golden brown.

Slice up banana and place over the top and between the layers of pancakes, dribble maple syrup over the top.

TIP: sometimes the first couple of pancakes don’t work out but once the pan has an even distribution of heat they will brown up nicely.

One of our facebook dads “Roger Blackwell” suggested to simply remove the sugar and make a thin mix.  Don’t mix hard just blend with whisk. Throw in a banana, brown sugar syrup, crushed nuts and yoghurt. Winner! Or sliced ham, melted cheese and relish over the top. kids love them

Osso Bucco with a Dads twist

Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 1Tonight was the first week night of the year that gave us a hint of winter- 11 celsius. A perfect night for a slow cooked style casserole with mash potato. I searched the net for a yummy recipe that would satisfy my toughest critics, yes the kids! I found a recipe that was DELICIOUS 🙂
No wonder Julie Goodwin won Master Chef and is known for family cooking, Julie’s website helped me out today (I came home at lunchtime and put it on so that it was ready tonight, although I prepared it yesterday). You might need to cook this on a weekend if you don’t have the time?

You will need a slow cooker, I recommend investing in one as the dishes they produce are easy and so tasty.

This dish is a winner:

Osso Bucco with a Dads twist…
Serves: 4

  • ½ cup plain flour
  • ¼ tsp salt
  • ¼ tsp ground white pepper
  • 4 Oyster blade steaks (around 1.2 kg)
  • 2 tbs oil
  • 2 carrots, diced
  • 3 celery sticks, diced
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 cloves garlic, chopped
  • ¼ cup tomato paste
  • 1 ½ cups white wine
  • 1 ½ cups veal or beef stock
  • 1 x 400g tin of  diced tomatoes


Cut Oyster blade steaks into bite size cubes, Put flour, salt and pepper into plastic bag (I use freezer bags). Hold the top of the bag and shake it up to mix all the contents together.

Put diced steaks into bag and again hold the top of the bag and shake to coat the steaks with the mixture.

Put Olive oil into frypan and sear the steaks so that they are slightly browned. Make sure that you shake off the excess flour back into the bag so that you don’t have too much flour in the pan.

Once brown put them into slow cooker to rest.

Dice, onion, carrot, celery and garlic and soften in frypan ( do not brown) This should take about 3-4 minutes whilst continually stirring. Add the tomato past, beef stock, wine, and the remainder of the flour mixture to vegetables and mix through.

Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 3Once mixed through pour all contents into slow cooker, mix and turn slow cooker on and close lid.


Dads Osso Bucco Slow Cooked Beef 2I cooked this dish for 4  hours, prior to serving I warmed the plates  and made mash potato with some parmesan cheese added.

There is enough over to have it again tomorrow night or it has been suggested I make a pie with it Mmmmm.

Seriously everyone thought it was delicious, I hope you enjoy 🙂

3 recipes to make with the kids

ben and jerrys icecreamThey say that watching your parents cook is one of the strongest memories a child can have and cooking as a family is one of the few ways everyone can come together. If food was a big part of your household growing up, you would always remember arriving home from school to the rich aroma of stew simmering quietly on the stove – one of your parents tasting the consistency of the sauce every few minutes. As kids, we loved being a part of the kitchen and we were always excited to help out in any way we could. Whether it was stirring the pasta in the pot or helping to ice the cake whilst covering ourselves in the leftover icing. We simply treasured it! Now it’s time to re-create those memories with our own little ones. But what to make? If they are just learning, it needs to be simple enough where they feel as though they have reign in the kitchen. Here are just a few ideas of meals you can make with your kids.

Frozen Fruit Skewers with a honey yogurt dipping sauce

The Aussie  summer has just hit us and we are scrambling for ways to keep cool, especially if some of us aren’t blessed with a pool. Unlike those sugary popsicles, these frozen fruit skewers are not only refreshing but are full of delicious nutrients. All you need is skewers and fresh berries, grapes and pineapple. Have the kids place (or stab) the fruit with the wooden sticks and place them in the freezer until frozen solid. When they are ready to serve, mix together some plain yoghurt and honey for dipping.

Veggie Packed Homemade Sausage Rolls

Fussy kids and vegetables never go down well. We can cover the veggies in sauce all we like, but they always know. Before my eldest realised that vegetables are the bee’s knees, the only way I could get him his daily serve was by grating it into these homemade sausage rolls – what kid doesn’t love sausage rolls? In a bowl of mince, grate every vegetable in your arsenal along with some breadcrumbs and get your children to line the filling in the pastry. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden and serve with a big dollop of tomato sauce.

Mega Chocolate Sundae

Ok, so we all need the odd treat every now and again, so why not go all out with a mega chocolate sundae that you can share. This recipe is super simple and adaptable to your kids’ tastebuds. Just pick yourself up a tub of  Ben and Jerry’s ice cream, marshmallows, wafer biscuits, whipped cream and if you feel the desire to add a touch of fruit, nothing compliments a sundae better than a banana. Once you’ve scooped the ice cream into a bowl, get your children to add their favourite toppings and voila – you’ve got yourself one scrumptious sundae.

What do your kids love cooking? Tell us in the comments below.