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Share your never-fail playdate food tips with Lidl - chance to win vouchers NOW CLOSED

(210 Posts)
AnnMumsnet (MNHQ) Mon 08-Aug-16 14:48:06

We've all been there - trying to find something to cook for your child’s fussy friend during a playdate. Lidl are after your tips and recipes for the kind of food that always goes down a treat when you're having kids over for playdates. Do you play it safe with fish fingers and chips? Or do you have some other less conservative recipes and meal suggestions that are guaranteed to please? Maybe you have a pasta and sauce combo that no child has yet turned their noses up at.

Share your ideas, tips and recipes below and you will be entered into a prize draw where you could win one of five £50 Lidl vouchers.

Thanks and good luck
MNHQ

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jooliewoolie123 Tue 09-Aug-16 01:44:01

My little one is best friends with a little girl who has been raised as a strict vegetarian. At first, I was worried that she would be terribly fussy and that I would have a hard time finding things for her to eat. In fact, the complete opposite is true- she is very open minded, and has got DD trying all types of new interesting vegetables and fruit!

My best tip to create a playdate meal which is guaranteed to please is to make something simple, fun and easy, so that the kids can join in and assist in making it. For example, on Saturday, I got the kids involved in measuring out the flour to add to a creamy pasta sauce recipe, and they helped to add in the vegetables after I had cut them up. This gave them a sense of ownership and pride, and made them excited to try their pasta creation!

renee8100 Tue 09-Aug-16 01:54:15

I like to make a "little buffet" of different finger foods, a mixture of simple classics (sausage rolls, little mini homemade pizzas, homemade potato wedges), and more adventurous options, such as little vegetable kebabs and sushi! The children love it and are more willing to try new things, and so far every time I've done this there has been very little going to waste.

123julie321 Tue 09-Aug-16 02:35:59

My simple tuna pasta bake recipe is an easy crowd pleaser than the children love. My son's friend always asks for it when he comes over!

Ingredients (makes about 5 child size portions)
300g pasta
25g butter
25g plain flour
300ml milk
125g cheddar ceese
1 can of tuna
1 can of sweetcorn
1 can of garden peas

Instructions:
1 Heat oven to 180C/fan 160C/gas 4.
2. Prepare the pasta as stated on the pack.
3. To make the sauce: melt the butter and stir in the flour. Cook for 1 min, then stir in the milk to make the white sauce nice and creamy. Remove from heat and stir in most of the cheese (leave some for sprinkling on top).
4. Drain the pasta, mix with the white sauce, tuna, sweetcorn and peas.
5. Transfer to a baking dish and top with the rest of the cheese.
6. Bake for 15-20 mins until the cheese is golden.

renee8100 Tue 09-Aug-16 02:49:47

I keep it straightforward and just make something that 99% of children love, like macaroni and cheese, fajitas or little burgers. Maybe not the healthiest choice, but it's no fuss and quick to make. Then for dessert, ice lollies or fruit salad with some ice cream is a nice treat.

WowOoo Tue 09-Aug-16 07:04:19

If it's a child I don't know very well I make a selection of things they can pick and choose - little pasties, sausages, carrot and cucumber sticks, bread, cheese etc.
I will often serve some spaghetti bolognese as I usually have loads of it in the freezer. I've only met one child who hated pasta. She ate all of the sauce though!

vickyors Tue 09-Aug-16 13:38:09

I always make macaroni cheese when my children have a play date.. I make it with lardons in it and so far, kids seem to love it!

Hs2Issue Tue 09-Aug-16 13:41:40

We always seem to make pizza when we have children round. They love rolling out the dough and choosing toppings, only trouble is stopping my DD eating most of the toppings before the pizza is finished.

CassetteTape Wed 10-Aug-16 11:11:48

we play it safe with a couple of flavours of pizza, but then do little nibble bowls of carrot sticks and cucumber for them to graze on as well - works well for us, besides when I put some little salami sticks out and one lad took the lot!

BabyGanoush Wed 10-Aug-16 11:14:37

Buffet type dinners are best for this.

One plate of pizza slices, one of sausage rolls, one of chopped ip carrot/cucumber/cherry toms, and one with potato wedges.

Can't go wrong like that!

forkhandles4candles Wed 10-Aug-16 11:29:04

Home made pizza with the children adding own toppings never fails. And strawberries are always devoured too.

RhubarbAndMustard Wed 10-Aug-16 11:44:17

We usually have play dates over lunch, so a big hit is fish finger wraps. I put everything in small bowls on the table - cucumber, grated carrot, cherry tomatoes, grated cheese, lettuce, sliced pepper and the fish fingers. Kids get a wrap on their plate and add what they want. It's always a big hit and they always eat more salad than if it was just on their plate.

BrieAndChilli Wed 10-Aug-16 11:44:22

I normally stick to fish fingers and pasta/mash or pizza
If I have several children over at once then I normally do a help yourself meal - jacket potatoes and assorted toppings or pasta and a couple of different sauces/toppings as some friends are veggie, others are fussy etc!
Lunchtime is just picky bits that everyone can choose from.
The kids do have a couple of friends who eat very well and will ask for my fish pie or couscous and tagine etc.

keepinrunning Wed 10-Aug-16 12:55:02

DD loves making pizza when her friends come. Adding own toppings gives the choice and makes sure they have what they like.

MummyBtothree Wed 10-Aug-16 13:18:18

A couple of my children are quite fussy so I tend to play it safe. I buy fishcakes from the fishmonger and serve them with home made potato wedges and peas, it always seems to go down well with my ds' s friends. If I do a pudding I make a jelly and set some tinned fruit in it and serve with ice-cream smile

Chippednailvarnishing Wed 10-Aug-16 14:21:54

I call Domino's. Always a winner!

bambooleaves Wed 10-Aug-16 15:30:56

My safe option is home made pizza and home made chips because they always enjoy doing that. I either buy the bases or get the kids to make a scone base which is messy but fun!

And if they don't eat it, I don't worry- just send it one in a doggy bagsmile

LadyMonicaBaddingham Wed 10-Aug-16 15:48:27

My most usual offering is Broccoli and Cheese Strata...

Cube about 300g decent bread (tiger bread is really good) and put into a big oven dish.
Fry a chopped onion with a bit of garlic and a head of broccoli in small bits and scatter this over the bread with a small handful of grated cheddar. Mix together 6 eggs and 200ml milk with a dollop of dijon mustard. Pour over the ingredients in the dish. Top with a little more cheese and bake for 20 minutes at 180.

That's a good meal. If I just need a snacky thing for children, I usually put out a plate of sliced veg and breadsticks with a pesto and yoghurt dip.

MumsFlouncingOnASummerHoliday Wed 10-Aug-16 15:55:45

I always make a batch of dough when expecting a house full. It acts as filler to whatever we throw together.

For my youngest and her friends getting floury and making dough shapes always goes down really well.

As they are in reception they have a cooked meal at lunch so after school I tend to let them have what we call nibble platters of chopped fruit and veg (typically; peppers, carrots, cucumber, tomato's, mushrooms, apple, grapes, blueberries, strawberries), cooked meats, small cubes cheese and served with their dough creations warm from the oven and a small pot of butter.

My older ones quite often turn their dough into pizza or we have a simple pasta in tomato sauce with meatballs/ chopped meat and add garlic butter to the dough to make our own garlic flatbreads or dough sticks.

For a lighter meal a big pot of leek and potato soup with dough balls served with optional grated cheese and crispy bacon always seems to be a hit.

EnquiringMingeWantsToKnow Wed 10-Aug-16 17:04:12

After many disastrous play dates trying to be clever with actual cooking, I eventually settled on a repertoire of roast chicken thighs, oven chips, mini corn on the cob, broccoli, and watermelon slices for pudding. Unless you have a vegetarian coming it's pretty foolproof, and it just needs shoving in the oven, so you aren't tied to the stove unable to supervise while the little darlings burn the house down or kill each other.

IME all children eat broccoli.

GiraffesAndButterflies Wed 10-Aug-16 17:08:47

Pitta pizzas are great, they love decorating them. Fruit and plain yoghurt for afters. Hasn't gone wrong yet grin

asuwere Wed 10-Aug-16 17:14:01

My safe option is macaroni cheese. Generally if any of mine are having friends over for a meal, its last minute and they decide if they want to stayed based on what we're having! smile

hermancakedestroyer Wed 10-Aug-16 17:21:29

For our playdates we always opt for carrot sticks and hummus and we make quesilladas by putting grated cheese and tomato puree and a little ham or chicken into a wrap and folding it in 4 and frying it off in a frying pan with a little oil.

ThenBellaDidSomethingVeryKind Wed 10-Aug-16 17:50:59

I buy pizza bases and lay out toppings for the kids to use as decoration: cheese, tomatoes, olives, peppers, pineapple, ham etc. Functions well as an activity for those 'what can we do now?' moments, as well as the children being sure they'll like what's being served for tea 😀

ShatnersBassoon Wed 10-Aug-16 18:03:00

Nibbly buffet for little children, like party food but more healthy stuff and no party rings.

Older children just want pizza hmm.

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