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10 Fun Recipes for Dinner with the Au Pair

avatar of jasmijn kok
Date: 23 August 2022
About the Author: This blog was published by Jasmijn in the Nina.care team. She hopes to inform, surprise and delight you with our content!
Contact: jasmijnkok@nina.care

Hi, au pair, how nice of you to take a look at this blog. In this blog, I will tell you which recipes are completely ‘au pairing-proof’. With au pair responsibilities, it may be necessary for you to make dinner with the children. You want it to not take too long to prepare the recipe and that the children also like it. Quite a challenge, but actually it doesn’t have to be that difficult. To help you with this, I will share 10 recipes with you in this blog! Have you become curious? Then read on quickly!

What are great au pairing recipes?

First of all, it is useful to look at how much time it will take to prepare dinner and how it fits into your weekly schedule as an au pair. For example, it is not wise to choose a recipe that takes a very long time, the children often find it difficult to wait for the food at the end of the day. They are often tired and have little patience. As an au pair, you don’t want to have to spend a very long time in the kitchen to prepare something.

Involve the children

It is also nice that all host children like the dish. The taste can differ per child, but some children can be picky eaters. The parents/guardians of the children often know what they like and don’t like. Some children are in a phase where they are very picky about what they eat. It can sometimes help to cook with the children. Then they see exactly the food is being prepared and they will eat it faster because they have made it themselves. So as an au pair, try to involve the children in preparing the food whenever possible.

child cooking different recipes with his au pair in the kitchen

Adjust certain diets

Before you choose a recipe, it is also important to coordinate with the parents/guardians whether there are certain diets that the children follow. For example, a child may have allergies to peanuts or an intolerance to dairy products. So first ask this clearly to the parents/caregivers before you choose a recipe that may not fall within the diet.

It is also nice to remember that babies and toddlers still have to get used to certain flavors. Strong herbs are therefore not recommended. You may find it very nice to cook with certain herbs but leave them out as much as possible when you cook for children.

Be safe

It is important that cooking with children is done safely. Do not let children near hot pans and fire. When you let the children cut something, give them a knife with which they can injure themselves as little as possible. Stay seated next to this at all times.

When you are going to cook without the host children, it is advisable to close the kitchen so that the children cannot come close to the ‘dangerous’ objects in the kitchen and injure themselves.

Make cooking an activity

If you want to make cooking an activity, but the kids are still too small to cook with, it’s fun to do the shopping together. Go to the supermarket with your host kids and make it a game to find all the ingredients needed for the dish. Let the children choose their own ‘responsible’ dessert when the parents/caregivers allow this. This way you can turn shopping into a real activity that is fun for host children of all ages.

I came up with some recipes for you to make with the kids

Now that you have learned some important points of attention, it is time to share the recipes with you. Make sure to plan ahead of time with your host parents so they can order groceries for your meal of choice! Below the description of the recipe, there is also a link to the website where the recipe comes from.

Quick noodles

  • Vegetarian
  • lots of vegetables
  • Contains nuts and egg
  • Contains herbs (may be a bit spicy for young children)

The first recipe is quick noodles. And the name says it all, you don’t have to stand in the kitchen for long. This recipe is vegetarian, if you still want meat, you can cut chicken breast into pieces and fry it in the pan before the vegetables are baked. Along with the garlic and ginger. The herbs sound a bit contradictory with the beginning of this blog. However, you can add the spices to the quick noodles to your own taste. I recommend using a little less red pepper than the recipe states. The peanut oil can also be replaced by olive oil if this is not available at home.

Source:  https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R524758/snelle-bami

Lentil pasta with spinach and vegetarian meatballs

  • Vegetarian
  • Contains gluten

Lentils are hidden in this recipe without the kids noticing. The lentil paste will give children healthy beans without them knowing it. In addition to spinach and tomato, you can add vegetables of your choice. For example, you can fill the pasta with zucchini, bell pepper, or other vegetables that the children like. If you would like to eat meat but still want to make this recipe, you can replace the vegetarian meatballs for ‘real’ meatballs.

Source:  https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R1193478/lentilpasta-met-spinazie-en-vegaballetjes


  • Vegetarian
  • Contains a lot of vegetables
  • Gluten free
  • Lactose and nuts free
  • Contains egg

At first, the name may sound a little crazy if you’re not already familiar with this recipe. But believe me, once you eat this once you will make it more often. Shakshuka is an ideal recipe to eat with children, because you can use a lot of vegetables in it without the children noticing.

You can adjust the dish to the age of the children, if the children are a bit smaller, it is advisable not to use too many ras el hanout herbs. If the children are a bit older, you can follow the standard recipe.

If you don’t have coconut oil on hand, you can use olive oil. If you want to make the shakshuka more filling, you could have the kids dip breadsticks in the shakshuka.

Source:  https://www.Gezondaantafel.nl/recepten/hoofdsrecht/shakshuka/

Vegetable soup with smoked chicken breast

  • Contains a lot of vegetables
  • Lactose free and nut free
  • Contains gluten (due to baguette)

A soup is an ideal way to get your host children to eat a lot of vegetables. There are many groups incorporated in this soup. The children may not like this very much. As a counterpart, you can add ‘letter vermicelli’ yourself. This way the children can see which letters they have on their spoon per bite and they completely forget that they eat a lot of vegetables.

If you want to keep this dish gluten-free, you can choose to replace the baguette with a gluten-free alternative.

Tip: if it is difficult for the children to alternate between chewing the large pieces, you can choose to puree the entire soup so that it is easier to eat.

Source:  https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R1187997/meelgroentesoep-met-gerookte-kipfilet

Fish stick wraps

  • Contains fish
  • Quick to prepare
  • Contains gluten and lactose

At first, this recipe may sound a little weird. Fish fingers on a wrap, who would come up with something like that? But trust me, just wait until you taste this. Then suddenly the recipe isn’t so crazy anymore. The recipe is quite simple, easy to make and has few ingredients. If you want the recipe to contain more vegetables, I would recommend adding cucumber, bell pepper, or tomato.

Because this recipe does not contain ‘very’ strong flavors, this recipe is ideal for eating with smaller children.

Source: https://chickslovefood.com/recept/visstick-wraps-2/

Make Pizza yourself

  • Contains gluten
  • Can be vegetarian
  • Contains as many vegetables as you want

Making your own pizza is a fun activity to do with the au pair. Buy ready-made dough at the supermarket. Spread this dough over the baking tray and spread the dough with the accompanying tomato sauce. After this comes the best part, the pizza topping.

Together with the host children you can decide what goes on the pizza. You can cut many different vegetables such as: bell pepper, tomato, eggplant, zucchini, carrot, leek and so on. If the host children like to eat meat, you can add salami, chicken breast or ham to the pizza. When the pizza is almost ready to go in the oven, you can sprinkle the pizza with grated cheese.

A while in the oven, and ready is the homemade pizza!

To properly prepare the children for making the pizza, you can first watch the attached video from the link below.

Source:  https://www.ah.nl/allerhandekids/recept/896842/pizza-met-je-eigen-beleg

Potato slices from the oven

  • Contains gluten
  • Contains lactose
  • Vegetable of your choice
  • Meat or meat substitute of your choice

This recipe contains a video just like the recipe from number 8. This way the preparation of this recipe can be clearly shown and the host children are invited to make this recipe themselves. The recipe includes a potato casserole. Because the recipe itself does not contain any vegetables, you can cook or bake some vegetables as a side dish. This also applies to any meat or a meat substitute. This way you can give the recipe your own twist, specially tailored to the preferences of the host children.

Source: Allerhande.nl

Vegetable burger sandwich

  • Vegetarian
  • Contains gluten
  • Contains lactose (mayonnaise)
  • Vegetables of your choice

A burger sandwich sounds like a real party meal for kids. However, a standard hamburger bun contains few vegetables. To solve this, you can choose to replace a hamburger with a ‘greetings’ burger. You can now find many meat substitutes in the supermarket, such as beet burgers, zucchini burgers and vegetable burgers.

When you tell the kids you’re going to eat a burger bun, they won’t even notice that this isn’t going to be a real burger. So the ‘key’ is to fool the children, as it were. To add some vegetables, you can cut tomato, cucumber, gherkins and bell pepper into slices or strips. You can also add some lettuce to make the burger completely healthy.

As a side dish you can cut sweet potato fries and fry them in a pan. For the children this will feel like a real feast, while in fact they are ingesting a lot of vegetables.

Tip: choose soft white balls with small children

Source:  https://www.ah.nl/allerhande/recept/R-R1186993/zoete-aardappel-friet

Quick lasagna tagliatelle

  • Contains gluten
  • Contains lactose
  • lots of vegetables

A ‘real’ lasagna is often well liked by children. However, it can often be in the oven for a long time. To solve this, there is a lasagna tagliatelle. This one is very easy to make but also very tasty.

The peppers, carrots and celery give the children some vegetables.

If you want to make a vegetarian version, you can replace the minced meat with vegetarian minced meat. It is advisable to omit the Parmesan cheese with small children. This cheese can have a very strong taste that small children often do not like.

Source:  https://chickslovefood.com/recept/lasagne-tagliatelle/

I hope this blog has inspired you a little bit about new recipes. I would also like to say that you can be creative yourself and choose vegetables or meat substitutes yourself to make your dish completely your own. Make it a fun activity with your host children. Then there is only one thing left for me to say: Enjoy your meal!