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10 Easy and Healthy Family Recipes

Francesca Abalasei
Written by

Francesca Abalasei

Reviewed by dietitian

Fiona Moncrieff

11 min read
Last updated July 2024

Jump to:  Mini Omelettes | Tortilla Pizza | Chicken Fajita Bake | Blueberry Oat Pancakes | Prawn and Pineapple Skewers | Popcorn Chicken | Mac and Cheese | Beef Quesadilla | Bangers and Butter Bean Mash | Cheeseburger Stuffed Peppers

At Second Nature, we appreciate entirely how family meal times can be tricky to navigate, trying to please everyone and save time. So, we have collated 10 of our best quick, easy, and family-friendly recipes.

Our registered nutritionists and dietitians at Second Nature have developed these balanced recipes that leave you fuller for longer; we promise the kids will love them too.

1) Mini omelettes

These omelettes are great for a main meal, snack, or side dish. High in protein, they also contain plenty of veg and some fats to keep you full and energised for longer.

Prep and cooking time: 45 mins – 1hr
Serves: 4


2 tsp olive oil

1 small onion, finely diced

1 red pepper, diced

1 large tomato, diced

2-3 handfuls spinach, roughly chopped

1 tbsp sundried tomatoes, finely sliced (optional)

8 medium or large eggs

125ml milk

1⁄2 tsp ground paprika

1⁄2 tsp chilli powder

60g cheddar cheese, grated


Preheat the oven to 160°C/140°C fan

Heat 1 tsp of the oil in a frying pan over medium heat.

Fry the onion, pepper, and tomato for 8mins, or until soft.

Add the spinach, mix well, and cook for 2mins. Remove from the heat and add the sundried tomatoes (if using).

Break the eggs into a large bowl. Add the milk, paprika, chilli, salt, and pepper. Mix well with a fork or whisk.

Lightly oil a 12-cup muffin tin. Divide the vegetables evenly between the 12 cups. Carefully fill the cups with the egg mix and top with grated cheese.

Bake for 15-20mins, until the omelettes are cooked through and slightly browned on the top.

If you are looking for more tools to improve your children’s eating habits, head over here to learn about our work to support parents in creating an enjoyable eating environment.

2) Tortilla Pizza

Pizza is a big family favourite. Our tortilla pizza recipe is lower in carbohydrates but packed with vegetables and some protein and fat from the cheeses to create a healthier and more balanced pizza for the family. You can get creative with different toppings too.

Prep and cooking time: 20mins
Serves: 2


2 small/regular wholemeal tortilla wraps

2.5 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tsp dried oregano

½ tsp garlic powder or 1 small garlic clove, crushed

1 small handful spinach, roughly chopped

½ small red pepper, finely diced

6 button mushrooms, sliced

½ small red onion, finely sliced

80g grated mozzarella cheese

2 small handfuls of parmesan cheese, finely grated

1 small handful of fresh basil, thinly sliced (optional)


Preheat the oven to 200°C or 180°C fan.

Mix the tomato puree, olive oil, oregano, and garlic together until well combined.

Place the tortillas onto a non-stick baking tray. Spread the tomato mixture onto the tortillas evenly.

Add the spinach, mushroom, red pepper, red onion and cheese. Season with salt and pepper and bake for 8-10mins, or until the cheese is melted. Cover with fresh basil if using.

3) Chicken Fajita Bake

This recipe is quick, easy, and tasty. This dish is filling and balanced with protein from the chicken, fats from the cheese, and plenty of veg and flavour. You can add carbohydrates by using wholemeal wraps for the family, too, if preferred.

Prep and cooking time: 30 mins
Serves: 4


2 tbsp olive oil

600g raw chicken breast or thigh, cut into strips

2 large onions, sliced

3 red peppers, sliced

1 tsp chilli powder

2 tsp ground paprika

1 tsp ground cumin

1⁄4 tsp ground cayenne pepper

80g cheddar cheese, grated

1 handful of fresh coriander

leaves, roughly chopped 60ml sour cream

8 little gem lettuce leaves 1 lime, cut into wedges


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

Heat 1 tbsp of the oil in a frying pan, over medium heat. Cook the chicken, and set aside.

Add the remaining 1 tbsp of oil to the same pan, fry the onion and peppers for 6-8mins, until lightly coloured and soft.

Return the chicken to the pan, add the spices, and a pinch of salt and pepper. Stir well.

If your pan is oven-proof, sprinkle the cheese on top and place in the oven. Otherwise, transfer the chicken mixture to an oven-proof dish, and sprinkle with cheese. Bake for 10mins.

Serve in lettuce leaves with sour cream, coriander and lime wedges

4) Blueberry Oat Pancakes

These are a lot of fun to make with the kids and include complex carbs, fruit, protein and fats when served with full-fat yoghurt.

Prep and cooking time: 15 mins
Serves: 4 (8 pancakes)


2 bananas

100g of oats

3 large eggs

100g of blueberries

1/2 tsp salt

1 tbsp butter

Halve the ingredients if you’re after a single stack. You can also use a fork to mash the ingredients.


Using a blender or food processor, blend the bananas and eggs, followed by the oats and salt, until well combined.

Heat a frying pan over medium heat and add a bit of butter.

Pour batter into the pan to desired size, aiming for pancakes about 1cm thick.

Add blueberries straight away to the top side of the batter in the pan.

Once bubbles begin to form on the top, flip with a spatula.

Cook until both sides are golden brown.

Repeat until the remaining batter is used up. Stack and serve with a dollop of greek yoghurt and any leftover berries.

5) Prawn and Pineapple Skewer

Summer on a plate, all year round. This fun recipe is also very nutritious for the family with protein from the prawns plus plenty of fibre from the vegetables and fruit.

Prep and Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

130g king prawns

½ small pineapple, de-corred and cut into cubes

1 large red pepper, cut into large chunks

1 small red onion, cut into large chunks

1 romaine lettuce head

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp butter

3 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced

½ tsp ground paprika

½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 large handful of parsley, roughly chopped


Lightly oil 4 skewers and set aside.

Begin by layering the skewers with pineapple at the bottom, then pepper, prawn, and onion, and repeat until all the skewers are even. Lightly season with salt and set aside.

Heat 1 tbsp of oil on a BBQ, grill pan, or large, non-stick frying pan, over high heat.

Cook the skewers for 15-20mins, or until lightly charred. Make sure to turn the skewers to cook all sides evenly.

While the skewers are cooking, prepare the dressing.

Heat olive oil and butter in a small, non-stick saucepan.

Add garlic cloves and cook for 1min, or until lightly browned.

Add the paprika, cayenne, salt, and pepper.

Stir for 30-60secs, turn off the heat, and add the parsley.

Separate the romaine lettuce leaves and lay onto a plate, place the cooked skewers on top, and dress the skewers and lettuce with the dressing.

6) Popcorn Chicken

With only taking less than half an hour to make, your kids will love the protein-packed popcorn chicken, with almond flour, flaxseeds, and chicken.

Prep and Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Serves: 2


40g ground almonds (almond flour)

20g milled flaxseed

¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper

½ tsp ground paprika

½ tsp garlic powder

¼ tsp dried oregano

2 chicken breasts, diced into small chunks

2 eggs

1 tbsp butter

1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil


Add the ground almonds, flaxseed, herbs, salt, and pepper to a small mixing bowl, and mix well.

Place the diced chicken breasts onto a large plate and dust each side with the ground almond mix.

Break the eggs into another mixing bowl and mix well.

Dip the dusted chicken breasts into the egg, place back onto the plate, and cover with the remaining ground almond mix.

Heat the butter and oil in a large, non-stick frying pan, over medium/high heat. Cook the chicken on each side for 3-5mins, or until golden. Reduce the heat and cook for a further 8mins (flipping once or twice so as not to burn).

7) Mac and Cheese

Including complex carbs, fats, and protein, you only need to add a side salad or some vegetables to this mac and cheese recipe for a well-balanced family meal.

Prep and Cooking time: 35 minutes
Serves: 4


160g spiral or short wholewheat pasta

20g butter

20g whole wheat flour

300ml milk

150g Cheddar, grated

70g gruyere or extra Cheddar, grated


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan/gas mark 6.

Cook the pasta al dente (undercooked). It will cook in the oven with the sauce later.

To make the roux, heat a non-stick saucepan over low/medium heat.

Add the butter until melted, then the flour, and stir until fully combined. Cook the flour in the melted butter for at least 2mins so the sauce loses the taste of flour.

Slowly add the milk (50ml at a time), until the roux coats the back of a wooden spoon (roughly 10mins).

Add the 150g of cheddar to the roux mixture and stir until melted.

Season lightly with salt and pepper. If the sauce looks too thick, add a dash more milk. The sauce will thicken the more it’s heated.

Add the par-cooked pasta to the pan and stir to coat it fully in the sauce.

Transfer to an ovenproof baking dish, top with the 70g of extra cheese and bake in the oven for 15mins, or until golden. Serve with salad or vegetables.

8) Beef Quesadilla

This recipe uses all food groups to make a balanced, nutritious, and tasty meal that’s also fun to make.

Prep and Cooking time: 20 minutes
Serves: 4


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

½ small onion, finely diced

400g beef mince

1 red pepper, diced

1 green pepper, diced

2 tbsp tomato puree

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tsp dried oregano

1 tsp cumin

2 tsp paprika

½ tsp cayenne pepper

4 small/medium whole wheat tortillas

200g Cheddar or Monterey Jack cheese, grated

250g cherry tomatoes, halved

¼ small red onion, finely diced

2-3 tbsp pickled jalapeños (depending on spice preference)

½ lime, juiced

1 small handful fresh coriander, finely sliced

1 avocado, mashed


Heat the oil in a large non-stick frying pan, over high heat.

Fry the onion for 1min, or until just softened. Add the beef and cook for 4mins, or until just browned.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the peppers, tomato puree, garlic powder, oregano, cumin, paprika, cayenne, and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 10mins, or until the peppers are softened, and set aside.

In another large non-stick frying pan (or clean the one you used for the beef), heat the pan over medium heat, without adding any oil.

Place 1 tortilla at a time into the pan, and add ¼ of the meat mixture to one half of the tortilla (leave half of the tortilla empty so you can fold it over).

Add 50g cheddar per tortilla on top of the beef side and place a lid on the frying pan. Cook for 3mins (or until the cheese just begins to melt).

Fold the empty side of the tortilla over the top of the beef/cheese side and press it together. Some meat may fall out but use a spoon and stuff it back into the tortilla.

Flip carefully and cook for a further 2mins. You want the base of the tortilla bread to be golden brown.

Take the tortilla out of the pan, set aside and repeat for the other three. Once they’re cooked you can cut them into wedges (3 wedges per quesadilla) or enjoy them whole.

Prepare the salsa by adding the tomatoes, red onion, jalapeños, lime and coriander to a small bowl and mix well.

Serve the tortillas with a side salad, tomato salsa, and mashed avocado.

9) Bangers and Butter Bean Mash

This high-protein butter bean mash recipe also provides carbohydrates, and with the addition of peas, this meal is balanced and nutritious and quick to make.

Prep and Cooking time: 25 minutes
Serves: 4


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 tbsp butter

2 garlic cloves, finely diced or minced

2 x 400g tin butter beans, rinsed and drained

250ml milk

4 butcher sausages of your choice (we used chicken)

2 small brown onions, thinly sliced

275g frozen peas

1 medium handful fresh parsley, finely chopped

1 small handful chives, thinly sliced


Heat ½ tbsp of the oil and all of the butter in a medium saucepan, over high heat.

Fry the garlic for 1min, or until lightly browned. Add the beans, milk, salt and pepper, and reduce the heat to low. Cook the beans, stirring frequently, for 10mins.

While the beans are simmering, heat the remaining oil in a medium non-stick frying pan, over medium heat. Cook the sausages for 8-10mins (depending on size).

When the sausages are cooked, set them aside. Use the same pan to fry the onions, until softened.

Add the peas to a microwave-proof bowl and microwave for 2mins.

Use a potato masher or fork to mash the butter beans till you get your desired consistency, we like to leave it a little chunky. Fold through the herbs, season with salt and pepper, and serve.

10) Cheeseburger stuffed peppers

The kids will love getting involved with making these cheeseburger stuffed peppers which have a source of protein from the beef, fats from the cheese, and lots of lovely vegetables for a colourful fibre source.

This recipe can take up to an hour to prep and cook, so how about having some fun making these together with the kids at the weekend.

Prep and Cooking time: 1 hour
Serves: 4


4 peppers, halved and deseeded

1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

2 garlic cloves, minced

500g minced beef

1 ½ tsp smoked paprika

¼ – ½ tsp ground cayenne pepper

1 ½ tsp tomato puree

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

80g Cheddar cheese

1 Iceberg lettuce head, finely sliced

200g cherry tomatoes, halved

1 cucumber, halved and sliced

100g pickled gherkins, finely sliced (optional)

1 small handful fresh parsley, roughly chopped


Preheat the oven to 200°C/180°C fan.

Place the halved peppers in a non-stick baking tray and bake for 20mins.

Heat a saucepan or deep frying pan with the oil, over medium heat. Fry the onion and garlic, until softened.

Add the beef, paprika, and cayenne, and cook until just browned.

Add the tomato puree, mustard, and Worcestershire sauce. Cook for a further 3-5mins.

Once the peppers are finished baking for 20mins (or until softened), pour any liquid from the peppers away, and fill them with the cooked beef mixture.

Cover the peppers with cheese and bake for a further 10mins, or until the cheese has melted and is golden.

While the peppers are finishing in the oven, prepare the salad.

Add the lettuce, tomatoes, cucumber, pickles (if using), and parsley to a large salad bowl and mix well.

Dress with dressing and serve the salad with the stuffed peppers.

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