We’ve all been there, the daily struggle of balancing work, kids, commuting, extra-curricular activities before being posed the daily question of ‘what’s for dinner?’. The good news is that even though you may not have a clue what to make, it doesn’t matter what it looks like.

New research from Perfect Italiano has actually just found that 91% of Aussie parents would rather have empty plates at the end of meal times over Instagram-worthy dishes. Below are some tips on how to achieve those empty plates and ensure your kids leave the dinner table with full and satisfied bellies each night.

Tip #1: Embrace and love the ooey, gooey, overflowing and crunchy bits that come out when you’re cooking dinner.

Although they may not look the best, they are undoubtedly the tastiest part and is what will have your kids coming back for seconds. Don’t put pressure on yourself to create a masterpiece because it’s usually the worst looking dishes that taste incredible.

Tip #2: Keep things interesting!

Dinner time doesn’t have to be a chore and there are plenty of ways to ensure you and the kids are satisfied. Italian Spaghetti Bolognese and Meatballs, Mexican Baked Enchiladas, Aussie Parmigiana…the options are endless! You can also get the kids involved in the decision-making process so they’re more inclined to love the food that you dish up.

Tip #3: Let your kids help with dinner prep.

This will not only help them understand how to make balanced meals and see exactly what goes into their dinner, but it also will encourage them to be proud of helping and the end result. By getting your kids involved, you can help them also understand that it’s what on the inside that counts and it doesn’t matter how things look so long as it’s tasty.

Tip #4: Whip up a one pot or one tray wonder.

They are the easiest and tastiest way to please the kids whilst also sneaking veggies in without them knowing. It’s truly a win, win! My go-to recipes are mac and cheese, lasagne and any pasta bake. I love finishing them all off with Perfect Italiano cheese, the kids love the taste and it helps hide all the veggies inside.

Don’t put pressure on yourself to plate up picture perfect meals because at the end of the day, it’s all about whether your kids love and eat the food you make – even if it looks a little bit like a dog’s breakfast. Embrace those #UglyPerfect meals you create and your kids will go to bed with satisfied and full bellies!

What are your favourite easy-peasy go-to family meals? Tell us in the comments below.


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  • I have definitely found the least fancy dinners are the biggest hit with the kids.. Which is usually something like, Chicken nuggets and frozen (Heated) veggies! haha


  • We are not fuzzy either. But I know which dishes my daughter loves most: pasta, lasagne, chicken and leek pie, feta and spinach pie, quinoa salads..


  • Having the kids involved in the meal prep always helps them eat it and they feel invested in it


  • I’m blessed with kids who aren’t fuzzy :)

    • Easy dinners which my kids like: # frozen corn on the cob, vegetarian sausage roll and frozen wedges pop it in the oven and ready, serve with salad # tomato bean dish, make a sauce from onion, garlic, chopped tomato, tomato paste and green beans and serve with rice # one pot veggies with Moroccan spices, put it in individual oven bowls and crack an egg in each # one pot vegetable / lentil dish with puff pastry hat # soup with rustic bread and a (vegetarian) sausage # broccoli pie # vegetarian burgers with salad # red cabbage dish # cauliflower dish # sweet potato chips with vegetarian schnitzels and salad and the list goes on.


  • Waiting for my daughter to grow out of her picky stage


  • I love this article. I’ll take Tasty ugly meals over pretty bleh meals for sure (at least that’s how we do it in our house).


  • I like to make easy pasta dishes. I freeze lot’s pasta dishes and then bring them out frozen and easy to re-hea with a salad. Woolies and coles have a variety of easy to heat and go dishes to I like too when I struggling for time and energy.


  • We’re very hit and miss with finishing food but definitely don’t worry about picture perfect.


  • Lol. I’d need to hire a cook to get anything worth eating.


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