Every parent has them – those fool-proof meals that are the ultimate go-to during a busy week. In our haven households, these are the dishes we always turn to…

Spaghetti with hidden veg

You probably could have guessed that pasta would top this list – being tasty, easy and super quick to make, why wouldn’t it5 mi? Spaghetti is probably the most kid-friendly of the pasta varieties, which is why a classic spag bol never goes astray. We love finely dicing loads of veggies (think carrots, celery, zucchini, capsicum, eggplant, mushroom… We could go on) and sneaking them in for extra nutrition.

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Bowls of all sorts

Whether it’s tacos or sushi, everything is better as a bowl – even your ‘boring’ family favourites will suddenly become more appealing when you deconstruct them and revamp them in this super trendy way. Next time you’re doing taco night, let the kids load up a bowl with taco fillings and top it with their favourite extras – then, they can dip corn chips or crushed taco shells in it for the ultimate feast. It’s the simplest way to make dinner more exciting.

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Fried rice

This is an absolute staple, and for good reason. For one, it allows you to use up a huge range of fridge and pantry items (from ginger and Asian sauces to egg) and turn them into a delicious, nutritious feast. You’ll be able to whip up a huge batch in no time at all, meaning lunch for the next day is sorted, too. Spice up your fried rice with some chilli oil or Hoi Sin sauce and feel tastebuds around the table explode.

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An Aussie classic that doubles as a midweek saviour? We’re so there. Fire up the barbie and throw on your favourite meats, be it a string of sausages, some cutlets or juicy steaks. You could even grill some corn, eggplant, capsicum or zucchini for a tasty side dish – just add butter and some spices. The best part? There are no pans to clean when you’re done.


Who can say no to family pizza night? We love pizzas, not only for the fact that they’re seriously tasty, but also because we can easily plan ahead. All you need to do is chop up the toppings and buy some bases – then, lay them all out on a table or counter and dinner becomes a family affair. We’re willing to bet the kids are more likely to finish their meal when they get to make it exactly how they want it!

Head here for more easy ways to beat the mid-week dinner panic!



haven is all about family, life and style in Brisbane's inner city suburbs, the Gold Coast, south to Byron Bay. We have been keeping parents in the know for over eight years, with fun, fresh and helpful stories that they can take tips from or treasure in their own library.