Recipe bundle: School holiday hunger and boredom busters

Recipe bundle: School holiday hunger and boredom busters

It is a fact of parental life that children are ten times more hungry during school holidays than they are in term time. To fill those bellies and reduce the frequency of “I’m bored!” calls, why not get them cooking for themselves?

Here are a few easy recipes they may even be able to follow without your help, picked especially for those long, wet winter days.

No bake (no burn) snack balls

Cold afternoons can drag. These easy snack balls will help get baby bears (and mama and papa bears) through to dinner.


1/3 cup crunchy peanut butter

1/4 cup honey

1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract

1/3 cup milk powder

1/3 cup porridge oats

2 tablespoons Digestive biscuit crumbs 


  1. Using a wooden spoon, mix the peanut butter, honey and vanilla together in a small bowl.
  2. Stir in the rest of the ingredients.
  3. Roll the mix into balls and put them in a container in the fridge until they are solid-ish.

Honeybear carrot soup

Preferably, your children’s kitchen messes will be worthwhile when they produce something edible – and maybe even save you time making a meal. For a cold winter morning, why not get them started making soup for lunch?


2 tbsp butter
2 small leeks, sliced (or swap for onions)
800g carrots (8-10 carrots) roughly chopped 
2 teaspoons clear honey (or swap for brown sugar)
1 bay leaf
2 ½ litres vegetable stock
Sour cream or yoghurt, to serve



  1. Melt the butter at a medium heat in a soup pot. 

  2. Add the chopped leeks and cook for around three minutes until they are soft. 

  3. Add the carrots, honey and bay leaf, then cook for another two minutes or so.

  4. Add the stock to the pot and turn up the heat until it starts to bubble. Cook for 30 minutes or until carrots are very soft.

  5. Remove the bay leaf and use an immersion blender (those with metal sticks are best because the plastic can melt!) or a standing blender to turn the soup liquid. If using a standing blender, you might need to do this in batches.

  6. Taste test and add salt and pepper if needed. 

  7. Serve in bowls with a dollop of sour cream or yoghurt on top and some buttered toast to dip.

Tuna pasta bake

This is an easy, kid-pleasing dinner that the smalls will eventually be able to put together themselves after a few practices. If your kids are not fans of tuna, they can leave this out and it becomes a cheesy, vege pasta bake. Just add about ⅓ cup of water to the mix instead of the spring water.


Olive oil
500 grams penne pasta
1 onion diced
300ml bottle of cream
½ cup grated cheese
A can of tuna in spring water
1 cup frozen peas 
1 cup  frozen corn kernels
1 cup panko breadcrumbs 
Another ½ cup grated cheese 
1 Tablespoon lemon zest
1 Tablespoon parsley (dry or fresh)


  1. Turn the oven to 180°C

  2. Boil water in a pot and add your pasta.

  3. While the pasta is cooking, cook your diced onion in about a tablespoon of olive oil until the onion goes soft.

  4. Add tuna along with the water in the can, plus the first ½ cup of grated cheese and the cream.

  5. Let it bubble for a couple of minutes while stirring.

  6. Taste and add salt and pepper if required.

  7. Drain the pasta once it is cooked and add it to the pot with the creamy sauce. 

  8. Stir in the peas and corn.

  9. Transfer the whole lot into a baking dish.

  10. Combine the breadcrumbs, the rest of the cheese, parsley and lemon zest, plus a little salt and pepper in a bowl.

  11. Sprinkle this over the pasta.

  12. Bake in the oven for 20 minutes or so, until the topping is golden.