School holidays have rolled around again which means there are plenty of children out there looking for things to do, to the dismay of parents everywhere. Well we have a solution – cooking!  

Let’s face it, encouraging kids to try new foods can be a challenge but getting them involved in the preparation and cooking of their food is a great way to inspire them to eat (at least try!) their own creations. Take advantage of the time in the holidays and put them to work. Teaching children how to cook is not only a life long skill but also something that is vital for them to develop and maintain healthy eating habits. Many of us often prepare separate meals for our children, but finding simple recipes that the whole family can eat will not only save you time, but encourage everyone around the dinner table to tuck into wholesome home cooked food.

The process of cooking your own food and eating at home often means healthier meals because you can control the portion size and the ingredients used. This kid friendly (and gluten free) recipe contains a great combination of slow release energy from the sweet potatoes, lean protein from the canned tuna and offers a great punch of flavour from the herbs and spices.

Healthy cooking tip: use a small amount of extra virgin olive oil to pan fry these patties, to avoid adding too much extra energy (calories) to the meal. All steps marked with ** are perfect for kids!

 Get those aprons out and enjoy the kitchen! 


  • 500g or 3-4 small sweet potatoes
  • 400g tuna chunks in spring water, drained
  • 2 spring onions
  • 1 brown onion
  • 2 cloves garlic (crushed)
  • 1 egg & 1 egg white, lightly beaten
  •  1/2 cup of quinoa flakes
  • 2 tbls chopped parsley
  • 2 tsp sweet paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • Salt & pepper to season
  •  2 tbls quinoa flour (suitable for gluten free)
  •  3 tbls olive oil

What to do:

1. Boil 2 cups water in a saucepan.

2. Wash and chop sweet potato into small slices and steam in boiling water for 5 – 8 minutes until soft.

3. Drain and place in a large bowl for 5 minutes to cool.

4. **Mash potatoes well using a vegetable masher or a fork.

5. Dice brown onion and spring onion, then with garlic cook in a medium frying pan with 1 tbls olive oil until soft.

6. Once onions are cooked add to the mashed potato.

7. **Meanwhile add tuna, quinoa flakes, parsley and spices to the mash mixture.


8. **Add whisked egg and mix through with hands until well combined. (Cool sweet potato well so little hands don’t burn).

9.  **Form mixture into small patties.

10. ** Pour quinoa flour into a shallow bowl and then coat each patty with a small amount of flour.

11. Add 1 tbls of olive oil to a frying pan and cook for 5 – 6 minutes on each side. (TIP: Use 2 pans to prevent waiting OR pop the first of patties into a warm oven covered with foil.)

12. Serve with a side salad or blanched green vegetables and drizzle with a little sweet chilli sauce and/or natural yoghurt.