One of the things my fussiest child struggles with is sloppy or soft textures, which is tricky as many recipes designed to encourage children to eat more vegetables come in this form. These fishcakes are an excellent way to get green veg (and fish) into him. Their success at home made it a ‘must have’ on the Little Lunches menu.

Method

Preheat oven to 170°C/150°C fan/gas 3. Bring a medium-sized pan of water to boil on the hob.

Boil the potatoes for 12 minutes or until cooked through, then remove from heat, drain and return to the pot. Mash with fork or masher. Cover with cling film and set aside.

Drizzle oil over the cod and cover in tin foil like a parcel, then place on a baking tray. Bake for 15 minutes until cooked through. Set aside to cool (still wrapped in foil).

Pat dry the cooled cod with kitchen roll and break into flakes, removing any bones. Add to the cooled mashed potato, along with the grated cheese, spring onion, chopped herbs and peas. Add the lemon juice, pepper and salt to taste. Mix well.

Cover with cling film and chill in the fridge for 15 minutes. Shape the cooled mix into fishcake shapes. Coat each in flour, then egg, then breadcrumbs, ensuring the whole surface area of each fishcake is completely covered.

Heat oil in a pan over medium heat and fry the fishcakes on each side until just golden brown. Place on kitchen roll to drain the oil. Bake in the oven for 6-8 minutes.

For the ketchup: Put all ingredients into a medium sized saucepan. Bring to the boil, then reduce heat and allow to simmer gently for at least 40 minutes, stirring every so often to prevent sticking. (If you can afford longer (up to 90 mins), the flavours will shine even more.) Remove cloves. Blitz the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. Set aside to cool.

Kids in the Kitchen

Get the kids to drizzle the oil over the cod and make the foil parcels. They can also squeeze the lemon juice, grind the pepper, and mix the fish cake mixture before shaping it. Older children can flake the fish, mash the potatoes and grate the cheese.