Giovanna Fletcher’s children’s favourite budget meal is pesto – mum’s healthy recipe

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Giovanna spoke with about how she prepares meals for her children while engaging them in meal times, encouraging them to eat healthy meals and enjoy cooking. She detailed her children’s favourite meal, and her fear their choice might upset their Italian grandfather.

“My kids love pesto pasta,” Giovanna said. “We never had pesto growing up.

“Our pasta dishes were mostly a Bolognese or marinara sauce. Always red! Never green.

“Buzz tried pesto one day and it quickly became his favourite. I wasn’t sure how to tell my dad, but he actually took it really well.”

Giovanna and husband Tom, who married in May 2012, have three son, Buzz, Buddy and Max.

Pesto from a jar can be oily and less healthy, and buying potted sauces is generally more expensive than cooking from scratch.

She told readers how she adds veg into hers for a healthy alternative.

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Giovanna said: “I keep a bag of spinach in the freezer and then add a handful or two to my pesto pasta dishes.

“It helps get extra greens in. That said, the children didn’t shy away from the broccoli pieces that we added to their Lion King inspired meals.”

The star has recently lauched a new Disney-inspired cookery school for kids along side Ocado’s new Disney-inspired meal bundles.

The School of Magical Mealtimes is designed to bring families together in the kitchen and make mealtimes more magical.

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Giovanna said: “I try as much as possible to cook from scratch using fresh ingredients.

“Obviously this isn’t always possible so like most parents I have fish fingers or chicken nuggets on standby in the freezer for those days where things are a bit hectic or don’t go to plan.

“The kids love my roast broccoli which I toss in olive oil and chopped garlic. It’s super simple and goes with most meals. When they were younger I’d steam everything. Roasting adds so much more flavour.”

She went on: “Our kids love getting involved with the cooking. Getting them to stick to the recipe is always the interesting bit, but the theme of Disney’s Magical Mealtimes has really kept them on track and stopped them trying to sneak in extra ingredients.

“If they’re not cooking, sometimes the kids love playing at the kitchen counter with their toys. I think having half an eye on the game they’re playing and on us cooking helps their interest too.”

The mum uses the world of Disney, it’s character and stories, to encourage children to create meals.

Ideas include a 101 Dalmations inspired pizza and Cars inspired bagel burger.

Giovanna Fletcher, a big Disney fan, said: “My children love to immerse themselves in the world and stories of Disney characters, so these meal bundles are a really smart way of making mealtimes and cooking more magical for the family as a whole and introducing children to cooking from scratch – and healthy eating – from a younger age”.

Giovanna Fletcher says she's brought desks for home schooling

The School of Magical Mealtimes opens from Monday 11th to Thursday 14th April in an enchanting central London location – offering budding chefs the chance to earn a qualification, following a two-hour culinary experience.

The cookery classes mark the launch of Ocado’s new range of Disney-inspired family friendly meal bundles, available from today at

Ocado is supporting social enterprise, Community Shop, to bring the School of Magical Mealtimes experience to community kitchens up and down the country, providing invaluable access to basic cooking skills and healthy recipe inspiration for kids and families, as a longer-term commitment to driving change.

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