Playdates can be more work than fun for parents. Impressing the other kid’s mum or dad, organising wholesome activities and still coming up with something good to eat – impossible. Or is it?

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Image: hand decorated cookies

Photograph: Seven

That's a pretty face! Let the kids get messy decorating shop-bought cookies

DIY biscuits: supply biscuits, squeezy icing and a variety of sweets, and let the little ones loose to decorate their own creations while you get the kettle on

Fruit fondue: chopped fruit like apples and bananas can be dipped into melted chocolate: parent’s are happy with the fruit, and kids love the chocolate #winning

Make it pretty: roll up tortillas with some ham and cream cheese. These pinwheel sandwiches look cute and take no time at all

Cheat’s pizza: buy in plain ready-made pizza bases and create an assembly line on the kitchen table. Kids can add toppings like cheese, ham or tomato sauce, while parents indulge in acquired tastes like anchovies, olives and artichoke hearts.

Teddy bear’s picnic: make a packed lunch for each child, and serve it on a rug in the kitchen. You can get away with easy treats like raisins, nuts or a little sandwich – and there’s less washing up, too!