Would you like your children to learn how to cook but don’t know where to start?
Here are some useful tips to start cooking with your kids.
Everyone says ‘It’s so easy!’
It’s only easy if you know where to start and what to do.
Sometimes it can seem too big a task to tackle so let me make it easier for you.
Here are some tips if this is a new activity for you and if you are doing it with young children or children who have not tried cooking before.
It doesn’t just happen, its ok to be a little bit unsure about this. Not all of us like cooking or even know how to do it for ourselves so don’t be hard on yourself!
When is the best time for cooking with kids?
It might depend on your work schedule or when your child is not going to be tired or distracted. At the weekend when you are both relaxed and not tired? That sounds like a plan, pick a good time for you.
Don’t set your expectations to high
You are not competing on Masterchef but you can do this!
If you are not sure how to do something don’t do it. Start with something achievable. Assemble a salad…if you want to go one step further, make a dressing. I always think of it as making potions when we make a marinade or dressing. Its better fun and the smells inspire funny faces!
Clear your workspace and think about how long you need
Would it be easier for your child to sit at a table than stand at a worktop that is too high for them? We tend to forget that the world is mostly built for adults unless we adapt it for the children.
30 minutes? More? Don’t plan it for longer than an hour or you’ve lost them.
Easy recipes for cooking with kids
Don’t shoot for the stars! Make it 100% achievable for you. The outcome is the goal, success is the goal. Pick something your child already likes to eat so at least they know they will have something tasty when they finish.
Here are some suggestions….
Prepare a salad – With a Kiddikutter, your child can safely chop cucumber, radishes, tomatoes, peppers. Add to a bowl and mix. Simple? Yes, but wait and see how much your child’s confidence grows preparing food without your help.
Jazz it up a little by making a dressing. I think its lovely to add ingredients to a jar or a little bottle so they can shake it around. How about a simple honey and mustard dressing?
All you need is:
2 tsp mustard (I think wholegrain mustard works well)
2 tsp honey
the juice of 1 lemon
6 tbsp olive oil (Extra virgin or regular)
A little salt and pepper
Picture your child squeezing the honey out, squeezing the lemon into a bowl, it squirts everywhere, grinding the pepper…
These are all things we do without thinking but children don’t really get the chance unless we give it to them. They love it. And they get to shake it together and see how it changes.
Add the task of decorating a sticker and putting on the bottle, instant success!
I know not all kids will jump at a salad but a lot do.
Another suggestion is making pastry – jam tarts, such a throwback to my childhood. When my mum made an apple tart, she would give me the leftover pastry to make jam tarts.
Basic shortcrust pastry:
- 200g plain flour
- 100g butter (cold) cut into small cubes
- 1 medium egg
- 1 tbsp icing sugar
- Put the flour and icing sugar into a large bowl and add the butter.
- Using your fingertips, rub in the butter until the mixture looks like breadcrumbs. This will take a few minutes with small fingers and it feels so lovely.
- Crack the egg into a bowl and beat slightly with a fork.
- Make a well in the middle of the mixture and add in the egg. Using a wooden spoon, mix the egg into the ‘breadcrumb’ mixture until a ball of pastry forms. If it is not coming together for you, add 1 tsp water. You will find it easier to bring together with your hands at the end.
- Use a basic scone cutter to make round shapes, put them into a 12-hole muffin/bun tin.
- Add a teaspoon of a jam of your choice, mine is always raspberry and bake for 10 mins in a preheated oven (200C). If you like you can see if your child wants to make little shapes for the top. Don’t make them too big, it looks really pretty if you can still see the jam so think of them as a decoration rather than a lid!
Here are some ideas for decoration:
Cut strips of thin pastry and cross them over on top
Make little hearts or butterflies
LEAVE YOUR CHILD USE THEIR IMAGINATION, THEY ARE FAR MORE CREATIVE THAN WE ARE
If there is pastry left over, let them use it to play and then bin it, its inedible after a lot of handling. We often made extra pastry just to leave the kids play with it. We gave them sprinkling flour, lots of cutters, rolling pins and left them play away. They would make something and we had to guess what it was, tough job but someone had to do it 😊
Let them be
Its ok if there is a mess
Try to guide not do it for them
Enjoy, its one of the best activities for kids. They love it, you will too 😉
If you want more support we are here for you to make cooking fun, click here to check out our Kids Cooking Club