Easy Cooking Ideas for Kids
The Sitters perfect recipe for cooking with kids takes three main ingredients (easy, quick and cheap) and then sprinkles in a liberal dash of deliciousness and a chance to get mucky. In the making, you may just discover a chance or two to practice some maths skills and teach some basic nutrition. Let’s take a closer look at how you can embrace easy cooking for kids.
Pitch it Right
The easiest way to switch off a young budding chef is to give them something too difficult. If you’re having to do 9 out of 10 stages, then little enthusiasts will quickly become bored. Therefore, choose your recipe according to the age and experience of your chefs.
For the very youngest, a good starting point may be a smoothie. We particularly love this Berry Blast Smoothie because you can sneak in some iron-boosting spinach. Smoothies give kids a chance to have a go at preparing ingredients, having fun with some kitchen kit, and seeing how their food is made.
Take you time
Easy cooking for kids involves knowing that you have enough time. Remember, you might be able to whip up a cake in 10 minutes without baking time, but these processes are completely new to children. They need time and encouragement to master the basic processes that will become the foundations of their cooking success in the future.
Therefore, make sure you have plenty of time, but also choose recipes that actively encourage the learning of cookery skills. This recipe for scones from the Children’s Food Trust is a great starting point. Children learn the importance of basic techniques and the science behind a good recipe.
Be at Peace with the Mess!
Letting kids loose in the kitchen will result in mess, but we can assure you it’s worth it. Cooking with kids helps them learn the dexterity needed to become a proficient cook, whilst also having fun. Mess is part of that! However, don’t despair, you can embrace the mess by knowing it’s resulting in a delicious family meal for everyone.
Homemade pizzas are brilliant for mess making but they are also excellent for ensuring a delicious healthy dinner, which sneaks in several of their 5-a-day. What’s more, they will love the ‘magic’ of watching the yeast-action get to work on their dough.
Think About Hygiene and Preparation
You might be able to dice with food poisoning by using your elbow for the taps, and not risk ruining your favourite top with flying tomato sauce, but kids won’t be so adept. Food hygiene rules are best taught from the start. That means no fingers in mouths until everything is finished! A good introduction to hygiene and preparation for easy cooking for kids is the Hands and Apron Song from CBeebies I Can Cook show. Whilst you’re there, this recipe for fish fingers will get them whizzing up a delicious treat.
Step by Step
Reading and following recipes is a skill that needs to be taught. Even children who can’t yet read can be taught that recipes must be followed in order to work, with no step forgotten. This is easy to achieve by choosing a recipe that they really, really want to get right. Try these Unicorn Biscuits for a chance to follow a recipe carefully, whilst creating a dazzling finale. What’s more, cutting through the biscuit dough is a perfect way to practice some safe knife skills.
Maths and Science
Cooking isn’t just educational because of the skill itself, or the nutritional learning. Cooking is great for getting some hands-on maths learning and science experiments underway. This fabulous recipe for Piggy Rolls will allow children to practice the art of careful weighing and measuring, whilst also watching the scientific effect of yeast. Don’t forget you can also use cooking as a chance to discuss the origins of good – such as how wheat flour is made in bread. You can also prepare the shopping list together and use it as an opportunity to practice using money.
Don’t Forget the Tasting!
The moment of great anticipation for any cook-in-the-making is when they finally get to take a bite and taste for themselves their delicious creation. Make sure you choose a recipe which they will find scrumptious. These Spaghetti and Meatballs and Chocolate Crunch Bars are sure to be winners!
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