Cooking with kids is a fun way to connect and spend time together plus it has so many benefits for their growing bodies and minds – they learn where food comes from, how to safely navigate a kitchen, it encourages picky eaters to interact with new foods, and includes fantastic incidental lessons in English (recipe reading) and maths (measuring), the list goes on.
Plus, it’s delicious, which is reason enough!
Before you start, it’s a good idea to make sure you have all ingredients ready, and get everyone to wash their hands (and there’s another lesson in hygiene, right there).
Here are some great recipes to get you and your kids cooking up a storm.
Despite a table full of sugary treats, at every birthday party you’ll see the fruit kebabs get gobbled up first! There is just something so enticing about those edible rainbows that makes kids go straight to them. It’s also a perfect beginner recipe for getting kids in the kitchen! Provide a range of colourful fruits for kids to thread on to bamboo skewers or reusable bento picks. If you’re feeling fancy, you could cut the fruit in to shapes using cookie cutters. Encourage your child to make patterns based on shape, colour and texture.
Pizzas are nice, easy recipe to start with. If you’re not in the mood to make dough, English muffins work really well and will cut down your prep time drastically. If you have older children who can safely use a knife then get them cutting up the veggies and placing them in bowls to create a Make Your Own Pizza Station. Smaller kids can then take their dough or muffin and load it up with all the ingredients they like before Mum or Dad place it in the oven.
Crunchy apple boats
These adorable apple boats would make a great afternoon tea treat. Those rice cereal pieces can get everywhere if you sprinkle them over the top, but if you place your rice cereal in a bowl and dip the apple in it there will be less chance of it going everywhere. Dress up as pirates, sit in a box on a blue towel ocean, pop on a pirate movie and voila, you’ve got a themed afternoon that they’ll talk about for ages
Cheesy puff pastry stars
No star cutter? No worries! These three ingredient cheesy pastry bites can be made in any shape you like.
Choose dinosaurs or trucks, hearts or elephants – you could even use letter cutters and spell their name. Pressing the shapes out and then painting the gooey egg wash on with a pastry brush is fabulous way to practise those fine motor skills, too!
Chocolate mug pudding
When you’ve just cleaned the kitchen and don’t fancy using sixteen bowls to make a cake with the kids, but you want to cook something, mug cake is your answer!
These single serve desserts are a fabulous, low mess alternative to a giant cake, and because they only use one mug for both mixing and cooking, clean up is a breeze.
As they’re individual, each child can also add extras that only they like – the recipe suggests choc chips or raspberries, but get creative and have them cut up their favourite chocolate bar! Melty Mars Bar pieces, yes please!
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