Often it can be hard to find cooking recipes for kids. I see ones where the instructions are just not clear, as the adult you basically have to do everything because it is so complicated or you just don’t feel confident with the recipe and cooking it with them because you aren’t sure the end result will taste ok. Like the time I tried to make boiled lollies (sweets) with my niece who was 6 at the time, it was a disaster, the thermometer was hard to read, the temperature of the sugar had to be so high it became dangerous and they just wouldn’t set! We all know what most kids are like with sweets, so there was a lot of disappointment when they didn’t work.
This is why ALL of our recipes in the recipe storybooks have been tested by kids, that is that they have been made with or by kids so that we know that they are easy to follow and make sense. Plus of course, the benefit of the new series of recipe books is that the recipes were all created by an experienced food scientist who also has two children.
Once you have found a recipe you love (hopefully one of ours) here are my top tips for getting children engaged in cooking…..
- Get them to help, yes this does mean that it will take longer, but you can start with getting them to help make breakfast or dinner. This might mean that they pour out their own cereal, or cut up their own banana depending on their age
- If you are planning on doing some cooking ask them if they want to help
- Take time to explain what you are doing and why, even down to washing your hands before you start
- Get them to get the food out of the cupboard and weigh out the ingredients, they might need prompting but that is the best way to learn
- Let them feel like they are in control by asking them to choose things like the berries in the muffins or the muffin cases, or the icing
- Bring their experiences into the cooking, eg shall we make the muffins we had at Granny’s last week or these are the same as x eats in your story about y
- Let them be involved in the whole process, so that they have a feeling of accomplishment
- Choose cooking recipes for kids that are easy and you know they will want to try
There are lots and lots of benefits to cooking with kids so although it may be annoying at times because they are slow, clumsy or messy it will befit them and probably you in later years, plus it educates them on healthy eating and where food comes from along with a host more skills. Breakfast in bed will be arriving before you know it!