Cooking with kids

With a little bit of preparation and time, cooking with your kids is a fun, wholesome and educational activity to do together. Not only does it introduce them to the idea of making nutritious food at home, from a recipe or from scratch, it also reveals the world of taste, flavour and texture in cooking. All of the recipes featured in this article have all those qualities including a whole bunch of fun…

We want to share some tips and ideas for cooking with your kids and how you can include them in making delicious and nutritious meals at home with you.

Preparation is key

Once you’ve decided what recipe you’re going to use, try and prepare the ingredients that you’ll need for the cooking process. Chop what you need to chop, and portion out the ingredients so when it’s time to use them, they’re ready to go. As well as the ingredients, get all your cooking utensils ready too. Remember to keep sharp knives out of kid’s reach.

PRO TIP: Set aside extra time for the preparation, that way when you’re ready to start cooking, everything is prepped and more time can be devoted to the meal creation!
This Berrylicious Frozen Yoghurt Bark is a perfect recipe to start with as you’re getting used to cooking with your kids. There is a couple of hours to wait when it’s in the freezer, so why not make another small recipe while you wait?

Let your kids choose the recipe

kids are most likely going to be more excited making something which they picked out themselves. Choose a couple of recipes, 2-3, which you can give your kids as options to choose from. 2-3 is a good amount as it isn’t so many that they get overwhelmed, but enough to have variety. These recipes below from our Healthy Living recipes are all great options for kids to choose from.

Banana Chia Pancakes are usually a crowd pleaser… As are these Chocolate Date Caramel Cups and this Hidden Zucchini and Chocolate Loaf.

Show how food waste can be reduced (depending on age)

It’s great to be able to show kids easy ways to be more sustainable and that making new habits doesn’t need to be a huge deal or time consuming either.  Once you’ve cooked with your kids a couple of times and you feel like the time is right, introduce small, fun and interesting ways foods can be completely used to avoid food waste. For example, if you’re cooking with carrots, instead of throwing out the leafy carrot tops, chop them up and use them in salads, sauces or for garnishes.

In these Mexican Chicken Salad Tortilla Bowls, when chopping the coriander, use the leaves and the stems for a flavour bomb and more texture. This is also reducing the amount you may throw out afterwards.

Taste and touch the food!

Encourage your kids to use their hands and taste the food you’re cooking with (hygienically, of course). It’s important that kids understand that cooking shouldn’t be a chore, but more of a fun, interesting and healthy habit. Letting your kids taste all the flavours and experience different textures of food can open their imaginations and be beneficial to their openness to new food experiences in the future. Remember to have fun and embrace the mess that comes with it all!

These Spinach and Quinoa Patties are perfect for mixing and making with your hands.

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