Getting your kids interested in cooking is a great way of teaching them skills that will last a lifetime. It’s also fun, but has an educational slant, as they can learn about a wide variety of different foods, where they come from and what they’re like. There’s a huge range of recipes in existence, of varying degrees of difficulty, and both savoury and sweet, so you’re bound to find something your kids enjoy.
Cooking together is an ideal way of having fun and learning something new. Cooking is achievable by any child. It’s something that even very young children can be involved with, as they can help with simple tasks like weighing out ingredients or mixing things in a bowl. Tasks like these help them learn numbers and weights, whilst mixing and spooning things out help develop their co-ordination skills.
Older children gain additional knowledge about the ingredients they’re using and how they combine together to form different foods. Depending on your child’s age, you will probably have to supervise their cooking efforts, especially when it comes to using the hob or cooker. But as they grow older and gain independence and confidence, they can build up to cooking simple meals on their own. Children of all ages find it very rewarding to be involved in the kitchen and see – and, of course, taste – the end results.
If your child is a fussy eater or reluctant to try new things, then you may find that cooking their own food helps overcome this. They’re more likely to have a go at trying something they’ve just cooked, as they know exactly what’s gone into it. They’ll have also been in the kitchen all the time and smelt the food as it was raw and being cooked, and this may help them feel more confident about giving it a go.
There are numerous recipes that can be cooked by children. You could adapt some of your favourites, look for children’s cookery books or even create your own concoctions. But if you’re stuck for ideas, here are some suggestions that usually work a treat.
- No bake chocolate cake. This is easy for beginners as there’s no cooking involved.
- Biscuits and cookies. You can be creative, by using shaped cookie cutters and even decorating them with icing.
- Mini cakes. You can decorate these with icing or make butterfly cakes.
- Full size cakes.
- Fruit crumble. A delicious dessert, this is a nice and easy pudding to make.
- Fruit muffins.
- Fruit salad. This is a good way of introducing children to a wide range of different fruits.
- Ice cream, lollies and sorbet. Some recipes can be easily made, without too much hassle or the need for an ice cream maker.
- Cheese scones. You can make them even more child-friendly by using cookie/pastry cutters in fun shapes, like space rockets, animals, flowers or cars.
- Mini pizzas. You can buy the bases ready made, or make them yourself, then decorate with tomato puree, tomato slices, sweetcorn, pepper etc. Young children may even like to make pizza faces!
- Cheese straws or cheese shapes. Again, you can use cutters to make these in fun shapes.
- Pasta sauce.
- Soup. They may particularly enjoy blending it, or seeing it being blended at the end.
- Savoury muffins.
- Bread and rolls. Life is made especially easy if you have a bread maker.
As well as these ideas, there are lots more things for your kids to try making. So, what are you waiting for? Help your kids get cooking and start creating delicious food today.