Cooking with kids is a fun weekend activity for all the family, and it’s the perfect way to introduce them to the kitchen too. But it’s not always straightforward!
So we’ve gone ahead and made it easy for you. We asked our chefs and our community over on Twitter for their top tips and meals for stress-free cooking with kids. Happy cooking!
1. Preparation is Key
Cooking with kids always takes a little bit longer than you bargained for. Get a head start by setting everything up for them – we love @crashtestedmom’s suggestion of prepping ingredients in mise en place bowls so they just have to pop them in. A word of warning – you may need to buy extra, as some of your food may end up on the floor…!
2. Start Simple
Make things easier for everyone by starting out simple. SORTEDfood’s own normal (and experienced dad) Jamie Spafford suggests going for baking first – it’s fun, there aren’t any knives or sharp objects, and there’s the added incentive of getting to lick the spoon at the end!
The Gooey Chocolate Cupcakes from the Desserts in Duvets Cookbook are ideal for a quick knife-free win!
3. Keep It Hands-On
Hands-on tasks will keep kids engaged and mean they’re less likely to get distracted. Dough is a classic that gets the kids involved in mixing, kneading and rolling – pizza is great for this, or try roti and naan like @wyltrini.
Or cut up your veggies ahead of time, then get the kids to chuck them in a traybake and mix them with the herbs and spices like @DanielHarney3!
Give dough a go with the Saus Pizza from the CBA2 Cookbook.
4. Customise It!
Isn’t everything more fun when you can add a personal touch? Kids love activities where they can pick and mix their own bits. Try prepping a bunch of toppings for them to put on their pizzas or in their fajitas – just keep an eye on the spice if you’re doing fajitas!
We love the BYO Pork Fajitas from the ‘Midweek Duo’ Meal Pack!
5. Sneak In Some Veggies
Kids and veggies have a notoriously rocky relationship. But cooking is a great way to introduce them to lots of different veggies. Get them involved by taking them to the farmer’s market and have them pick out their own veggies!
And if that doesn’t go down well, you can always try @mumto3sons’ tactic – cut them super small and hide them in dishes like spag bol, mac ‘n’ cheese and tacos! Try mixing up some smoothies to get some fruit in there too.
Pack in the veggies – and the taste! – with the ‘Childhood Classics’ Meal Pack.
6. Get Messy
Make sure you’ve got an apron on hand! Kids love doing breaded things like chicken nuggets and fish fingers, so why not set up a paneing station and help them recreate some of their favourite dishes? Eggy bread is another winner, and it’s ideal for eating with little fingers too.
Try the ‘Kids’ Edition’ Meal Pack for some fun, messy dishes.
7. Teach As You Go
Cooking is a great way to teach kids about ingredients, flavours and even the maths of weighing things if you fancy it. You could also teach them about geography and introduce them to their culture with certain dishes – @robertbmtg loves dishes important to his family heritage like rice and beans and tostones.
And most of all, have fun with it!
We’ve got a whole month of recipes that are ideal for cooking with kids over on the Meal Packs app. Check them out on the May Featured Menu, ‘Throw It Back’.
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