Cooking with 12+ year olds and learning opportunities for all
Along with the skills suggested for 5 - 7 and 7 - 11 year olds, when children reach 12 +, they can begin to prepare more complex recipes and even start improvising. How much they can achieve depends on how interested they are in cooking and how much they've done before.
Even much older children should have some supervision to avoid accidents in the kitchen.
Recipes for 12+ children to try:
- Food hygiene - washing hands at the beginning and in between touching raw and ready-to-eat ingredients
- Maths - counting, dividing portions, doubling recipes, adding and subtracting
- Recognising ingredients and learning their origin
- Recognising kitchen equipment and learning how to use it
- Reading and following recipes in order to create the final dish
- Following instructions - young children are particularly inclined to want to add more, jump stages or taste when they shouldn't
- Different tastes, textures and foods
- Time and patience
- The science of cooking â what happens to things when you apply heat or cold
- Dexterity, fine motor skills and coordination â carrying or pouring without spilling, opening containers and packets, weighing
When children learn to look, they will do so by following the recipes carefully with your help. As they become older and more experienced, let them experiment with quantities, although remember that most baking recipes have specific quantities that will not work if changed. Give them opportunities to let their imagination run wild when it comes to presentation of the final dish.
Children will learn many things through cooking but the greatest lesson they can learn is a to love preparing delicious, healthy, well-rounded meals.
Here are some recipes to get them started: