Rainy days and half-term holidays call for some time spent cooking with the kids. This guide includes a taste of everything from savoury to sweet. You know your child best – let them complete any tasks that you know they can achieve unaided, under your watchful eye. Save steps involving sharp knives, blades or scissors for yourself, or older children you judge as capable.
Remember to set some rules, too. Always wash your hands before you start and after touching raw meat, stay organised and be sure to read the recipe from start to finish first. Also, keep your worktop tidy, ensure the kids stand clear of hot hobs and ovens, get them involved with washing up and don’t let them run around in the kitchen. Most importantly – have fun.
Easiest ever biscuits
Teach little cooks to weigh ingredients, cream butter and sugar and roll out their dough, then let them loose with their favourite (clean!) plastic toys to make their mark on their own completely personalised batch of biscuits. Think Toy Story meets Junior Bake Off! The recipe is particularly good for the littlest cooks as they need only pinch and pull off pieces of dough before rolling it out.
Your child’s first bread bakery lesson doesn’t get any cuter than making a batch of these hedgehog rolls. They’re a great way to start a conversation about how we can sometimes make food like bread from scratch rather than always buying it out of a packet, or from the bakers. Plus, the chance to decorate the hedgehog faces with dried fruit and nuts is irresistible.
Chicken skewers with tzatziki
Teach the kids how to make a marinade for these colourful chicken kebabs flavoured with lemon and herbs. A box grater is a neat trick for helping little hands grate the cucumber for tzatziki. A few salad leaves, a tortilla to wrap it all up and they’ll be proud as punch to have helped make their own supper.
Quick cheese straws
If you’re after a quick and tasty, entry-level recipe to whet the kids’ appetite for cooking, look no further than cheese straws: these require just three ingredients, five minutes’ prep and about 10 minutes in the oven. Children of all ages like cheese straws and you can make them ahead of lunch together with crudités and a batch of hummus to dip them in. Also good for lunchboxes.
Rice pop doughnuts
No-bake, cheat’s doughnuts that are easy to create and even easier to eat. Set up a sprinkles station with different hundreds-and-thousands in little pots and let the kids get stuck in on decoration. These are obviously a treat and not for every day, but if you’re looking for an eye-catching recipe, they’re perfect for playdates and kids’ parties.
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