Fun foodie ideas for the kids' holidays, from cake decorating and easy dinner recipes to indoor picnics and money-saving lunchbox ideas for family days out.
Come rain or shine, getting creative with food is a great way of keeping your brood happy in the holidays. Getting kids in the kitchen is a fun and creative way to spend time together, plus it can help build healthy eating habits. It's also a good way to teach kids where their food comes from, and what goes into making it – you could plan a day out to a pick-your-own farm or simply help them make their own homemade pizza.
We have plenty of ideas to keep them busy in and out of the house – whether it's sunny and warm or a little less so – like this raspberry & pistachio tea cake, pictured above.
The great indoors
Kids not impressed with the great British weather? Don't despair – grab a pint-sized pinny, cover those surfaces and brace yourself for an afternoon of foodie fun. We have plenty of cooking projects for kids to get stuck into.
If you want to get really creative with lollipops, marshmallows, chocolate buttons and fruit, take a look at our cake decoration guide for fun ideas and inspiration. If you want to go all out, edible glitter adds extra sparkle to bakes – but you'll have to be prepared to face the mess.
Or, check our some of the following recipes...
For children aged five or older
Even the smallest of hands can help scatter sprinkles over these simple iced buns – you'll just need to assist to make sure some actually make it on the buns!
For children aged eight to 14
- Chocolate fudge cupcakes
- Iced fairy cakes
- No-churn ice cream
- Little toffee apple cake
- Frosted carrot squares
- Courgette muffins
Cook up a storm
Getting kids to help make their own meal is a great way of instilling them with confidence where it comes to cooking, and could even help combat fussiness – kids are often far happier to dig in if they've been involved in the process. With enough practice, they might even be making you lunch soon!
For children aged three to six
For children aged five to nine
For children aged eight to 14
For more inspiration, visit our kids' cooking collection.
Rain won't go away? There's nothing to stop you from having an indoor picnic. Put up a homemade tent (otherwise known as a blanket thrown over a couple of chairs) and camp out with some delicious treats.
- Summer sausage rolls
- Chicken & ham sandwich pies
- Sunshine bars
- Lemon & coriander hummus
- Picnic recipe collection
Celebrate summer, a birthday or just the school holidays by letting the kids invite friends round and laying on a few quick party bites. If nothing else, it's a good excuse to get out the jelly and ice cream.
- Toffee popcorn bark
- Sausage roll-up twists with tomato dip
- Sticky popcorn pots
- Kids' party recipe collection
The great outdoors
Pick your own
Give the kids a taste of the good life by taking them to a pick-your-own farm. Many offer a variety of produce, from courgettes to cherries and more. For advice on where to go, what to pick and how to find your nearest farm, check out our pick-your-own article.
What to do with your pickings
Into the wild
You don't have to venture to a designated farm to pick your own fruit and herbs – with a bit of know-how, you'll find plenty of produce near your own front door. Kids will love going on a mini adventure to forage, and you don't have to live in the countryside to do it.
Take a look at our foraging and urban foraging guides for inspiration. Just one word of warning: if you're not an expert, it might be worth sticking to known quantities like crab apples, blackberries and cobnuts, as some common herbs look deceptively close to more dangerous cousins.
Fairgrounds and theme parks
Avoid overpriced and uninspired theme park food and pack a lunchbox of healthy and nutritious treats that take just minutes to make. Our tasty recipes will make you the envy of the park and it's sure to save you a pound or two as well.
What doesn't taste better eaten al fresco? An outdoor dinner is sure to go down a treat with the kids, and giving them a few simple tasks to help prepare the food should keep small, impatient hands busy. Wrapping up jacket potatoes, skewering fruit and mixing marinades are all good jobs.
- Barbecue chicken & coleslaw
- Barbecue baked sweet potatoes
- Sweet & sticky wings
- Frozen fruit sticks with passion fruit & lime drizzle
Ready for a real adventure? Head into the wilderness with the kids and let them run wild. Campfire food doesn't have to mean burnt sausages and cold baked beans. We've got simple one-pan suppers and make-ahead treats that are perfect for eating around the fire – just don't forget the marshmallows.
When it comes to getting creative with food, there really is something for everyone and no project is too small. Decorating biscuits can be as therapeutic for a toddler as it is for a teen. Whatever you decide to do, just accept the mess, roll your sleeves up and enjoy!