Isabella-cooking-tomato-and-red-pepper-soup

Easy recipes for your kids to cook this summer holiday

Teach them how much fun cooking can be with our recipes for all ages and skill levels

By ,
Easy recipes for your kids to cook this summer holiday

For kids, developing a healthy relationship with food can be so much easier if you get them into the kitchen as early as possible. Letting them get their hands – and the worktops – dirty is an ideal opportunity to develop their taste buds, and a great way for them to enjoy a more varied and balanced diet as they grow up.

To help get them started – or teach them new skills – we’ve put together fun recipes for kids of different ages and levels. They’ll learn how meals come together using fresh and store-cupboard ingredients. 

These dishes range from easy, for little ones who can just about stir with a wooden spoon, to more challenging, for older kids and teens who want to try their hand at new recipes.

Along the way, they can learn new techniques – from basic peeling and cutting to breading fish fingers and blending soup. Plus, of course, it’s a great way to get them involved with cleaning up afterwards! 

From 5 years: Jelly with frozen yogurt

A great recipe for getting little ones started, this lets you use lots of lovely fresh fruit, too!

Skills they will use: 

Grating: Zesting an orange is ideal for a first attempt at using a grater. Get your child to hold the orange firmly and move it down the fine side of the grater without pressing too hard, taking care not to scratch their fingers!     

Melting: Ask them to help you watch the apple juice as it’s heated with the gelatine and tell you if they see bubbles forming – if it boils, the jelly won’t set. Then they’ll see the gelatine melt, turning from solid to liquid.

Mashing:  Get them to use the back of a fork to squish together the strawberries and jam, taking their time to get a smooth result. Show them that it makes it easier to mix the fruit into the yogurt, and it also helps the mixture freeze better, with no icy lumps.

From 7 years: Tomato and Red pepper soup

This tomato and red pepper soup is easy to cook from scratch and super-tasty to eat!

Skills they will use:

Cutting: Older kids can cut up the peppers with a knife, making sure all the pieces are a similar size so they’ll cook evenly at the same time. Make sure they cut away from themselves and keep the fingers of both hands clear of the sharp blade. 

Skinning: First, let them try to peel the skin off a raw pepper with their fingers, then they’ll see it’s easier with roasted and cooled veg. It may still be fiddly at first, but it’s worth it – they’ll soon realise practice makes perfect and their soup will have a better taste and smoother texture. 

Blending: Whizzing with a handheld blender is fun, and they’ll discover that, as well as mixing all the flavours together, it gives their soup a thicker, velvety consistency. Make sure they keep a firm grip on the blender and only switch it on when the end is in the soup, to avoid messy splatter.

From 9 years: Fish fingers with minted mushy peas and sweet potato chips

Once they've learnt the basics, let them have a go at rustling up dinner for the family with this yummy recipe.

Skills they will use: 

Marinating: Adding paprika to the oil creates a simple marinade for the sweet potatoes that adds a subtle smoky-BBQ taste in just minutes. As kids get more confident in the kitchen, let them experiment with their own favourite flavours – from fresh herbs to berry fruits and beyond – following recipes, or even mixing their own marinades.         

Breading: This adds a lovely crunch to the fish, teaching young cooks the importance of texture as well as taste. Using surprising ingredients, like the rice snaps, encourages creative thinking about food, while dipping the fish into the flour, egg and crumbs gets them used to handling raw ingredients – be patient if they’re squeamish at first! 

From 12 years: Pea and sweetcorn mini filo tarts

Up for a bit more of a challenge? Give these a go

Skills they will use: 

Pastry work: This can seem daunting at first but don’t let them get discouraged. To keep the pastry firm, working gently and quickly with cold hands is key – if they get too warm, run them under the cold tap, then dry well.   

Egg cracking: Yes, this is a skill! Get them to tap the side of an egg against the rim of a bowl, then slip both thumbs into the crack and pull it apart. If fragments of shell fall into the egg, pick them out with wet fingertips. 

Egg washing: This is a simple but useful art, as they’ll see when they use beaten egg to ‘glue’ thin sheets of filo together, and paint it on with a brush. It may seem like extra work, but the golden glaze it creates on the baked tarts makes it worth it. 

From 12 years: Turkey meatballs

For confident cooks only - impress the family by serving  this tasty pasta dish for dinner!

Skills they will learn:

Peeling: You won’t convince a budding chef that this is a glamorous job, but it is an important one! Make sure they peel away from themselves – never towards – and don’t let the peeler blade get too close to the hand holding the veg. Once they master the basics, they can use a peeler to create veggie ribbons for salads and other dishes.  

Snipping: Kitchen scissors are the savvy chef’s secret weapon – kids can use them to cut spring onions quickly and accurately. They’re good for herbs, too, and relatively safe to use, but as with any blades, fingers should be kept well clear. 

Shaping: This may not seem like a big deal, but done well, it makes all the difference. Get them to squeeze and roll the meatballs into even-sized rounds, so they all stay in one piece and take the same amount of time to cook through.

Feeling inspired to get your kids in the kitchen? Make sure you stock up on everything you need at Asda or pop into your local store