Kid baking in the kitchen with flour

6 ways to get the kids cooking this half term

You'll have mini Paul Hollywoods pottering around the kitchen in no time

By Rebecca Shepherd, 07 February 2017
6 ways to get the kids cooking this half term

Getting your little ones involved with the cooking is a wonderful way to teach them new skills, have lots of fun and create memories that they'll cherish for years to come. 

"Watching their joy at feeding the whole family an evening meal that’s lingered over, discussed and praised, is a joy to behold"

Not only that, but it will keep them busy for hours during the half term (result!), and you'll love seeing the smile on their faces when they show off their finished creations.

But getting your kids into the kitchen and feeling confident about cooking isn't always an easy task.

We spoke to former Great British Bake Off contestant, blogger and mum-of-three, Holly Bell, who has shared her handy hints and tips to get started. 

 

1. Choose recipes where they can get involved

Holly said: "Sounds obvious but anything where the main bulk of the time is spent deep frying or slicing with a mandolin, is only going to end in bored tears."

Breakfast is a good place to get them involved, as often it's just an assembly job. You could put out lots of fruit, already chopped and get them to assemble their own fruit salad, or fruit skewers if it makes it seem more fun. 

Or why not encourage the kids to pick their favourite fruit and create a Berry & passion fruit yogurt pot? Get them to make different layers by filling a small pot with yogurt, fresh fruit and some rolled oats. 

2. Allow some autonomy

Holly said: "Imagine never being able to deviate from a recipe? Life would be boring. It’s the same for kids. If they suggest adding a little onion to a dish why not try it? You might like it. Ignore this advice for cocoa scrambled eggs, take it from me – they’re not great."

An easy recipe that allows for a bit of 'creativity' is pancakes. The kids could decorate them with whatever sprinkles, chopped fruit and drizzles you've got stocked up in the house. 

 

3. Get them dressed up

"If your budget allows it, indulge in a small apron, possibly even a hat. Children do seem to love a dress up opportunity. Christmas and birthdays are perfect for some child-size utensils.

"We have a small sieve, a tiny wooden spoon and a small whisk. In the meantime a tablespoon and a cereal bowl are quite adequate."

4. Think of a meal like a good story

Holly explains: "It has a beginning, a middle and an end. It starts with discussing, planning and shopping, it builds to the actual food preparation and the cooking, and it ends with laying the table, taking drinks orders (the unadulterated happiness of a child with a piece of paper, playing waiter is beautiful) and clearing plates."

So why not encourage them to get involved with next week's dinner? You could help them pick the recipes for a start. If you've got any fried chicken fans in the house, this finger-lickin’ recipe which is oven-baked, not fried, contains all the crunch and savoury flavour they love. 

Or if pizza is their thing, get them to pop on an apron, put on a hat and get creative by making their own homemade one. This no-knead sour dough pizza equals no fuss - meaning your little ones can get involved, by throwing on their favourite toppings and having a great tasting dinner they'll be so proud of. 

5. Have a tea towel on standby

Holly added: "Yes there will be mess, but come on, let’s keep some perspective."

6. Let them know there are parameters of what’s 'acceptable'

Holly said: "You know your limits. For me the kitchen is a place to be treated with respect – we don’t throw food, we treat each other kindly and we don’t eat anything unless it’s deemed okay by Mummy/Daddy etc. I don’t enjoy trips to out of hours surgeries with tummies full of raw chicken."

Feeling inspired to get the kids into the kitchen over half term? Make sure you pop into Asda to pick up all your ingredients or head online