5 tips for cooking with kids
Cooking with children can be a super fun learning experience, or it can turn into a right mess, and in many cases both! With these five quick tips you can make it much more easy and enjoyable for everyone involved, and end up with something delicious to eat in the end.
1. Choose the right recipe
Simple, no-fail recipes are ideal, as you can let the children work more independently. Look for recipes that can’t be overmixed and aren’t time sensitive. No-bake treats like chocolate crackles, rocky road and honey joys are great.
Cakes, slices and other baked goods are fantastic too, but will require more guidance. Consider the age of the children, their current cooking ability and how involved you’d like to be.
2. Accept the mess
Spills and thrills are inevitable, but before you get started, tick off this checklist for an easier clean up:
- Clear your workspace
- Put on aprons or old clothes
- Tie back long hair
- Lay down butchers’ paper or plastic table cloth
- Have a dustpan at the ready
- Place a bin nearby
With these tips in place, cleaning up with the kids’ help will be a breeze.
3. Set aside plenty of time
Forget the estimated prep time! It’s likely to take much longer when you’re involving the littlies. If you need to make something by a certain time, choose a make-ahead recipe and make it the day before. Or set aside lots of extra time, accounting for clean up as well!
4. Take the learning opprtunities
Cooking is a great chance to make learning fun. Food hygiene and safety is number one, teach the children things like washing their hands and not to lick utensils (until they're finished, of course). Also encourage them to think about measurements, teamwork, sharing and telling the time for baking and setting.
5. Have fun with each step
The fun is in the journey, not just the destination. Whether it’s getting a good look at the melted chocolate, or stirring just a bit longer than necessary - let the kids lead the way and have fun mixing, playing and enjoying each part of the process.
If you're ready to get started, check out the easiest no-bake recipes for kids below! Or if you're ready to start on baking or more complex recipes, check out these collections: