Starter, Main and Dessert all prepared by the kids – what could possibly go wrong?
Teaching your children to cook can be a slightly daunting experience. Letting them loose with knives and hot ovens seems a recipe set for disaster so why bother? The time invested in teaching your children to cook is definitely time well spent. It provides an opportunity to bond, creating something delicious together. You can use it as an opportunity to spark discussion around maths, science and other cultures.
By preparing food with your children, they will learn where food comes from and appreciate the time and effort that you put into providing healthy and tasty meals for them each night. Cooking can also be a way to boost confidence, if they follow the recipe accurately, they will get the expected result. Making food themselves instils kids with a sense of accomplishment. Another benefit is that if they’ve made it, they’re more likely to try it. So, make the most of this newly found adventurous palate and sneak in a few new flavours or unusual vegetables.
Starter: Grape and Prosciutto Crostini
This looks and sounds a lot fancier and more complicated than it is – the perfect starter for kids to prepare. Cut (or ask an adult to) sour dough bread diagonally into slices and toast. Remove from the toaster and spread with goats cheese. Add halved grapes, prosciutto ham, a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic. Garnish with wild rocket. Delicious!
Main: Pesto and Spinach Pasta
Keep it simple. Simply boil some water and add pasta in your child’s choice of shape. When cooked, stir through red pesto and spinach. The spinach will wilt almost immediately when stirred into the hot pasta so don’t be afraid to add some more. Sprinkle pre-cooked bacon bits on top if you fancy and add liberal amounts of cracked black pepper.
Dessert: Banana Pops
These can be made well in advance and are a healthy yet tasty treat. Peel bananas and cut them in half. Put each half onto a skewer. Next melt either milk, white or dark chocolate in the microwave. Dip the skewered banana into the melted chocolate and then roll in flaked almonds or hundreds and thousands. Place on a tray lined with baking parchment and transfer to the freezer. Leave for at least 2 hours before eating.
Cooking imparts a vital life skill to your children and encourages healthier eating habits. If nothing else, you can be a little more certain that upon leaving the family home their diet won’t consist of takeaways alone.