5 tips on why you should invite your children into the kitchen!
When you first start cooking with kids, it can be daunting, especially if (like me) you have a type A personality.
However, if you can bring yourself to embrace the mess and fun, there are so many lifelong benefits for your children.
1. Cooking develops early numeracy skills, for example counting as you crack the eggs into the bowl or fractions when you measure half a cup of flour.
2 Children like to taste as they go, which allows them to experience new flavours they may be adverse to if they are offered them on a dinner plate.
3. It is an amazing sensory experience. Getting their little hands into the mix, tasting and playing helps them to make sense of the world.
4. Cooking is a lifelong skill that everyone should know. We can set our kids up for their future by teaching the basic skills and nutritious choices from early on.
5. Developing fine motor skills. The first time my daughter cracked open an egg and then scooped out the small amount of shell, I was blown away by her dexterity. Mixing skills also help strengthen hands ready for writing.
We started from around age one while old highly supervised and have gradually added more complex tasks. So, if you are ready to get into the kitchen with your little one, these are my go-to recipes.
Pizzas We use English muffins as the base. I cut up a variety of foods such as salami, mushrooms, pumpkin, spinach, olives and cheese and she does the rest. Spreading the sauce is always a favourite.
Tip: Cut up more toppings than you need as a good portion will be eaten during the process.
Bliss balls There are hundreds of different recipes out there for these so pick your favourite ingredients and get going. The benefit of these is that children can throw everything in the food processor (supervised away from the blades) and then help roll them afterwards.
Cookies Cookie dough is like edible play dough – what's not to love? Gingerbread cookies or shortbread work well with a variety of cookie cutters.
Mini muffins I love making muffins as I always make a huge batch and store half in the freezer for school lunches. Blueberry muffins are our go-to recipe.
I want hours upon hours of delicious sleep followed by hot cups of tea, reading my book and nothingness. But I'll have to get up now to comfort, feed, clean, dress, entertain, love, laugh, play, and repeat.