Despite the mess, cooking with young children is always a fantastic activity to indulge in together. Getting involved in food preparation can help your child to build confidence, familiarise themselves with different ingredients, and feel a well-deserved sense of achievement when they can share their creation with the rest of the family. Helping to cook anything at all will be a positive learning experience for your child – and if it’s a healthy recipe, so much the better. Check out some of these fun ideas for cooking with your children.
Perfect for Shrove Tuesday but also an ideal teatime treat all year round, pancakes are tasty to eat and flipping good fun to make. For a batch of pancakes:
- Break 2 eggs into a bowl and whisk.
- Mix with 100g flour and 300ml milk to make your batter.
- After heating oil in your frying pan add enough batter to cover the pan and cook evenly for 1 minute.
- Turn with a spatula, or if you’re feeling brave you can flip it in the air! Then cook for another minute.
- Serve hot with lemon and sugar, or experiment with tasty fillings such as cheese, banana, tomato sauce with vegetables, or chocolate spread.
Ham and cheese toasties
An ideal recipe for cooking with young children, this is a great way to kids get involved on the assembly line.
- After pre-heating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, take 1 or 2 slices of bread per person and butter them, before placing half the bread on a baking sheet (buttered side down to stop it from sticking).
- Add a slice of ham, then sprinkle with grated cheese.
- Finally, place another slice of bread on top, buttered side up.
- Cook in the oven until the cheese is melted, then serve with vegetable sticks and cherry tomatoes.
This recipe can be customised to suit your family’s individual likes and dislikes. For a vegetarian variation you could substitute Marmite or tomato puree for the ham. For a Hawaian take, add a ring of pineapple on top of the ham and sprinkle the cheese on top before you grill it, delicious!
Oat and raisin cookies
For a sweet treat that contains some healthy ingredients, you can’t beat these indulgent oat cookies. This recipe makes 40-45 cookies but you can choose to freeze a part of the uncooked mixture for use at a later date.
- Prep your kitchen by pre-heating your oven to 180 degrees Celsius, toasting 75g oats on a baking sheet for 4-5 minutes and greasing baking sheets ready for your cookies.
- Cream together 75g caster sugar, 75g soft brown sugar and 100g margarine, then mix in 1 beaten egg.
- Sift and fold in 175g plain flour, then add 125g raisins, ½ tsp vanilla essence and the toasted oats.
- Spoon heaped teaspoons onto the greased baking sheets and bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes before cooling your browned cookies on a wire rack.
Resources for making cooking fun
For more information on cooking and eating, check out our nursery policy on healthy eating for young children, read our nutrition guidance for parents and get some inspired meal ideas for toddlers. You can also download our Parent Recipe Booklet, from which our toastie and cookie recipes are taken.
Your kids are guaranteed to have a wild time in the kitchen helping you to prepare these recipes. And if you have a budding chef on your hands you can make cooking with your young children even more rewarding by buying them their own apron, taking photos of what they’ve made and compiling a little recipe book of their favourite recipes. Bon appetit!