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Our Favourite Tips for Cooking with Children

Getting your children helping out with the cooking is a great way to spend quality time together. We've come up with some top tips to get your kids' creations from 'yuck' to 'yummy' in no time


From Come Dine With Me to Jamie Oliver's 15 Minute Meals and the Great British Bake Off, there's no shortage of inspiration on our screens to try new tastes. The problem is that with our busy lives, cooking a proper meal for the family can often feel like a chore.

However, being busy in the kitchen with your children is not only a great way to spend quality time together; it's also a chance to pass on your knowledge - believe us, they will thank you in the long run!

We know that the combination of children and kitchens can be explosive, so here are some tips on how to remove the calamity before it starts and give you a chance to enjoy yourselves.

We know that it's not something you want to think about just yet (or ever, in some cases) but teaching a child to cook when they are young puts them in good stead for their days at university - and maybe even help them impress a future son or daughter in law!

Top tips for cooking with your children

Rules of the kitchen

Sit down together and write out a list of kitchen rules. If they get to help make them, they are more likely to stick with them. These could be as simple as 'no running in the kitchen' or 'aprons must be worn while cooking'.

Take it one step at a time

Start out simple

While you may have the next Michel Roux Jr on your hands, remember to start with the basics - creating Michelin-starred meals can wait for a few months, at least. Try using one or two ingredients that don't require an oven for the first few recipes.

Simply being able to put ingredients together - like celery and peanut butter, or jam on bread - make the task seem un-daunting! However, if your children are like many others, they will quickly want to try more complicated things. Add in multiple ingredients (think summer salads) and then introduce the cooker.

Healthy and nutritious, but tasty

Children like baking, but once they realise there is a world of delicious savoury courses out there you will be amazed at what they are willing to try.

Try adding new ingredients one at a time and let them sample how the different flavours go together. You may even find combinations that you didn't think would work!

Get children involved in the whole process

We often lay out the ingredients and tell children what to do, but getting them involved from the start gives you a chance to practice reading and maths skills in a practical environment.

Work togetherRead the recipe together, make a shopping list, and head out for an adventure. At the shops, give them items to find, and when you get home give them the task of washing vegetables or using weigh scales.

As they get older and you supervise them, they will be willing and able to help with chopping and grating. Some children like getting messy while others don't; you'll know your child and recognise whether you should have them mixing with a spoon or kneading with their hands.

Don't forget the most important part - sit down and enjoy what you've made together. Discuss what they liked or didn't like, and how you might adapt the recipe in future.

Try new things

Once you've got the hang of recipes, start being creative. They've experienced different tastes together, so experiment! It might be that on the day before you go grocery shopping, you make 'fridge surprise'.

Just see what's in the fridge and come up with a recipe that uses up all the bits and bobs. Not everything will taste wonderful; however, you might just discover a new family favourite.

Give them credit

We all want acknowledgement, and a sly mention at the dinner table about how 'Joseph' helped make dinner tonight doesn't go amiss.

Make it exciting

Cooking can seem like a chore sometimes but when you want to get your children involved, it has to seem exciting, so remember to have fun!

Turn up the tunes, make fun aprons, and smile!

Healthy recipes to cook with your kids

Cooking is fun!

In need of inspiration? Here are a few places to look for healthy treats:

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