School’s out: go stir crazy
WHEN YOU reach the ‘I’m bored’ stage of the school holidays, cooking is a great way to keep little hands busy. Most children’s cookery courses will be booked by now. So here are some tips and recipes from the professionals, to inspire you to get busy in the kitchen with your children or grandchildren:
1. PLAN AHEAD
Have all equipment out and ready before you start. “Know what recipe you want to make and make sure you have all ingredients to hand” advises Nicole Freeman of the Kids’ Kitchen. “It sounds obvious, but kids have limited patience, so upfront planning makes the cooking experience more fun for everyone.” Freeman also recommends weighing ingredients first for little ones. “That way cooking is quicker, less messy and you can ask them to find each ingredient in turn.”
“Establish kitchen rules like washing hands and not touching stove knobs or knives” says chef and cookery teacher Lisa Roukin “Then give frequent reminders about what’s ok to touch and what can hurt them. Even older children need safety reminders especially if they’re working with a p p l i a n c e s and knives or at the stove.”
Get outside your mess comfort zone and let them be creative. “It’s amazing what children can do when you let them”, says cookery teacher and caterer, Fabienne Viner-Luzzato ( homecookingwithfabienne. co.uk). “The youngest ones just need more attention for tasks like separating eggs and measuring but the older ones can be more independent.”
4. NOSHING IS GOOD
“Tell them how real chefs work — tasting as they go — and encourage them to do the same.” says Freeman. “This can get even the fussiest eaters to try things.” She also recommends encouraging the children to share their goodies. “Eating what they’ve made at a family supper or taking baked goodies for a family tea is a great way of them showing off what they have made”.
5. FUN WITH FOOD
Viner-Luzzato suggests investing in fun cooking gadgets like an instant ice cream maker or chocolate lolly making sets. “Creating lollies or ice cream is magical for children.” Children will also love harvesting their own ingredients.
“When you pick your own, they’ll taste food at its very best and maybe try something they’ve previously been wary about” says Roukin. “You can often pick a range of produce, including broad beans, peas, garlic, beetroot, berries and currants.” Find a local farm at pickyourown.info.
Here are some recipes to get you started and help the summer fly by.
Children love getting creative in the kitchen