Fruit salad is one of the easiest cooking options for beginners or if you have a group of children. The kids can make their own individual cups of fruit salad, selecting the fruits that they particularly like, or make a big bowl full to share. Soft fruits such as banana, strawberries, kiwi and melon are all easy for small hands to cut with a butter or plastic knife.
Vegie Soup is a great family meal to prepare together and share. Children can cut carrots and celery easily if you pre-cut them into sticks. Younger children can shell peas and help measure things such as barley or pasta. Soup is also a good way to begin introducing working safely with a hot stove. Make sure children have a safe and sturdy step to stand on so they can reach and see into the pot, then with a long handled wooden spoon and adult support they can carefully stir the soup on the stove, or add ingredients.
Mix and Match Cup Cakes/Muffins
This basic cake recipe can be varied in many ways to make all kinds of cupcakes or muffins. Add grated apple and cinnamon, choc chips, a swirl of jam, mashed banana etc. Children can help measure and pour in ingredients, as well as mixing, and then decorating the cooked cup cakes!
1/2 cup sugar
2 cups self raising flour
1/2 cup milk
Cream butter and sugar, add eggs. Stir in sifted flour alternately with the milk. Add in any extras and mix well. Pop into patty pans or a muffin tin or even cake tin (should fill a 20cm round tin or similar) . Bake in a moderate oven for 10-15 minutes (longer if you are making a cake).
Spread sheets of puff pastry with jam and sprinkle with cinnamon sugar for a sweet treat. Or spread with tomato paste and sprinkle with cheese and your favourite pizza toppings for a savoury version. Then simply roll it up, cut into slices, place the spirals on a tray, and bake in a hot oven until golden and delicious!
Older children will enjoy watching the yeast come alive and then helping with the process of mixing, kneading and waiting for the dough to rise. Younger children will probably just prefer to skip the beginning process and get right to kneading and shaping their bread before you cook it!
Flat breads such as naan or foccacia/pizza (find recipe here) are very forgiving for little hands to knead and shape and are super easy to make.
Even if you are not up for making your own dough, making pizza is a firm favourite with kids. Use pita breads or pre-made bases from the supermarket. Older kids can help you cut up and prepare the toppings, and everyone will enjoy putting their favourite toppings on their own personal pizza.
Frozen yoghurt is a quick and easy treat to make. Choose your favourite berries and have the kids mush them up with a fork. Stir the berry mix through the yoghurt and pour into the ice cream machine! Let the kids watch as the yoghurt slowly freezes!
If you don’t have an ice cream maker just put your yoghurt and berry mix into an air tight container and place into the freezer. Take it out and stir it every half our until it freezes just the way you like it.
We call them ‘No-Rum Balls’ in our house! It’s a little messy but lots of fun with the kids helping to crush the biscuits, mixing everything together and then rolling into balls!
1 250g packet of Marie or Milk Arrowroot biscuits – crushed
1 tin of condensed milk
1 cup of coconut
1/4 cup of cocoa
extra coconut, or sprinkles for rolling in.
Combine all the dry ingredients then add the condensed milk. Mix well then roll into small balls. Roll the balls in the extra coconut or sprinkles. Refrigerate until needed.
Older children can help to cut up veggies such as mushrooms, capsicum, and zucchini and then carefully spear them onto the skewers. Everyone can help paint the veggies with a little of your favourite marinade before cooking them.
Chocolate Ripple Cake
Chocolate Ripple Cake (find recipe here) is an old family favourite in our family. If you are really keen the kids could whip the cream by hand with a whisk! Or simply have them help glue the biscuits together with the cream!
Visit Picklebums to read all about Kate’s adventures growing up with four children on ten acres of weeds (otherwise known as The Pickle Farm) in ‘almost rural’ Victoria.