There’s no doubt about it, kids + cooking = fun! Making cookies, cakes, pinwheels, muffins and ice blocks are firm favourites in our house. But have you ever stopped to consider what you child is learning while they’re helping you in the kitchen? It’s probably more than you think.
Many teachers are integrating kitchen garden programs and cooking activities into their curriculum because there are so many educational benefits across a variety of learning areas. Today I am sharing a little information about six key benefits alongside 12 great simple cooking for kids recipes.
Read your recipe including the list of ingredients, then write a shopping list of the things you’ll need. Read the list as you go about your shopping and read the labels on the products too.
School aged children can read the recipe step by step to you as you get down to the business of cooking.
Simple Cooking for Kids: 12 Recipes to Try
1. These Choc-Orange Energy Balls are no bake (so perfect for making with kids) but involve lots of hands on opportunities for kids to help.
2. Or get your full bake on with this recipe for Chocolate & Zucchini Muffins. Via Picklebums.
When you’re shopping for the ingredients, be sure to point out the price tags to young children. Extend older children by bringing a calculator for them to work out the total cost of your groceries, and use real money instead of your EFTPOS card so they can physically see the exchange of money and work out the change they’ll get.
Back in the kitchen, measure the quantities of ingredients you need. Keep it simple for little ones as they count the number of spoons or cups, whereas older children can examine quantities and units of measurement (grams/millilitres) and discuss fractions (half, third, quarter of a cup). Finally, talk about time as you bake your delicious goodies!
3. Pikelets are a classic kid friendly recipe here in Australia and these Mini Fruit Pikelet Stacks are fabulous for afternoon tea or a playdate snack.
4. Or what about these tasty Cornflake Cookies from Picklebums?
Take a look at where our food comes from and plant your own veggies and herbs to use in your cooking. ‘Living things’ is a really big part of the Science curriculum, especially in the early years.
Discuss how your ingredients change when mixed together and explore what happens to the mixture when exposed to a change in temperature (fridge/freezer/oven). Introduce new vocabulary with language such as dissolve, combine, freeze, melt, rise and steam.
5. Jodie from Growing Book by Book shares a great Hot Chocolate and Banana Muffin recipe here.
6. These Frozen Berry Yoghurt Pops from Octavia and Vicky would be great for a hot day!
Research, discuss and try recipes and food from different cultures. Head out to dinner and try new foods regularly and then try a similar recipe at home! Locate the countries you are learning about on the map.
7. Kids love rolling out the tortillas made with this homemade tortillas recipe.
8. Who doesn’t love pizza? Kate from Picklebums shares a kid friendly twist on an Italian classic!
Cut out pictures of ingredients you need from junk mail to make a recipe collage. Or illustrate each step of the recipe/procedure for your very own recipe book. You could also use your favourite art technique to make your own set of family placemats.
9. These cute spider snacks make cooking a work of art too! Via Octavia and Vicky.
10. Or create a picturesque, edible rainbow with Mama.Papa.Bubba.
These days it’s so important to discuss healthy eating habits and five food groups with your children. Try using healthy fruits, vegetables and herbs from your own garden. Explore the concept of how healthy food fuels your body to give you energy to exercise (and play games such a fruit salad!)
11. For a super healthy and delicious fruit recipe, try these Crunchy Apple Boats.
12. Or these fabulous Blueberry Oatmeal Bowls (from Growing Book by Book).
For more great ideas for cooking with kids check out our other great recipe collections – 10 Things to Cook with Toddlers, and Eating the Alphabet: Cooking with Kids from A to Z.
What’s your favourite recipe to cook with kids?