“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment and creativity” Guy Fiery
One of the great joys of my love of baking is being able to share it with the boys, Henry in particular is a baking addict just like his Mummy. I can honestly say it has been a huge bonding experience as its something almost daily we do together and both always make time for. The hardest thing is to embrace the mess and chaos, but if you let go to that it can be so wonderful, coupled with yummy treats at the end what is not to love.
So, where do you start? The best place to begin is with the (and I say this with gritted teeth as it’s not something I would ever use now!) kits from the supermarket, picking a theme like Frozen or Paw Patrol is a great way to get children engaged, there is not much that can go wrong with them and they get to experience in a really quick way the joys of the delicious pudding at the end!
The next phase is letting them help you with your bakes, all of my recipes on here are child friendly, I don’t think I have made any of them without Alfie or Henry getting involved somewhere along the line. You can buy lovely children’s mixing kits from either Amazon or Lakeland with their own bowls and perfectly sized utensils, or you can just give them one of your wooden spoons and let them crack on!
My boys favourite bits are; cracking an egg (if you worry about the shell, get them to crack it into a separate bowl they can then pour in to the rest of the mixture), stirring, again this doesn’t have to effect the overall bake, use your stand mixer to create the batter then let them finish with their spoon. I bought some fantastic children’s knives for chopping, (linked here) so the boys are always helping me chop cherries for bakes and vegetables for cooking.
Use the time when chopping vegetables with them to explore each one, what colour is it? what does it feel like? and if its suitable let them try it raw, I’ve found allowing them to explore when they are ready has meant they are prepared to be more adventurous. Before the first lockdown my eldest was a terrible eater, he was really fussy, only liked plain food and meal times weren’t great fun. If you follow me on Instagram you will know that now he eats EVERYTHING! The change definitely came from him helping me prepare lunches, chop the vegetables and understand what went into his meals, he no longer started to challenge the bits of carrot on his plate because he’d already eaten some in the prep process and was excited for the final result.
My overall message is in my experience encouraging them to get involved in baking and cooking was the best thing I could have done for my boys, who now have developed their own passion for food and will try almost everything. I’d love to see pictures of your baking and cooking results with your kids so please do share them!