13 Ideas for Cooking with Kids

by Deb on June 2, 2011


I have mentioned cooking a few times, I think it’s something every kid loves. It’s a chance to really get their hands dirty and create, then do something with the results! And cooking is probably the area where most of us use science as part of our everyday life – not only the chemistry of cooking, but experimenting with recipes.

  1. Given our weather we do a lot of frozen yoghurt, it’s so simple with silicone ice cube shapes, spoon in a little yoghurt and freeze. When it’s ready, pop it out into a box to store and you have an instant snack.
  2. Our favourite Muesli bar recipe is based on this one, although we basically do 3 cups of dry ingredients and 2 cups of sticky. And we include yummy sunflower and pumpkin seeds and nuts.
  3. Pikelets were one of the first full recipes we did, we love it because it can be made savoury or sweet.pikelets
  4. And to go with them, homemade butter? butter and buttermilk
  5. Smoothies are fun to experiment with because you can try all sorts of fruits and little additions. A stick blender means little ones can do a lot of it themselves which is very popular.
  6. Seeing we have chickens we can’t eat all our eggs, we have to give them away. But we manage to boil, poach, scramble and quiche many of them every week. Our little bento moulds are very popular, the girls love the fancy shapes.
  7. Scotch eggs are a bit more complicated and I haven’t made them with little ones, but they do make a great model of the earth.scotch eggs
  8. Pasta – not cooking it, making it! We use an incredibly simple recipe of an egg to half a cup of flour and a pinch of salt, multiplied by how much you want. The girls adore kneading it and putting it through the press, although it mostly ends up very tough because it’s so overworked 🙂
  9. Fruit kebabs are another one they love doing on their own, although rather than a full kebab we usually just use toothpicks.
  10. For the international readers, a Spider is cool drink with a scoop of icecream in it. Traditionally we used lemonade and vanilla, although ginger beer, fanta and red creaming soda are lovely as well. It works because the organic molecules in the icecream are long chains, which catch the bubbles in the cool drink and create a stable foam.spider
  11. Rice cookers make it easy for little ones to help with dinner. Brown rice is an especial favourite, and the girls can safely add rice, flavours, spices and veges then measure in the water at the table, then I put it in the cooker and we wait. We use Kiddie Kutters so they can chop things safely, a bit of detective work leads me to think they are actually pumpkin cutters USians might recognise from Halloween.
  12. Big girl insists on her title of the Salad Queen and makes our salad for dinner at least once a week. They like going through the fridge to see what they can add this time.
  13. Now that the big girl is at school, part of every evening’s routine is the packing of the lunch boxes. And it is definitely plural, the little girl has to have one too. We don’t explicitly talk about food groups, but they know that there are types of food and they have to have a bit of each one. They enjoy mixing and matching how they will take the fruit or vegetables today.

How do you cook with your kids?

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

Lee Jamieson via Facebook June 2, 2011 at 10:06 am

Line the walls with plastic and have a pressure cleaner on standby? 🙂


Science@home via Facebook June 2, 2011 at 11:55 am

That reminds me of when the big girl was learning to eat. I really wanted a large, clear plastic box with a lid, that would have been perfect.


Lee Jamieson via Facebook June 2, 2011 at 11:57 am

lol 🙂 yes, it would be perfect. We are getting to that stage with our youngest.


Marita June 3, 2011 at 7:32 am

:: giggle :: at the earlier comments.

I love teh Kiddie Food Kutters. Might have to investigate getting some of those for my girls.


jenny @ let the children play June 7, 2011 at 10:14 am

I’m a big one for getting them to help with the lunchboxes as well – now that my kids are older they do this themselves and know that they need to include certain food groups.


Em June 12, 2011 at 7:42 am

I have 3 daughters, 13, 5, 1. My 13 yr old occasionally bakes up a storm and we’re trying to encourage her to help with cooking dinner once a week.
Our 5 and 1 yr olds LOVE to cook though and I can’t secretly whip up anything without them coming running!
On a serious note, our 5 yr old has a moderate intellectual disability, being assessed at being at the stage of a 1-2 yr old. Cooking with her presents so many opportunities for working on counting (1 cup of flour, 2 cups of flour, etc), fine motor skills (stirring), what’s dangerous (hot oven, electric beaters) etc.
Cooking is a way to bond with your kids. It doesn’t need to be anything fancy and if it doesn’t turn out edible then at least you’ve had a good time!


Melissa Taylor June 22, 2011 at 3:32 am

Do you let her cut up the salad fixings? I’ve been trying to decide when to teach my daughter about using a sharp knife.


Deb June 22, 2011 at 7:40 am

Yes but only soft bits like cheese and avocado, not the carrots. She started with a table knife or the kiddie cutter, the big girl does use a small sharp knife and has for a while. The little girl doesn’t, it just hasn’t come up.


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