My two love getting their hands dirty in the kitchen. To be honest, also their faces, arms and feet. When it gets to witching hour, it’s nice to have some little treats which they can cook, which ultimately leads to them eating their dinner! If they are involved, they eat.
I really try to do my very best to let them do as much as possible. It is very tempting to do the pastry cutting and lifting by yourself, but it is so beneficial for them to learn how to manipulate the world around them. Plus, the kitchen gives us so many opportunities for safe risk-taking, such as supervised knife use. And watching them break eggs for baking is downright hilarious.
These are a few new things that we’ve been making recently:
Parmesan puff pastry stars – I think this was an idea from a Coles magazine. The kids cut out the pastry stars and sprinkle them with parmesan. A quick bake in the oven just before serving, and voila! Despite this delicious soup being the infamous green colour, it still got eaten. Amazing what a delicious dipping star can do.
Dino dippers – Another soup one. I bought these dino sandwich cutters from Officeworks, but I’ve also seen them at Spotlight. Cut, a little bit of butter, a few minutes in the hot oven, and soup will be demolished.
We have also done a few sushi shapes with great molds from Daiso. Sushi rice is fun to manipulate, but be prepared for sticky rice to be everywhere!!!
Rainbow pizzas – Another Coles mag idea. These were such a hit… and it meant we finally moved off ham and pineapple pizzas! We had red tomatoes, orange carrot, yellow corn, green broccoli, and ‘purple’ beetroot. Admittedly, not the tastiest pizza I’ve made, but these are the things we do for our children.
Podding broad beans – fine motor skills, and deep concentration. Say no more.
Wrapped pies – these are a great way to use up leftover casserole or pasta sauce, as they are easier if the filling in cold. Cut a piece of puff pastry into 4, place in muffin trays, fill, then ‘wrap’ the contents to close. They would probably look a bit prettier with an egg wash, but I was out of eggs that day.
Chocolate spiders – yes, these are treats! I remember making these as a little one. Melt dark chocolate and some peanut butter together, and mix in crunchy noodles. Sprinkles make good eyes.
Chocolate Coated Ritz – (one more treat!) I found this recipe in ‘4 Ingredients kids’ (Kim McCosker). Sandwich two jatz/ritz/savoys together with peanut butter, and dip in melted dark chocolate. Set in the fridge for half an hour or so. These two loved doing the spreading in particular. I realised that they hardly ever have the opportunity to use a knife, so it was very interesting to watch them do their best!
I find my two really relate well to stories about their food. They are so much more likely to eat it if they know that something used to be their favourite food when they were babies, or food that we ate all the time in China.
What have you made recently with your children?