Enjoy the many benefits of cooking with your kids this Christmas and make delicious, healthy snacks too!
With the summer holidays just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about some fun and easy family activities that won’t break the bank. Why not get your kids helping in the kitchen and create yummy festive snacks to enjoy with family and friends.
Cooking together allows kids to practice their fine motor skills, improve their reading skills and use maths and science concepts. It also allows you to promote healthy eating and start teaching your child important life skills around food preparation.
We know cooking with kids requires an extra spoonful of time and patience, and is often a little messy so don’t forget these top tips to guarantee success.
Allow plenty of time
Learning to cook is all about trial and error so give yourself lots of time to enjoy the process together, and remember to be patient when mistakes happen. Put on some Christmas carols and get busy making some special memories.
Be organised and get all of your equipment set up before you begin. Depending on the age of your child it may even be worth preparing all of your ingredients and quantities ahead of time. Kids over the age of 5 should be able to help weigh and measure ingredients and will enjoy putting their skills to the test.
Talk about food safety
Getting ready for cooking is a great opportunity to talk to kids about food safety. This includes using a clean surface, washing hands both before and after, tying back long hair and keeping little fingers out of mouths (at least until they have finished helping!)
Mess is an important part of the process. It takes time to learn to whisk an egg or sift flour so that it actually ends up in the bowl. Just throw on some old clothes or wear an apron, and don’t worry about cleaning up until the end.
Let go of perfection
Remember the final product is going to be its own special creation, so let go of perfection and enjoy the process. Be sure to build your kids confidence by telling them they are doing a great job.
Take time to enjoy together
Make a lovely fuss and take time to enjoy what you’ve made. Why not invite family or friends over to share in the experience? When children feel pride in their kitchen creation this helps them develop independence and a positive experience of cooking.
Strawberry Santa Hats
Prep: 15 mins
Cook: 0 mins
Makes: Approximately 15 Santa Hats
- 250 g punnet of strawberries
- 1 banana
- 100 g ricotta or cottage cheese
- 30 currants
- Wash the strawberries and trim off the stalk
- Cut a 0.5 cm slice off the top (the big end) of the strawberry and set aside
- Cut the banana into 0.5 cm slices
- Layer up your Santa Hats! Start with the strawberry slice, then add a slice of banana. Pop on a spoonful of ricotta and top with the rest of the strawberry (big end down).
- Pop the currants in for eyes