By Mikala Atkinson, Schools Nutrition Coordinator for Crunch&Sip
Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a delicious morning tea or dinner to remember, preparing a home-cooked feast for your mum to enjoy this Mother’s Day is a great way to show her how much you care.
Whipping up a special treat for mum is not just for grown-up kids either, this family friendly activity suits children of all ages. While younger children love any excuse to get busy in the kitchen, they will need an adult helper such as dad (because mum is still in bed we hope!), an older sibling, or the grandparents.
So choose a recipe and start getting organised to make this Mother’s Day one to remember. Here are some easy and delicious ideas:
- Raisin toast with fruity ricotta topping
- Yoghurt and berry cups
- Wholegrain toast topped with sliced avocado and fresh tomato
- Date and muesli slice
- Rainbow pasta salad
For more healthy recipes ideas head to our website.
Just remember that cooking with children can be a little messy, and often requires an extra spoonful of time and patience, so try these tips to help make the process run a little more smoothly!
Allow plenty of time
Learning to cook is all about trial and error so allow lots of time for everyone to enjoy the process together, and remember to be patient when mistakes happen.
Be organised and get all of the equipment set up before the kids begin. Depending on the age of your child it may even be worth preparing ingredients and quantities ahead of time.
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 making their yummy spread!)
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). Encourage kids to throw on some old clothes or wear an apron, and worry about cleaning up at the end.
Let go of perfection
Remind kids that the final product is going to be its own special creation, so they can let go of perfection and enjoy the process. Be sure to build confidence by telling them they are doing a great job.
Take time to enjoy together
Make a lovely fuss and take time to enjoy your special Mother’s Day meal together. When children feel pride in their kitchen creation this helps them develop independence and a positive experience of cooking.
Good luck! And remember it helps to pick age-appropriate tasks, which will be different for every child, but here are our rough guidelines. We have created a Crunch&Sip chef's hat template for budding little chefs to wear while preparing their meal. Download it here and decorate to suit.
2- 3 year olds
Washing vegetables and fruit
Tearing lettuce and salad greens
Stirring dry ingredients or tossing salads
3-4 year olds
Mashing potatoes and bananas
Mixing together batters
4-6 year olds
Measure out ingredients
Set the table
Some peeling and grating
Using a butter knife on soft foods – avocado, mushroom, berries
6-8 year olds
Make a simple breakfast
Doing the washing up
Most peeling, grating and some chopping
8-11 year olds
Peeling, grating and chopping
Make lunch on their own
Help to plan the meal
Use the stove and oven with supervision
11-12 year olds
Follow simple recipes
Use the stove and oven
Could be in charge of making the whole Mother’s Day feast!