I love watching my kids in the kitchen cooking up a storm… in fact our current Covid-19 classes are fairly frequently based around lessons in the kitchen. I mean what’s not to love? There are ample learning opportunities, covering all areas of curriculum and child development. And then there is the part, where we all get to EAT!
You could pay for kids cooking classes, or you could even register for online courses. (In fact, I’m currently registered for a sourdough online course with Mike Greenfield from Pro Home Cooks. And my girls will be baking bread alongside me very soon I’m sure.) But, honestly if you want your child to learn to cook, the best place to start is… You guessed it, at home, in your kitchen, next to you. And if you can’t cook… learn with them. Or you could always just fake it!
So… If you want some great cooking and recipe ideas for your kids in the kitchen then read on. Below I’ll share our family favourite recipes and Pinterest links. Also, some kids cooking tips that I use in my homeschool classes.
The Cake Sale Class
Recently, my 5 year old announced, “I want to make something and sell it.” We talked it out… thinking about what kind of things she could make and sell. Ultimately, she settled in on two ideas… bubble mixture… or a cake. And naturally I helped her arrive at the second of these choices. Then we got to work, narrowing in on a recipe and identifying how we might go about selling the cake.
The project filled the day. We baked, planned and decorated the poster, put the finishing touches on the cake, and advertised the cake on our community Facebook group. Then delivered the cake to the customer’s front door and counted out their change. The learning covered some of the following curriculum areas…
- Mathematics: Measure – We counted grams on the scales, and became familiar with cup portions.
- Mathematics: Number – We calculated money and the change required for the customer.
- Literacy: Reading and Writing – We read the recipe, wrote out the ingredient list for the customer and created a poster to sell the cake.
- Science: Investigation – We followed the recipe in terms of a set of instructions and method.
- Health and Physical Development: Personal Identity & Motor Skills – We developed skills to support a sense of independence. Used cooking tools and equipment that required concentration and an element of responsibility.
And the overall result of this cooking class?
I don’t need to go into huge detail… the answer is self-explanatory. The result was priceless. The project was self directed and self initiated. This teaches children that they contribute valuable ideas to their own learning. Ultimately, the learning was motivating to it’s very core.
Benefits and Tips to Effective Kids Cooking Classes
– Set the Ground Rules – particularly around the oven, stove top, and items that require adult supervision.
– Set Challenges – while safety is important, it is common to underestimate a child’s ability. Let them try the grater, peeler or sharp knife. And at the same time talk about ways to use it safely and responsibly.
– Encourage Independence – Let children prepare their own breakfast or lunch from time to time. Children as young as three love to do this. They can even set the family table for dinner.
– Fighting Fussy Eaters – Children who spend a lot of time in the kitchen take bigger risks when trying new flavours or tastes. Getting their participation in cooking really helps!
– Taste More Than Once – We have a family rule that we all need to try new tastes more than once, because we teach our children that our tastebuds change over time. So even if you don’t like tomato, try it once more, because maybe this time you do!
– Healthy Options – While cooking take the opportunity to talk about what makes food healthy or unhealthy. Then elaborate on good food choices and bad food choices. This awareness should start young.
– Process not Product – This refers to your level of inner perfectionist. If you are like me, you’ll want the biscuits to be the right shape, or the cup of flour to be perfectly level. I’m here to tell you – it doesn’t matter. The learning is in the process of the cooking, not the finished product.
Best Kid Friendly Recipes
As promised… these are some of our favourite family kids recipes saved to a Pinterest Board. Check them out and before long you will be cooking up a storm in your home. Or see the list below for specific ideas and recipe links.
- Probiotic carrots
- Lemon cake or Cinnamon Raisan cake – I tend to prefer gluten free cakes, so search to find a recipe that suits you
- Rainbow Cake – no need to seperate into tins (spoonfuls into a baking tin work just fine)
- Overnight oats
- Smores Cookies
- Peanut Butter Biscuits
- Breakfast Biscuits
- Water kefir – just need the water kefir grains
- Tepache – Fermented Pineapple Drink – one of my personal favourites
- Energy Balls
- Sandwiches – let the kids come up with ideas for this one
- Ice-lollies – our kids favourites
- Muesli bars
- Sushi – you really don’t need a recipe for this, just the equipment
- Marshmallow Easter Eggs
- Gingerbread Men
- Pizzas – my favourite pizza dough recipe
Each of these recipes we have made ourselves and can completely recommend. If you have any recipes that your children love to cook, please share below in the comments. Or we’d love to see photos of your kids making some of these recipes… just be sure to tag #myfreerangefamily.