The trouble with kids is that if you say ‘you must eat 5 a day’, ‘you must eat your greens’……they can stick their heels in and REFUSE to have anything AT ALL to do with ‘healthy eating!! So finding new ways to introduce vegetables into their diet is important-it’s no good cooking dishes, however nutritious, if they don’t appeal to the little darlings.
Here is an easy supper dish you can rustle up in between activities and homework…using ‘super’ broccoli-a super food if ever there was one. I have packed in lots of vegetables, chicken and served it up with noodles-always good for a slurp. Try eating this with chopsticks for even more possibilities for hilarity. My top tip is to involve children in preparing their own food-they are much more likely to want to eat something they have made themselves. Participation depends on what you are cooking and age of the children but there is always some thing that can do help with such as cutting up the vegetables, setting the table, deciding the weeks menue or clearing away. Have a go with this recipe:
LEARNING TO COOK, SKILLS FOR LIFE AND LOTS OF FUN!
Running a 6 week course for 4 young students has been very rewarding for me. We all had fun and they produced lots of really GOOD food which they and their families really enjoyed. The cooking classes were part of the ‘learning a new skill’ section required as part of their Duke of Edinburgh challenge.
I wanted to teach them a range of skills and recipes that would give them the basics and the confidence to keep on cooking and develop their own style. Cooking gives me lots of pleasure and seeing others enjoying my food even more pleasure and I wanted to pass this on. Cooking is a great life skill and especially so for young people heading out into the big, wide world away from mum’s kitchen.
So we made bread, fresh pasta, short crust pastry, cakes, practised safe knife skills, muffins, turnovers, icing skills, making sauces and using chocolate….I’m exhausted just thinking about it. Incidental skills such as reading a recipe, getting organised to cook, washing up (!) and importantly what to do when things don’t go to plan were learnt along the way.
Of course we had a few dramas; an uncooked tart was dropped-and we scooped it back in and added more cheese on top, scales weren’t put back to zero between ingredients, recipes weren’t read properly, ingredients weren’t added, some pasta got really overworked and paper cases over or under filled. At times some of the girls had to be hurried along or told to slow down. All to be expected in a busy kitchen!
But they turned their skills into bacon & egg tarts, savoury mince into shepherd’s pie and mince & dumplings, made American style blueberry, lemon muffins and banoffee muffins, tomato & basil pasta sauce, macaroni cheese with sweet corn, terrific homemade bread in plaits, cottage loafs and baps, beautiful iced cupcakes, jam and chocolate puff pastries….and more
The final week I set them a GBBO type challenge-6 small cakes, flavoured, filled, iced and decorated by hand with flair and imagination and presented in 2 hours. Some forward planning was required and ideas discussed in advance.
They made some impressive cakes: Amelia’s were red velvet with a hidden filling and decorated with raspberries.
Lucy’s were vanilla sponge and icing, decorated with handmade red roses.
Emma’s frosty iced cakes were decorated with delicate snowflakes.
Ashton made pretty cakes to look like Christmas trees complete with baubles .
They should be very proud of themselves and I was very proud of them and now they can cook!
Here are some I made earlier!….actually they aren’t – these were made by children at one of my cupcake parties! They had a lot of fun and had a go at making and baking biscuits and cupcakes. They iced and decorated with (a lot) of butter cream, sprinkles, marshmallows, edible glitter, sweets. We had lots of sticky fun, the children had a great time and they picked up some cooking skills along the way.
We had a birthday tea and the birthday girl received a special present from me. All the children took home a box of cakes and biscuits that they had iced and some simple recipes-the verdict:?
From the children ‘When can we come again?’
From the parent ‘That was the most stress free children’s birthday party ever!’
From me ‘Phew, that was hard work but fun but I was really pleased that the children worked so well and had a great time-children love to cook I so it was great to let everyone have a go and they were REALLY good’