One of the great pleasures in life is eating. If you can cook, you will always be able to conjure up a delicious meal, even if you only have a few ingredients. Teaching your children how to cook is a wonderful way to spend time together and teaches them valuable life skills such as communication, counting and measuring, without them even realising it.
Cooking is a great way to boost your child’s confidence and inspire creativity and they can start from a much younger age than you think. Tasks such as cracking eggs and stirring are well within the capabilities of a young child – and it is amazing how being involved in the planning and preparation of a meal can stimulate a child’s appetite. Involving children at this young age in the making of their own food, and giving them some choice and therefore some independence, is often a great way to get fussy eaters interested in the food that they have helped make and choose.
SWEETCORN AND CHICKEN PASTA SALAD
From ‘Cook it Together’ DK
Sweetcorn, chicken, and noodles are often seen together in soups, but here is something similar as a yummy salad, this also makes a fantastic lunchbox alternative to the sandwich.
225g (8 oz) pasta bows
150g (5 ½ oz) cooked chicken
4 spring onions
1 large tomato
2 tbsp mayonnaise
2 tbsp Greek yoghurt
½ tsp lemon juice
2-3 sprigs dill
Salt and pepper
198 g (7 oz) tin of sweetcorn
- Cook the pasta according to the packet instructions. Rinse with cold water. Then shred the chicken, slice the spring onions, deseeded and chop the tomato.
- Put the mayonnaise, yoghurt, and lemon juice in a large bowl. Snip in the dill, season with salt and pepper, and then stir everything together.
- Now tip the cold pasta, chicken, spring onions, chopped tomato, and sweetcorn onto the mayonnaise mixture.
- Mix all the ingredients together and serve.
TRIPLE CHOCOLATE CHIP COOKIES
from ‘You Can Cook’ DK
Makes approximately 20 cookies.
A simple recipe to get children practicing their weighing and mixing. These cookies make lovely presents for friends or family, if they don’t get eaten first! Suitable for Freezing.
100g butter, softened
100g caster sugar
100g soft light brown sugar
1 tsp vanilla
150g plain flour
50g rolled oats
Half tsp baking powder
Quarter tsp salt
30g each milk chocolate, dark chocolate and white chocolate chips
- Cream the butter and sugars until pale in colour and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla. Fold in flour, oats, baking powder and salt, then fold in the chocolate.
- Line baking sheets with parchment and roll heaped tablespoonfuls into balls and put on parchment, spac ing the cookies 2.5 cm / 2 inches apart.
- Chill in the freezer for 10 to 15 minutes or in the fridge for 30 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180C/350F/Gas 4.
- Bake for 12 to 13 minutes, rotating baking sheets halfway through until golden around the edges. Cool on sheets and then transfer to wire racks to cool completely. You may need to bake in batches.
- For giant cookies, use a 45 ml ice cream scoop to scoop portions of cookie dough onto the baking sheets very well spaced apart (10cm / 4 inches apart) . Approx 3 giant cookies on a baking sheet. After the cookie dough has been scooped onto the baking sheets chill and bake as above, increasing the baking time to 14 to 16 minutes. Makes 12 giant cookies
*Replace mixed chocolate chips with 85g milk chocolate chips and add grated zest of one orange with the egg or vanilla. Alternatively use 85g chopped dark chocolate flavoured with orange.
*Replace chocolate chips with 55g dried cranberries and 30g white chocolate chips
*Replaced chocolate chips with 55 g chopped white chocolate and 30g chopped pecans
*Replace chocolate chips with 55g raisins and 30g milk chocolate chips