Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Cooking with Children

Cooking with my children...

I have no memory of not cooking. I learnt to speak, tie my shoe laces, ride a bike, cook and garden... food and gardening were so much a part of our every life that it was never a thing that needed to be fit in to a busy schedule... it just was. I am so grateful to my parents for these gifts.

My childhood memories are of my aunts, uncles and cousins all visiting our farm and sharing produce and helping prepare food.  My uncle Frank would arrive with a boot load of tomatoes and melons... his speciality and we would cook and eat together. There would be the hands of my mother and my aunts all floured up making cakes. Nothing was ever finished when they arrived to spend time with us... trips to the garden to get ingredients... sampling of tomatoes as if they were fine cheeses.... good... good memories.

The other night I had friends over and we fired up the woodoven to cook in. This photo is of myself, my dear friend Lisa and my daughter, Eva(2) kneeding the pizza dough. This is how I learnt to cook ~ I love that Eva will never have to learn cooking like learning a second languge... it will always be a part of her being.

My daughter, Maggie, making her own pizza
Lisa & Oli pizza topping

I really believe in allowing kids space to be creative and know food. It nurtures their soul and gives them memories and skills to last a life time. What I'd encourage those of you out there with little people in your life to do is just include them... for example tonight while I made a salad my daughter Eva sat on the kitchen bench with me... watching and saying all the things I did..."mustard...lemon juice... honey...oil..." When she goes to make a salad as an adult she will do it without a second thought ~ knowing how to from sitting on the bench with me.

just making sure the avocado is ok...

I thought I'd share with you an easy recipe to make with your kids... perfect for afternoon treats or school lunches...its a take on the much loved Anzac biscuit and is soooooo easy!

Ginger Oat Slice

for this you will need...

  • 1 cup (90g) rolled oats
  • 1/2 cup (110g) brown sugar
  • 1 cup (220g) self raising flour
  • 125g butter
  • 4 tblsp Honey Lady Ginger Honey

To Make

Preheat oven to 180°C. Line a 18cm x 28cm slice pan with baking paper

In a large bowl, combine oats, sugar and flours.

dry ingredients all mixed together

 Heat butter and ginger honey in a small saucepan on low heat for 1-2 minutes, until butter has melted and mixture is well combined.

Make a well in centre of dry ingredients. Add butter mixture and combine well. Press firmly into prepared pan.

Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden.

Cool completly in pan. Cut into squares to serve.


butter & honey... YUM!

I think when it comes to cooking with kids its not so much about the end result... for me its about including them in the process ~

I remember reading in a education publication something along these lines

If a child only ever experiences water at the drink fountain how can we expect them to care about the rivers and oceans

If a child only ever experiences the sandpit how can we expect them to care for the earth


If a child only ever experiences food being placed in front of them then how can we expect them to know food and make good food choices

pressed and ready to bake

And really the bottom line is I have never met a child that does not  like cooking ~ its a great way to spend time with your children!

the finished goods ~ so good
My tips for Happy Cooking with kids

  • let go of expectation ~ just cook and your kids will learn
  • children are more capable that we give them credit for
  • keep it healthy ~ you are laying life long foundations here
  • celebrate the seasons ~ enjoy produce! we as a family long for the start of the pomegranate season and shed a few tears when it ends...
  • make time for 1 on 1 cooking with your children
  • get a bank of easy success recipes to share with kids
  • harvest food together ~ visit farmers markets with you childre
  • ENJOY!!!!!!!

reaching for the mulberries


Honey Lady

picking mulberries

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