Lifestyle - 6 Jul, 2020

Cooking is science: Educational recipes for kids

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There’s no time like now to start cooking up tasty dishes with your kids. Spending extra time in the kitchen with your kids can help them develop a positive experience with all different types of foods, fruits and vegetables. Children can also start to learn basic cooking skills and form knowledge about good nutrition and healthy eating.

Activities in the kitchen will ensure children can use all their senses – touching, tasting, smelling, listening and seeing. There are also lots of different ways to have kids involved throughout the cooking progress. For older kids, they can help prepare food using knives and cook on the stove. For younger children, they can wash fruits and vegetables, help with utensils and mix ingredients together. Cooking together with kids provides practical skills such as following directions and coordination. Hands-on cooking activities can also help children develop confidence by successfully completing a task or learning a dish. Following recipes also encourages children to be self directed and work on their problem solving skills.

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Other benefits of cooking with children

Mathematical instincts

Cooking a meal involves mathematics and measurements, which can be used as practice for children. For example, kids can learn more about fractions using half cups and quarter cups during cooking, as well as doubling the recipe when required.

Learning about nutrition


Kids can be more likely to eat their meals if they’ve helped to peel and slice them. Getting them to help out in the kitchen can generate a meaningful conversation about proper nutrition and a healthy diet that isn’t just cookies and chips. A tip is to allow children to pick what to eat for dinner once a week, on the condition that it has to be a balanced meal. Start simple and work up depending on the child’s age and skill level.

Making it a part of family time


Cooking is fun for the kids, but it can also be an opportunity to bond as a family. Cooking together builds traditions and can help strengthen the relationship between siblings, parents and everyone altogether. Family meal preparation is also a chance to celebrate cultural heritage by passing down recipes from generations. If not, kids and parents can sit down and find new recipes to start a family cookbook together.

We’ve sourced some tasty recipes below from KidSpot that you can try with your children. These recipes are quick to make, with various beginner cooking skills embedded throughout so kids can learn at an easy pace.

Recipe 1

Devilled egg chicks

Three devilled egg chicks on blue checkered plate

Ingredients

  • 12 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 cup parmesan cheese (finely grated)
  • 2 tsp dijon mustard
  • 3 slice carrot
  • 24 capers (blotted dry)
  • Fresh dill (to garnish)

Method:

Step 1: Place eggs in a saucepan and with enough water to fully submerge them. Bring the water to a boil on a high heat, cover with the lid and remove from the heat.

Step 2: Leave the eggs to cook in the saucepan for 12 minutes. Cool, then peel.

Step 3: Slice a bit off the bottom of the egg so that it can stand upright on its own. Cut off the top third of the egg, reserving the “lid” you’ve just removed. Gently remove the yolks and place in a medium-sized bowl.

Step 4: Add the mayonnaise, Parmesan and mustard to the egg yolk and mix together until smooth. Transfer the yolk mixture to a zip-lock bag.

Step 5: Snip a small hole in the corner of the bag and pipe the mixture back into the hollowed out eggs. Fill the egg, as well as an extra inch above the rim.

Step 6: Cut carrot (or you could use capsicum) into very small triangles. Place capers in the place of eyes and carrot as a beak. Top the yolk face with the egg white “lid” we removed earlier.

Step 7: Refrigerate for at least an hour or up to one day. To serve, line platter with dill. Arrange chicks carefully on top.

Recipe 2

Popcorn Chicken

Platter of popcorn chicken

Ingredients:

  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1kg skinless chicken breast, cut into pieces
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • 2 large eggs, beaten
  • 2  cups of panko bread crumbs
  • 1/2 cup cornmeal
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan
  • 1/2 tsp. cayenne pepper

Ingredients for Dipping Sauce

  • 1/2 cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tbsp dijon mustard
  • 1 tsp honey
  • 1/8 tsp cayenne pepper

Method:

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 400° and grease two large baking sheets with oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper.

Step 2: Add eggs to a medium shallow bowl. In a separate shallow bowl, whisk together bread crumbs, cornmeal, Parmesan, and cayenne. Season with salt.

Step 3: Working in batches, add chicken to eggs then dredge in bread crumb mixture until fully coated. Spread chicken in even layers on prepared baking sheets.

Step 4: Bake chicken until golden and cooked through, flipping halfway through, about 25 minutes.

Step 5: Meanwhile, make dipping sauce: In a small bowl, mix together mayonnaise, mustard, honey, and cayenne until fully combined.

Step 6: Serve chicken with dipping sauce.

Recipe 3

Healthy vegetable and chicken sausage rolls

vegetable and chicken sausage rolls

Ingredients:

  • 8 sheets frozen puff pastry
  • 1 kg chicken mince
  • 4 eggs
  • 3 tbs LSA (linseed, sunflower seeds and almonds)
  • 1 cup flaked quinoa
  • 1/2 cup wholegrain bread crumbs
  • 1 kg mixed vegetables
  • 1/4 cup chopped parsley
  • 1 egg

Method:

Step 1: Preheat your oven on high (around 210°C).

Step 2: Chop all the vegetables into small and fine pieces.

Step 3: In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients, except for the puff pastry and the extra egg (which will be used to brush the pastry).

Step 4: After the puff pastry is defrosted, cut a sheet in half and lay it down as a long rectangle.

Step 5: Using a tablespoon, lay out the sausage roll mix in a long thin line at the bottom of the sheet (keep in mind you will need to roll the puff pastry over the sausage roll mix so there are two layers of pastry overlapping). Before rolling up the mix in the pastry, brush some egg over the pastry as ‘glue’.  Keep the roll whole, brush with more egg on top and place on a tray with baking paper.

Step 6: Repeat this process until all of the mix is used up.

Step 7: With a sharp, thin bladed knife, cut the logs of the sausage rolls into smaller pieces. Lay each piece 2cm apart on a tray lined with baking paper. 

Step 8: Bake on high for 15min until the pastry starts to golden, then turn the oven down to 180°C. Depending on the strength of your oven, you may need to move trays around from top to bottom and keep an eye on the bottom of the sausage rolls that they don’t become too dark.

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Recipe 4

Dr Seuss’ Green Eggs and Ham

Ingredients:

  • 6 extra large free range eggs
  • 120g ham off the bone
  • 50ml green food colouring

Method:

Step 1: Place a drop of food colouring on a slice of ham. Spread it around with your finger or a basting brush and pat any excess dye off with a paper towel. Fry the ham until the edges turn crispy .

Step 2: Combine water and food dye in a small bowl. Crack an egg and let just the yolk bathe in the mixture.

Step 3: Heat a frying pan on low and add a teaspoon of oil. Pour the egg whites into the pan one at a time and let sit for a moment.

Step 4: Add the green yolk to the middle of the sizzling egg white and cook to your liking.

Step 5: Remove eggs carefully and place on a plate. Place ham on plate and season accordingly.

Recipe 5

Rice Bubbles Waffles

Ingredients:

  • 2 cups of milk
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • 2 tbs melted butter
  • 2 cups self-raising flour
  • 2 cups Kellogg’s Rice Bubbles
  • 2 tbs honey
  • Fresh berries (strawberries and blueberries)

Method:

Step 1: Combine all ingredients except the berries into a protein shaker and shake to mix together.

Step 2: Pour the batter straight into a waffle maker and cook until ready. If you don’t have a waffle maker, use a grill pan on medium heat and cook for 3-4 minutes until waffles feel crispy- they might look like strange waffles, but still delicious!

Step 3: Once cooked, serve these delicious Rice Bubbles waffles with fresh strawberries and blueberries, sprinkle Rice Bubbles on top and drizzle with natural honey. This makes an extra sweet fruit bowl to add to the table for breakfast!

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