Children are never too young to start cooking or preparing food. You can start with small steps like pouring out some cereal or juice, then spreading butter. As they are able you can start with easy things like making a sandwich or muffin pizzas. In this post I will share a few ideas along with some visuals.
Make it fun and hopefully they will enjoy eating it too. We have a kid’s apron and chef’s hat which my eldest loves to put on when he is helping in the kitchen. Personally I find it’s a great activity to do as the kids need your help and creates lots of opportunities for interaction.
Things to cook with kids
There are so many things kids can cook easily but here are some suggestions for you:
- Baking cupcakes is great fun for young children. They can help weigh out the ingredients, sieve the flour, put cupcake cases into the tin and most kids love to mix the ingredients.
- Decorating biscuits or cakes is lots of fun, my boys love shaking sprinkles onto cakes. If you don’t have time to cook and decorate just use ready-made cakes or biscuits. The fun bit is icing them and covering them in sprinkles.
- Rice Crispy or corn flake cakes – these are so easy to do and kids love licking the spoon covered in melted chocolate.
- Muffin Pizza, slice an English muffin in half, the child can spread on some tomato puree and cover with grated cheese or any other toppings. My kids love making these.
- Practice cutting and spreading, this is easily done with toast or sandwiches.
- Jam tarts, I tend to use ready made pastry and the kids can do the rolling out and cutting of the pastry. Then putting the pastry in the tins and filling with jam.
It is really easy to do something seasonal like ghost meringues at Halloween or Sheep cupcakes in Spring.
Over on The Breakfast Page (my other blog) we recently reviewed the Energy Ball Recipe Starter Kit which was brilliant for my youngest who has a very short attention span. Everything came ready to be mixed straight away. Find out more in my review.
Using visuals in the kitchen
I like to use visual recipes so that my non-verbal autistic son can follow it with me. I also find it helpful to let him look over it for a while before we start as he needs more processing time. Most young children find it easier to follow a visual guide.
Here are my visual cooking guides that you can download and print out to follow with your kids:
My visual cookbook is ideal for getting your children involved in the kitchen.
This easy to print 25 page document has 16 sets of instructions with clear photos. It is designed so you can print each recipe as needed from the eBook.
Available to download now for just £2.95. More information on the link below –
Messy play / sensory cooking
My eldest has lots of sensory needs and cooking is a great sensory activity. Things my son loves include kneading bread, pouring icing, breaking and separating eggs and making pastry. He also really likes to peel mushrooms!
My youngest has a really short attention span and will often only do a short amount of cooking at a time. That’s fine but the best way to get him involved is to use his interests. He loves Room on the Broom at the moment so I can use that when we are mixing a cake as making a spell in the witches cauldron. He is also very into numbers so we made number biscuits.
Encouraging attention by using specific interests really does help you to explore different activities.
My kids are particularly fussy eaters but they will still help prepare food in the kitchen they may not then eat. I think that lots of exposure to different food is worth it even if they don’t want to try new things yet.
We have two cookbooks that I think are brilliant for children the Annabel Karmel Children’s First Cookbook and Cooking Step-By-Step. There are links to both below. These books are very visually appealing and full of great recipes. My eldest loves to look through them and we have had success with everything we have tried from both books. I really do recommend them.
The links below are affiliate links this means that if you purchase from these links I may receive a small commission. This is at no additional cost to you and it supports my blog.
What do you like to cook with the kids? I’d love to hear your suggestion in the comments below and do let me know if you use any of my visual guides.
You may also find some helpful recipes to try with the kids over on my new blog The Breakfast Page.
It’s great to get kids helping in the kitchen young. If you can look past all the mess they make when they are young you get the rewards when they are older. My teems make better cakes than me now! #KCACOLS
Yes does get very messy in our house at the moment
Fab tips my boys love making cupcakes and it is not too chaotic for me 😉 X #kcacols
This is great! My kids love making fruit shakes, cookies, muffins etc. 😀
Could I ask you what plugin (if any) you use for the download of the visuals in the post? That’s very nifty, and I need to find out how to do the same as I have quite a few .pdf my self I would like to make downloadable like that in the post. 🙂
I forgot to add #KCACOLS !!
I think it is just available in the new version of WordPress. I just select to add a file and it automatically adds the download button.
Interesting! I’ll have to take a closer look. 😀
Thanks for that! I found it! haha 😀 I can’t believe I never saw that option! But we learn new things every day right? 😀
Absolutely glad you found it.
I love the idea of English muffin pizzas. We often do toast pizza but I think muffins would be much better! #KCACOLS
We do toast pizza too but the boys prefer muffins
I love baking with my kids. I try to involve them as much as I can and they will readily admit that their favourite part is licking the spoon once our bake has gone into the oven! I grew up with it which is why I love it so much so I wanted it to be a big part of their lives too. And only recently I managed to find little rolling pins in a shop so I was delighted because I had been looking for ages (I never thought to look online!). I think chocolate muffins are their personal favourite #KCACOLS
A kids rolling pin is a good idea I might get one of those. I loved baking with my gran as a kid and as you say want to share that with my kids too.
I was never all that great at cooking with my daughter when she was younger. She was always better at it than me. I love the visual recipes, they are such a great idea. Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next time
Some great ideas here. my LO loves to bake with me. I don’t do it that often, and it is messy, but she often talks about it too, and it certainly is something enjoyed #KCACOLS
My kids love to help out in the kitchen. My oldest is a better cook than I will ever be since he’s learned how to do it from his father. #KCACOLS
Lucky to have them to cook for you then xx