Coming into the colder months it can be harder to keep the kids entertained when the darker nights roll in and it gets chiller outdoors. Encouraging children to get involved with cooking can be a fun way to keep them entertained as well as teaching them new skills.
Cooking with children can have many benefits including providing practical experience with many essential skills such as reading, following directions and using a scale to measure ingredients. Getting involved in cooking can help children develop fine motor skills and understand basic concepts of science and maths. Through cooking, kids can learn new techniques and develop their knowledge of ingredients and where our food comes from. This might even encourage children to try new foods and to eat healthier by exploring a variety of tastes.
My twin boys age 2 1/2 are a bit young still for cooking but I look forward to getting them into the kitchen and I know from experience that young children love to bake! Parents might have some trepidation when it comes to encouraging kids to get involved in the kitchen and I know that without planning and preparation it can easily turn into a war zone – but it doesn’t have to be that way. If you would like to encourage your kids to feel more confident in the kitchen, here are my tips to have a fun and fight free experience.
Teaching Children to Cook
At Wee Buns we have a variety of children’s baking and cooking classes from baking classics to pizza workshops. We include recipes such as rocky road, fairy cakes, apple tart, buttermilk scones and iced cookies in addition to cake making and decorating, pizza and ice cream. Classes change throughout the year and vary according to the seasons.
Fairy Cakes with glace icing and an array of colourful sprinkles and toppings is always popular with kids of all ages. In these classes the children do everything from weighing out the ingredients themselves and at the end, they have their delicious fairy cakes to take home and share with the family.
To get you started I have attached the most popular recipe for fairy cakes used in my kids cooking classes.
Recipe to make with kids: Fairy Cakes
125g self raising flour
125g soft butter (must be very soft)
125g caster sugar
2 eggs medium or large
1 tsp vanilla extract ( or paste )
2 x 12 bun tins and bun papers
Makes approx 24 buns
Preheat oven to 180C or 160C fan
Sieve the flour into a large bowl, add the sugar, butter, eggs and vanilla. Using an electric hand whisk, whisk to combine well. The mixture should be soft enough to fall easily off the spoon. (Do not over mix)
Spoon into bun cases, no more than half fill and cook for approximately 10 – 15 minutes until light golden.
Cool on a wire rack and ice.
● 200g Icing sugar sifted
● Hot water from a boiled kettle
● Food colouring (optional)
Sieve the sugar into a small bowl and add a little of the hot water at a time and using a spoon mix until smooth and the right consistency, it should have the consistency of double cream. Add a little food colouring if required.
● 6oz soft butter
● 6oz icing sugar
● vanilla paste ( optional )
Beat the butter, icing sugar and vanilla together ( with a whisk or in a food mixer ) until light and fluffy. This will take at least 5 minutes.
Cooking With Kids Tips for Success
There are a few things I have learned over the years which help me run enjoyable childrens cookery classes. You can even try these at home:
1. Organise all your ingredients beforehand.
2. Tidy up at each stage to keep the chaos to a minimum.
3. Children are wonderfully creative .. best to leave them to it!
As always tag me in your creations you and your kids bake.