Cooking for children

We are all spending a lot of time at home, so I thought that I would share a few easy recipes that your children could help you make, and spend a bit of time being creative in the kitchen. I always find that children love to eat what they have made themselves, so here are a few ideas, tried and tested in my house, that are guaranteed to put smiles on little faces.

Firstly, wash those little hands.

The Very Hungry Caterpillar sandwiches

12 slices of white bread


6 slices ham

6 slices chicken

6 slices cheese

1 small tomato

1 scallion

You will also need: toothpicks.

Lay two slices of bread out on a cutting board. Butter both pieces. Place ham on one slice, then cover with the other buttered slice. Repeat to make a chicken sandwich, and then a cheese one.

Cut out five circles from each sandwich using a mini cookie cutter.

Place on a plate in a wiggly shape to form the caterpillar's body - you can alternate each sandwich flavour if you like. Position the tomato at the start of the body to become the caterpillar's head. Next, cut out two very small ovals of cheese for the eyes. Dab with butter to act as a 'glue', then stick onto the tomato to start forming the caterpillar's face. Slice small pieces of green onion for the pupils (again, using butter to 'glue' them to the eyes ). Cut two long strands from the onion stalk to act as the caterpillar's feelers, and fix onto the tomato using toothpicks.

That simple, and fun for children to make and eat.

Three ingredient macaroni cheese

This three ingredient mac and cheese is so simple and surprising. It is good old-fashioned comfort food to delight children and hungry grown-ups. We started making this when the kids were small and watching Barney on TV. It is an American classic and my 11 year old makes this at least once a week with a little help. You do not have to use macaroni pasta, any pasta will do, the smaller the better though.

4 cups (1l ) full fat milk

2 cups elbow macaroni

2 cups grated cheddar cheese

Put the milk into a small saucepan and bring to the boil over a medium heat, taking care not to boil over.

Add the pasta and return to the boil, reduce heat to simmer for eight minutes.

Stir through grated cheese and leave to sit for two minutes.

This mac and cheese is easy - but don't turn the heat up too high and burn it. Sometimes we add chopped up ham to the dish at this point, and mix it in.

Cheesy garlic bread

500g strong white bread flour

7g sachet/1.5 tsp fast-action yeast

1 tsp salt

2 tbsp olive oil

1 tbsp clear honey

2 garlic cloves, crushed

25g soft butter

100g cheddar cheese, grated

This is a basic bread recipe, a bit of messy fun for the kids.

Measure the flour, yeast, and salt into a large bowl. Mix 300ml hand-hot water with the oil and honey in a jug, then pour into the dry mix, stirring all the time to make a soft dough.

Turn the dough out onto a lightly floured surface, then knead for five minutes until the dough no longer feels sticky, sprinkling with a little more flour as you need it. Now stretch it to fit the Swiss roll tin.

Mix the garlic with the butter, then dot over the dough. Sprinkle over the cheese. Cover the bread with lightly oiled cling film, and leave in a warm place to rise for 40 minutes.

Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C. Remove the cling film, and bake the bread for 30 minutes until golden and risen. Leave to cool for 10 minutes, then cut into 12 pieces and serve.

I hope that you try and enjoy these simple food recipes, I will share some more with you next week.

Contact me at [email protected] if you want any advice on any food related questions, and I will do my best to answer it.


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