Cooking with childrenOctober 26, 2017 • Cooking & Craft
Our friends at Cottage in the Hills make beautiful and practical homeware so they know all about cooking with children. We’ve asked them about their top tips on making delicious family meals with little ones.
Cooking with children can help with so many things, from understanding basic maths to discovering new flavours. They will get the joy of creating a dish as well as eating it! Cooking will use all of their senses and help to make them more comfortable with food, so they grow up with a healthier attitude to eating.
It’s a great opportunity to introduce the concept of early maths in a fun environment; from adding, reducing, using scales and measures. Cooking with children can also help improve your little one’s communication skills. You can help them develop their reading skills by reading a recipe together, and following the steps in a recipe will help them to understand sequences.
Children will use all five senses when cooking from smell, taste, feel, sound and look. Getting them to describe these different senses will expand their vocabulary.
Cooking can even help with children’s emotional development by showing them that cooking a meal for friends and family is a way to give and receive love, (and even praise!).
Getting together with your child to create a special family recipe to celebrate a birthday or seasonal holiday will create a lasting memory they will treasure forever.
To ensure cooking with children is enjoyable it’s important to make it as stress-free as possible. Don’t worry about spilt ingredients – cleaning up afterwards can be part of the fun. Protect their clothes from sticky fingers with a practical and fun apron they will want to wear.
Cottage in the Hills can personalise your little ones’ apron so it becomes part of the cooking fun, adding to those special memories. Visit their website now to choose a favourite pattern and you can add your child’s name as well as a fun phrase.
You can win one set of their lovely personalised aprons for your child and yourself in our Halloween Competition.
Easy Pumpkin Soup Recipe
Autumn is the perfect time to enjoy a lovely bowl of creamy pumpkin soup with yummy crusty bread. Our recipe is a super easy and quick yet delicious version of this Halloween family favourite that’s great for children, even babies.
Ingredients – serves 4-6
- 1.2 kg / 2.4 lb pumpkin (unpeeled weight)
- 1 medium onion (chopped)
- 2 garlic cloves (peeled, whole)
- 3 cups / 750ml vegetable or chicken stock (low sodium)
- 100 – 150 ml single cream
- 1-2 tbsp butter
- salt to taste (you can leave this out)
- pepper to taste (you can leave this out)
Peel the pumpkin, remove the seeds and dice it into small cubes.
In a saucepan, melt the butter and start frying the onions.
When the onions soften, place the pumpkin, garlic and stock in the pan and season to taste. Bring to the boil, uncovered, then reduce heat and let simmer. Let the pumpkin cook until completely soft, almost mushy.
Remove from heat and let the cooked pumpkin puree cool to room temperature. Use a hand blender to blend until smooth. If you want to make sure no bigger pieces of pumpkin are left in your soup, strain the puree.
Stir in the cream and mix it with the pumpkin puree, allow to simmer on a low temperature (cream can split if boiling) for a few minutes.
Garnish with pumpkin seeds or coconut flakes and serve with fresh crusty bread.