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Meals that can be cooked by kids!

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Meals that can be cooked by kids!

edited 18 October 2019 at 9:48AM in Old Style MoneySaving
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MSE_TineMSE_Tine MSE Staff
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edited 18 October 2019 at 9:48AM in Old Style MoneySaving
Old Stylers - I need your help! :o
My DD is 10 and despite my extreme reluctance to hand over ANY control of my pride and joy (the kitchen in this case, not my car or motorbike :rotfl:) I accept that I need to allow her to learn to cook *gulp*
So first meal ideas that will require minimal interference from me (happy to supervise use of hob and oven obviously!) so she can gain some confidence :D

Please hit me with ideas! (Pretty please!?) :beer:
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  • MisslayedMisslayed Forumite, Board Guide
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    Pizza base, jar of red sauce, selection of pizza toppings. It's more assembling than cooking, but requires a degree of slicing, chopping and maybe grating. My grephew (great nephew) enjoyed that, he used to 'talk to camera' as he worked, as if he was on the telly!
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  • littlegreenparrotlittlegreenparrot Forumite
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    I remember we started with eggs, scrambled and omelets.

    Moved into simple grill things, sausages, bacon.

    Cakes/ biscuits that we would then have in lunchboxes. Flapjack, shortbread, cupcakes, simple loaf cakes.

    Bread is fun, good on a rainy weekend morning, then make soup to have with it.

    If you're brave enough you could look for children's cook books in the library and let her choose :D
  • MSE_TineMSE_Tine MSE Staff
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    If you're brave enough you could look for children's cook books in the library and let her choose :D

    Brave enough? I’m petrified 🤣🤣🤣
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  • caronccaronc Forumite
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    If you set some "Golden rules" mine were "clean hands, listen to me, clean up afterwards and try what you make" then even kids much younger than yours can and will quickly learn and enjoy doing cooking and preparing.

    Certainly a good place to start is simple things that are more assembling rather than cooking but good things to do after that are "boiled egg & soldiers" , pasta and simple homemade tomato sauce or macaroni cheese. A roast chicken dinner is pretty easy if you roast the veg in with the chicken and pretty much looks after itself once the oven and can feel like a huge success for a youngster. I started mine as "kitchen assistants" at around 6 and found a two handled herb chopper was much loved but kept small hands away from the sharp bits. Progression to "chef" meant showing they could be responsible and follow the "rules".:) Bread and anything that involves a bit of kneading or rolling out was always really well received as was anything that involved a bit of whisking like marinades or dips or stirring like rissotto.:)
    Let her loose with your supervison - just remember to breathe when she's using a sharp knife.;)

  • SocajamSocajam Forumite
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    Shepherd's pie
    Macaroni cheese
    Burgers or hot dogs with oven chips
  • monnagranmonnagran Forumite
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    How much has she done in the kitchen so far? If very little, cooking together is a good way to start. Not her as your assistant but both doing things together so that she gets experience of various techniques, grilling, creaming, whisking.

    Then you can progress to grilling sausages and mashing potatoes, making Yorkshire puddings, toad in the hole, Jacket potatoes with various fillings. It will grow from there once she has the confidence in her own ability. Getting a children's cookbook is an excellent idea.

    By the time my sons were 12 they could both turn out a decent roast dinner. Nothing to do with cooking, but my eldest once got a star for doing the best hemming in the class.
    My name was mud when I told this story in front of his friends. It did his street-cred no good at all.

    When they married they both had to teach their wives to cook.

    Good on you for starting now.
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  • suki1964suki1964 Forumite
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    At that age, I could make 'on toast' - (cheese, beans, eggs ) do jacket spuds , sausages, bacon, crispy pancakes ( showing my age ) toasted sandwiches etc

    By time I was 13 I cooked full Christmas dinner for 10

    Have her in the kitchen with you when cooking so she gets to learn the basics, know how big to cut potatoes for the boil, knowing when they are cooked, cutting the veg, making the gravy, weighing out, turning the chops, etc. Thats how I learned. Even if she's just sitting up on a stool talking about her day whilst watching you, she will absorb it
  • trailingspousetrailingspouse Forumite
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    Teach them how to use a knife correctly. I did this with my kids as soon as they were tall enough to do it (didn't like the idea of them standing on a stool with a sharp knife in their hand...) I started with a table knife and soft things like bananas, but once they'd got the idea we progressed to a proper kitchen knife and slightly tougher things (mushrooms, cheese, carrots, apples). Using the stove is also dependent on their height - they need to be able to see into the pan.



    Things to make -

    - fruit kebabs (no cooking required)

    - a tin of soup (using a tin opener is a life skill!! Also, good practice for stirring over a hot stove and not wandering off and forgetting about it...)
    - toast in the toaster
    - a mug of tea (make sure they're strong enough to lift the kettle safely)


    They could also do part of the process even if they can't do the whole thing - mashing the potatoes after they've boiled, mixing the pasta and the sauce together, rolling out the pastry.


    Agree with caronc about rules. Wash hands before and after, clear up spills on the floor immediately, wipe down surfaces afterwards. I'm sure you can think of more.



    When my son was 6 we all went camping, and we took it in turns to cook the evening meal. OH did a barbecue when it was his turn, the 12 year old gave us Pot Noodles, when it was my turn I produced something healthy and nutritious - and when it was my son's turn we'd planned to go out for a meal. But he insisted he wanted his turn cooking. With my help he gave us tinned soup followed by tinned peaches (I helped him open the tins, and supervised while he stirred the soup over the camping stove. He ladled the soup into the bowls, and he divided the fruit up between us.) They're never too young to start.
  • PollyWollyDoodlePollyWollyDoodle Forumite
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    Great idea about learning knife skills from trailingspouse. I think watching you and listening is equally as important as doing stuff - explain why/what as you go along - but she will want to get hands-on. If she can cope with pasta, jacket spuds etc then you can move on.

    Learning to read a recipe is a skill - understanding the importance of reading right to the end (something I still fail to do!) and the difference between tsp and tbsp.

    I would have been around that age when my mum taught me how to make a basic roux sauce, an invaluable skill. Batter for toad-in-the-hole or pancakes would be good, too. I'd just involve her in whatever you are planning to cook for the family meal, and she'll learn as she goes along.
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  • mamanmaman Forumite
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    I agree. I don't think you can 'let her loose' in the kitchen until she has learned some skills particularly health and safety type skills.

    I'd suggest you explain how chefs learn by starting at the bottom and progressing to sous chef before being in charge of the whole meal. She needs to be your assistant first.

    It's hard to know what she can do already At her age some will have done some cooking at primary school others perhaps in the Brownies. She could do worse than start by making tea and toast!
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