Fish Fingers and Custard

Custard BakingCooking for children can be a delight or a chore. If you have time and inspiration, it can be so much fun. If you’re in a rush, will it be fish fingers and oven chips…again?

Making time to prepare delicious and, more importantly, nutritious meals for your children can be rewarding in the long run. A healthy child is a happy child…and could mean less visits to the doctors.

Why not spend a weekend preparing meals with your children? Get them involved! You could pretend to be on Masterchef and give the kids sous-chef titles (you could even make a chef’s hat for them to wear!).

Asking them to measure out ingredients and separate a baking mixture into 6 equal-sized portions is testing their maths skills. Hopefully, they’ll be so absorbed in the process, they won’t realise it’s boring, boring maths. And of course, following recipes is testing their reading skills. It gives them a chance to be creative, make a mess, and have lots of fun with you. In addition, there is an end product of which (hopefully) they can be proud, and which all the family will enjoy eating.

In the recent BBC programme, Junior Masterchef, some of the children said that cooking helped them relax and unwind after a tough day at school. There is something to be said about following a recipe (or even throwing caution to the wind and making it up as you go along!). It can be a very focussed exercise as the mind needs to concentrate. Therefore, it’s good for the brain cells too.

If you are stuck with just what to cook, the internet is chock-full of recipes and helpful information. You can’t go wrong with the BBC, and their Kids Cooking Recipes page has dozens of tasty treats to tempt the children.

Fish Fingers FillersIf you don’t like the idea of your children getting involved in cooking full meals (and probably having to clean a very messy kitchen!), you could start small and make your own sandwich fillers together. These can be kept in plastic tubs in the fridge for a few days. Have 3 or 4 on the go so your little ones can choose each day what they fancy. And of course, because they’ve been home-made, you know exactly what is in them. Egg-mayonnaise & dill, coronation chicken and vegetarian chickpea are examples of exciting and different fillings that you could experiment with. To get started you might try some of the ideas from allrecipes.co.uk Don’t forget to get your children involved – they will enjoy their packed lunch much more knowing they had a hand in making it!

For more information about Junior Masterchef (perhaps you have a budding chef and future winner in the household), take a look at the Junior Masterchef page and for some added fun why not try our TV Chefs quiz?

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