Food is such a universal thing. It doesn’t matter if you’re two years old or ninety-two years old, everyone can get excited and invested in making delicious food and drinks. It is an excellent way to bring the whole family together and those skills will stay with your little ones for life.
With summer here and the weather trying its best to get better and brighter, it is the ideal time to get some cooking classes on the go. Even if you aren’t great at cooking yourself, you and the family are sure to have a giggle with the hope of creating something tasty (edible)…
Here are some great recipes to get you started.
Nothing says high class like an elderflower cordial. BBC Good Food have a great recipe with only four ingredients that makes four litres. More than enough for a garden picnic or as the perfect accompaniment for a BBQ. This recipe is also good for getting a bit of fresh air, as those elderflowers will not pick themselves!
Having a few smoothie recipes up your sleeve will help to get some tasty fresh fruit into your children without too much fuss. Jamie Oliver has a five-minute concoction that’s very easy to whip up – just make sure you make enough for the whole brood. You can also make a batch in advance to freeze as the perfect go to snack pre-prepared.
Appleade is another healthy drink that is packed with flavour. All you’ll need is apples, water and a dash of sugar and some fancy glasses to serve it in. NetMums has the simple method of simply chopping up two apples, pour over one pint of boiling water, sprinkle in a dash of sugar and leave the stand for a few minutes. Strain the liquid, leave to cool and then serve with lots of ice and an apple garnish for a final flourish.
Pancakes are always a crowd-pleaser, whether served up for breakfast or as an after school treat. Jamie Oliver has another simple and tasty recipe for one-cup pancakes with blueberries. Add natural yoghurt as a topping and you’re good to go. British blueberries are available from June until September.
As an added touch, you could even create a small pancake station with different toppings so people can DIY their own dishes.
With the next dish, you can up your children’s vegetable intake with some extra peas and courgette. BBC Good Food’s ‘more veg, less meat Bolognaise’ takes 15 minutes to prepare and 40 minutes to cook for a hearty feast for the whole family. A simple twist on a classic recipe.
A great vegetarian recipe that is sure to have even the diehard meat eaters asking for seconds is the easily grillable veggie burger from The Minimalist Baker – perfect for BBQs. The recipe has less than 10 ingredients and is great for getting the children’s hands dirty in creating them. Pair with hearty sweet potato wedges and a healthy salad and you’ll have some satisfied customers.
Enticing the Masses
Once you and the little ones have cooked up a storm, who will help you eat it all? Although it might not seem like BBQ or garden party season yet, it’s such a shame to let your outdoor space go to waste. The children can help with a few decorations – bunting, flowers etc – and then you can greet your guests with a homemade elderflower cordial.
Even if your garden is on the small side, you can create more space by extending into your kitchen/living room/dining room with external bi-fold doors. If it gets a little too cold or the heavens begin to pour, you can usher people inside then while still keeping the feeling of a BBQ going that little bit longer. Or, while the kids play in the garden, you could be spending some quality time with the older members of the family and friends while having a good view of the kids (hopefully staying out of mischief).
The kids are sure to take pride in showing off their culinary creations so there’ll be little in the way of hosting for you to do!
And, even if it was a little hard-going getting the kids to stay focused on the recipes, these simple dishes are a great introduction to cooking and making healthy drinks to build on as a family.
Do your children have a favourite recipe for summer?