Enjoying precious time with the family is what the school holidays are all about. Whether you’re jetting off on a family mini-break or spending time at home, the school holidays are a time to treasure and to create happy shared memories.
And getting creative in the kitchen together is a sure-fire way to do this. Research has found that kids who help in the kitchen and sit down with the family to eat meals make healthier food choices and are less likely to be obese or suffer from stress-related or behavioural issues.
In this post, we explore four ways you and your children can get hands-on and enjoy time together in the kitchen this half-term.
Who said pizza couldn’t be healthy? Many kids love pizza so why not let them get creative by making their own healthier versions.
This wholesome alternative is satisfying, fun and a great way to get them eating their five a day without even realising it.
- Mini wholemeal pittas or tortilla wraps
- Tomato puree or passata
- Grated Cheddar or mozzarella cheese
- Toppings of your choice – sweetcorn, mushrooms, peppers, onions, tomatoes, grated carrots, cooked chicken or anything else you like.
Pop all the ingredients into small bowls or a muffin tin lined with cupcake cases and place on the bench for your child to choose their toppings. Once assembled, bake on a baking tray for 3/4 minutes until the cheese is bubbling and melted. Allow to cool a little before cutting and serving.
One family man, who recognises the importance of eating and cooking together is memorable participant of last year’s Great British Bake Off and our Get Together campaign ambassador Dan Beasley-Harling. His recipe for Tiffin is a great way to get into the kitchen with the kids and making yummy treats for everyone to enjoy.
Dan said; “Children are notoriously fussy when it comes to eating and encouraging them to try anything new can be a frustrating experience for everybody involved. I have discovered that the most effective way to get children excited about food, is to involve them directly in the cooking process.
“A wonderful side benefit of getting the children involved in cooking is that it’s become an effective way to get them to try more unusual foods. And not only do they want to taste the foods they’ve made for themselves; they also can’t wait to proudly share it with each other!”
Half term is the perfect time to get out exploring and foraging in your local area. Head to a pick your own farm for pumpkin picking adventures.
Go off into the wild for apples and blackberries. The kids will love picking their own and seeing where their food comes from and learning about eating seasonal food. When you arrive back at home get into the kitchen where the kids can help to make delicious fruit salad or kebab from your spoils. For inspiration, Good to Know has provided a list of the best fruit picking farms close to you.
Grow their own
Growing your own food might seem daunting, but it’s a great way to entertain the kids and get them eating a wider variety of food. You don’t need a huge garden with an established veg patch, just pick a sunny spot and find a few pots, some compost and seeds. Plant fast-growing herbs, lettuce or even the old favourite; cress. Your little ones will love getting their hands dirty helping to plant the seeds and watching them grow into plants before feasting on them in a few weeks.
Turn chores into games
Just because school is out doesn’t mean that kids can’t learn valuable life lessons during the holidays. Playing house and letting them pretend to be the grown-up changes chores into a game while teaching kids how to clean up after themselves.
Chores that are safe for even little kids include; setting the table and cleaning it once you are done, sweeping and mopping the floor, washing the pots (whilst playing in the bubbles obviously) and wiping the worktops.
You could even get them involved with making your own child-safe, eco-friendly kitchen cleaner.
All you need is…
- An empty spray bottle
- 1-litre warm water
- 1 tbsp bicarbonate of soda,
- ¼ cup white vinegar
- 10 drops of your favourite essential oil – lemon or lavender works well
Simply pop all the ingredients into a bucket or jug, mix together well to allow the bicarb to dissolve, allow to cool then pour into your spray bottle and off you go.
We’d love to hear how you like to spend time with your children during the school holiday and how you get them involved in the kitchen. Share with us on Instagram, Facebook or Twitter using the hashtag #GetTogether.