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Top Safety Tips For Cooking With Children

I believe part of the reason my daughter is such a non-fussy eater is because I try to include her in the cooking process as much as possible.  The other part of the reason is probably that she takes after me and just loves all types of food!!  Here is a lovely guest-poster who has some brilliant tips for cooking with children:

Cooking with your kids is not only messy and fun, but it is a great way to set them up for the future and ensure they have good eating habits.

I always try to get my kids involved when I get the chance, as they love mixing the dough, chopping the vegetables and stirring the sauces.

Yet if I have learnt one thing over the years safety really does matter when kids are involved. That is why I have come up with the following safety tips so you and you kids can whip up biscuit recipes safely, and still have fun.

  1. Are your hands clean? It is important that you all wash your hands before you begin handling food and cooking to prevent the transferral of germs. Similarly whenever any of you cough, sneeze or go to the bathroom, you need to wash your hands again.
  2. Choose your recipes wisely – it can be hard to judge what recipe is right for your kids, especially when they are so curious about cooking generally, but don’t give them too much too soon.
    Instead judge their tasks based on their age and ability. For instance toddlers will have tonnes of fun simply decorating the top of chocolate chip cookies, whilst older kids will easily be able to follow recipes, measure ingredients and mix them themselves.
  3. Be organised – get out all the ingredients and tools you need in advance so your kids can begin cooking straight away. Just remember to take over using knifes or turning on the oven if they are young to prevent accidents.
  4. Show them what to do – eventually your kids will get to the age where they want to cut things themselves. To prevent them cutting themselves or their fingers, first show them how to do it properly, get them to practice and always ensure that you are there to supervise.
  5. Supervise – even the most innocent of objects can be dangerous in the wrong hands, so make sure you supervise them closely and offer to help where needed to keep them safe.
  6. Don’t be tempted to sample – whilst we are constantly reassured that eggs have been processed to protect you from salmonella, I strongly recommend never letting your kids try uncooked foods, especially those with egg in them, to protect them from poisoning. Instead allow them to sample the finishing touches of your biscuit recipe endeavours…

Cooking with your kids can lead to countless hours of fun. Just remember to keep the above points in mind and you too can offer your kids a fun and safe cooking environment.

I’m Keli and I love cooking with my kids. I prefer the healthy option of making my own food but when I want to spoil my family I like the easy option of ordering from an online bakery.

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Helping your children to eat better

So far my posts have been all about recipes (and mostly cakes … I can’t help it, they’re so yummy!), so I have taken the opportunity to share a brilliant guest post from Heather.  She has 8 tips to help your children eat better which sound really helpful, so I think they will be of use to other mums and dads too.

Why is it once our kids hit the 2’s they never want to eat the things you offer them? Sure as they get older their habits improve and they are willing to try more, but generally why does the sight of healthy, nutritious meals or even meat send them running?

It’s a strange phenomenon, but if you’ve got a picky eater in the family then you’ll be all too familiar withwhat I’m talking about.

Yet feeding your child well doesn’t have to feel impossible. Try any of the following tips and you’ll notice an improvement in their eating habits:

1.  Make the same for everyone – don’t get into the habit of making them something different. Instead try to offer them the same foods you’re eating – family style – so they can pick and choose what they want. You’ll soon notice that your child is mimicking what you eat.
2.  Introduce new foods slowly – whilst you want to broaden their tastes, too much too soon will make them rebel. Start subtly by adding it to a recipe and once they are familiar with it, give it to them on their own. Similarly don’t try to give them too many new foods at once. Allow them to get used to a taste, and then introduce another.
3.  Use a little hero worship – you’ll be surprised what they’ll eat if you tell them their favourite star or character eats them.
4.  Hold your tongue – hard I know, but don’t pressurise them to eat their fruit or vegetables as all this will do is make them have negative associations with the food.
5.  Take advantage of dips – if they won’t eat vegetables on their own, offer them a dip to dip it in to improve the flavour.
6.  Be creative – the more creative the meal, the more excited your kids will be to eat it. Giving healthy foods silly names as well, will make meal times more interesting.
7.  Don’t be afraid to give treats – less healthy food shouldn’t be treated like a forbidden food otherwise your kids will want them more. Instead make them a treat to be looked forward to.
8.  Be a role model – most of us are on a diet these days but this doesn’t always set good habits for our kids. Instead of following the latest fad, offer you and your whole family healthy balanced meals so you’re sending your kids the right message about food. 

Whether your child is refusing to eat meat or refuses to eat anything healthy, it is possible to broaden your kid’s taste buds and help them to take a better approach to food.

Simply give the above tips a try, and remember to be patient.

Thank you for reading, My name is Heather and I write about Food and Kids and how to bring the two together. I also look to make life easier by getting my meat from an online butcher and buying just about everything else online!

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Veggie Muffins – may help you see in the dark!

Well, I can’t guarantee that’s a proven fact, but I eat a lot of carrots and see well in the dark. More importantly, it’s what my Mum told me as a child and everyone knows mothers are always right.  Even more so now I am a mother myself!

Neither my husband nor daughter are keen on carrots but they love these carrot and raisin muffins.  It’s a recipe I’ve adapted over time and seems to work well every time.

1) Peel and grate 2 carrots (small/medium sized will do nicely)

2) Add to a bowl with 1 whisked egg and a handful of raisins

3) Add 2 tbsp milk and 1 tbsp oil

4) In another bowl mix 75g plain flour, 15g light brown sugar and 1tsp baking powder

5) Mix all ingredients together and bake in muffin cases for 15 minutes at 200°C

Et voila, lovely muffins!

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Adults and children seem to love them – my daughter refers to them as ‘cakes’ and they’re a great fail-safe if she doesn’t eat her dinner as I know they’re full of healthy goodness.

Make great party food of the healthier kind.

For parents who avoid giving their children sugar, you could probably leave it out and the raisins will give a fairly sweet flavour but it’s such a small amount of sugar I don’t think it’ll cause any teeth to fall out!

Alternative ingredient combinations worth trying are:

– courgette and carrot (1 of each)

– banana and raisin (1 v ripe mashed up banana)

– cheese and leek (handful of grated cheese and half a large leek) – these are particularly tasty!

Let me know if you try out the recipe and what your family thought of the muffins!?!

 

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A few words about me …

Hello, I’m Leanne.  I’m married with a beautiful 20 month old daughter.  I work 2 days a week and during the rest of the week I enjoy cooking, baking, stewing, steaming … any kind of ‘food-ing’ to be honest!

I wanted to create a space where I could make a note of the best recipes I’ve used, put photos of any particularly aesthetically pleasing creations and inspire other mums or anyone needing ideas for good, healthy, fresh meals or cakes (the cakes may not be so healthy mind you!).

When my husband and I both worked full time we just prepared whatever food we could be bothered to make when we got home from work and only made fresh, made-from-scratch meals when we had friends or family over or at weekends.  This has all changed since having a little daughter to feed – making sure she has all the nutrients she needs to grow up strong and healthy is very important to me and my husband.

As well as nourishing my daughter, there are other reasons I have started enjoying preparing food more and more at this stage of my life …

Being at home 3 days a week I am sure I am not alone in feeling I want to show my husband how much I appreciate him going to work all week so I can be at home with A, so I love preparing fresh, tasty dishes I know he’ll love to tuck into when he gets home from work.  I get a real sense of satisfaction when he raves about what I’ve cooked for him!  This makes me want to make more and more different dishes for him.

I also love baking cakes for friends’ and relatives’ birthdays.  Last year I made several cakes for people’s birthdays – the main one being a fairy toadstool cake for my daughter’s first birthday.  My mum used to make brilliant birthday cakes for me as a child and I really appreciated the effort she went to, so I want to do the same for my daughter.  I’m not too good at decorating yet but hope to get better as time goes on!  This year I have decided to make a cake for all my close family and friends (well, those we’ll see around their birthdays anyway – don’t think Royal Mail can be trusted with posting a cake!).

The food I cook is not usually of my own creation I have to admit.  I use recipes from the various celebrity chef books we’ve collected over the years or from online recipe websites or television programmes.  So whenever I’ve used other people’s recipes I’ll be sure to quote the book/website/tv show used.

I hope people find this blog useful and please let me know if you try any of the recipes – and post photos too! :o)

I would also really like to get any new recipes, so please let me know any great ideas of recipes you have tried and have worked well (bearing in mind I’m allergic to cheese and chocolate – yes I know, awful things to be allergic to!).

Right, I’m off to make some veggie burgers and potato wedges for dinner, one of my husband and daughter’s favourite meals!

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