Cooking and Baking with Children

Fun in the kitchen can have many hidden learning benefits for your child!

Encouraging children to take a more active role in cooking and baking has many hidden learning benefits: depending on their age, children can try to read the numbers in the recipe and on the scales; as well as estimate whether there is ‘too little’ or ‘too much’ when measuring ingredients.

The Old Station Nursery Group - Creating Brighter Futures Together
Animated icon of a parent helping their child prepare food 

Get your child involved

Involving children in cooking simple recipes can help them eat a wider variety of foods. It’s a fun way to introduce new ingredients, and encourages children to explore unknown tastes, smells or textures.

Animated icon of a child in the kitchen wearing an apron 

Teaching safety

As you involve children in the kitchen, it's essential to prioritise their safety. Teach them about kitchen safety as you go – remind them about hot ovens and hobs and show them how you use the utensils safely.

Animated icon of a parent helping their child prepare food 

Assign them a role

Let them help with the safer jobs like sieving, mixing and whisking and practise cutting through things (like pastry) with a plastic play knife, or safety scissors.

Let's get messy

Before you start, be prepared!

While you’re cooking, let your child hold the ingredients; talk about what they look like, how they feel and smell, where they came from and discuss how you think the recipe will turn out. The more familiar children are with ingredients and the more they feel involved in the process, the more likely they are to eat the food at the end.

• There’s no escaping the fact that cooking and baking with children is going to be messy, so get organised before you start.
• Have old newspapers at the ready to cover anything and everything – mess can then easily be scooped up afterwards.
• If you have aprons – great! But if you don’t, use old, baggy shirts to cover your child’s clothes.
• Give them a larger-than-needed bowl for stirring the mixture to reduce splashing and spills.
• Cover your recipe book (or i-pad!) in plastic if you’re worried about it getting damaged.
• Allow double the time you think you’ll need for the recipe – give children plenty of time to explore all the ingredients (and the equipment) before you start.
• If you’ve got more than one child, think ahead about who can do which tasks to avoid arguments.

Child baking with parents

our top sweet recipes

Sweet recipes

"Cooking is a way to teach kids about other things, like reading or math with all of the weights and measures." - Emeril Lagasse

Top sweet recipes from our Catering Manager used at The Old Station Nursery

Apricot Flapjacks

Lemon and Raspberry Muffins

Apple Crumble

Beetroot Chocolate Brownie

our top savoury recipes

Savoury recipes

“Cooking with kids is not just about ingredients, recipes, and cooking. It’s about harnessing imagination, empowerment, and creativity.” - Guy Fieri

Top savoury recipes from our Catering Manager used at The Old Station Nursery

Tuna Pasta Bake

Fruity Meatballs

Thai Green Curry

Crispy Baked Cod

Cooking and baking with children

Other delicious recipes

Falafel footballs

Falafel footballs

View recipe
Treasure chest tart

Treasure chest tart

View recipe
No pastry pie

No pastry pie

View recipe
Soda bread

Soda bread

View recipe
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