Kids in the kitchen

content supplied by NHS Choices

Cooking tasty, healthy food with your children is a great way to have fun and teach them about healthy eating.

Healthy food can be great fun for kids if they help you prepare it. Watch a video about cooking for kids

Kids love developing new skills. Even fussy eaters may be tempted by dishes they've made themselves.

So let them have a go in the kitchen, and praise them for their efforts. They might even help with the washing up.

Staying safe
It’s essential to supervise children in the kitchen at all times.

Restrict the jobs that you give them according to their age and ability. For example, pre-schoolers might only mix dough with their hands, whereas older kids can peel and chop vegetables.

Don’t forget to tell them the hygiene and safety rules before you start. Explain why some things in a kitchen are dangerous.

Important hygiene rules include:

Important safety tips include:

Make it fun
Take kids shopping with you so they can choose the ingredients themselves.

Give yourself plenty of time, and have some spare ingredients in case the children make mistakes.

Choose something that will be simple and healthy. It can be fun to make something that the children can make into shapes or decorate with a smiley face.

To get started, try this recipe for fish cakes.

Salmon cake smilies

Find more healthy recipes that the whole family will love in the Change4Life recipe book


First, help the children get all the ingredients out of the cupboards and fridge. Then everyone can help prepare them as above. So beat the egg, chop the herbs, onions and tomatoes, slice and juice the lemon, and drain the capers.

Open the can of salmon and remove any pieces of skin or bones. Let the children flake the fish into a mixing bowl.

Now add the spring onions, breadcrumbs, egg, lemon juice, horseradish sauce, herbs, oil and pepper. The kids can then combine the mixture, with their hands or a wooden spoon, until the ingredients are mixed well.

Next, separate the mixture into four equal portions and make them into a round shape. (They can be made into fun shapes, but remember that they may not cook evenly.)


© Copyright 2001-2010 Newsquest Media Group