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how to

TEACH KIDS TO COOK


Gabriel Gaté
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T
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how to

TEACH KIDS TO COOK


Gabriel Gaté
Photography by Adrian Lander

A SUE HINES BOOK


ALLEN & UNWIN
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First published in 2002

Copyright text © Gabriel Gaté 2002

Copyright photography © Adrian Lander 2002

All rights reserved. No part of this book may be reproduced or transmitted in any form or by any
means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording or by any information
storage and retrieval system, without prior permission in writing from the publisher. The
Australian Copyright Act 1968 (the Act) allows a maximum of one chapter or 10% of this book,
whichever is the greater, to be photocopied by any educational institution for its educational
purposes provided that the educational institution (or body that administers it) has given a
remuneration notice to Copyright Agency Limited (CAL) under the Act.

A Sue Hines Book


Allen & Unwin
83 Alexander Street
Crows Nest NSW 2065
Australia
Phone: (61 2) 8425 0100
Fax: (61 2) 9906 2218
Email: info@allenandunwin.com
Web: www.allenandunwin.com

National Library of Australia


Cataloguing-in-Publication entry:

Gaté, Gabriel, 1955–.


How to teach kids to cook.
Includes index.
ISBN 1 86508 699 1.
1. Cookery – Juvenile literature. I. Lander, Adrian.
II. Title.
641.5123

Designed by Nick Mau, MAU Design


Photography by Adrian Lander
Styling by Adair Lander and Gabriel Gaté
Typeset by Pauline Haas

The author and publisher thank Dinosaur Designs, Market Import, Minimax,
Supply & Demand and Barbecues-R-Us for their generous loan of props for photography.
Thanks to Organic Gertrude and Jonathan’s Of Collingwood for giving us great locations.

Printed in China by Everbest

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CONTENTS
FOREWORD vi
ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS vii
CONVERSION TABLES viii
WHY TEACH KIDS TO COOK? ix

1 HOW TO START 1
2 SNACKS 9
3 SOUPS & SALADS 21
4 PASTA, RICE & NOODLES 31
5 VEGETABLES 41
6 FISH 53
7 MEAT 59
8 SWEET & FRUITY 71

INDEX 85
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FOREWORD
What we eat and how it is prepared plays a vital role in determining our health and wellbeing. Equally, enjoyment
and ease of preparation are important parts of achieving our aim of establishing and maintaining a healthy and
well-balanced diet.
We at The Cancer Council Victoria believe, like Gabriel Gaté, that we need to teach good food habits to children from a
very early age. We need to tell them about food and how to prepare it so that they get a lifetime’s pleasure out of
cooking. They will then appreciate a varied and balanced diet that will support their health.
So this book, designed specifically to assist adults to teach food preparation skills to children, is an important
contribution to healthy living for people of all ages.

Professor Robert Burton


Director

SYMBOLS

No heat required Heat required Vegetarian Canned food Quick and easy
Get younger children Read the guidelines for This dish does not At least one of the main When the kids say 'I'm
involved in food heat safety in the include red or white ingredients is a canned hungry!' look for the
preparation where this kitchen (see page 2) meat, fish or meat- food. This means that running person. The
symbol appears. Older and make sure that based stock. you can probably make recipe will take no more
children will soon younger children are the dish at short notice than 15-20 minutes
recognise the symbol supervised when if you have a well- from start to finish and
and know that they can cooking this dish. Get stocked pantry. Involve will be quicker than
make the dish safely by kids to recognise that young children in getting a take-away
themselves. this symbol means ‘Be selecting the right can, meal or snack.
careful!’ using a can opener and
draining the contents.

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ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS
This guide to healthy eating and cooking for kids was made possible by the Canned Food Information Service Inc. Special
thanks go to Grahame Horsfield, the Executive Director, and his assistant, Trish Lear. We hope that the advice and recipes
will convince you to encourage children to take a real interest in food so that their love of cooking will stand them in good
stead as adults with long-lasting good health.
I am most grateful to my wife, Angie, who took part in almost all aspects of the project. Thanks also to Jane McEvoy for
her help in choosing, testing and writing recipes. As always, thanks go to my publisher, Allen & Unwin, especially
Sue Hines and Andrea McNamara. The look of the book is a tribute to designer Nick Mau, photographer Adrian Lander
and stylist Adair Lander. Thanks go to Lilly von Goes, Lachlan Hunter, Georgina Harmer, Daniel Rosenblatt, Alan Ooi,
Jennifer Castles and David Flockhart who gave their time so generously to appear in the photographs. It was a pleasure
working with you all.
Very special thanks go to all those parents, grandparents, aunts, uncles, friends and kids who inspired me to write
this book.

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CONVERSION TABLES
The conversions below are workable approximates for the metric measurements given in the recipes.

OVEN TEMPERATURES
100°C 110°C 120°C 130°C 140°C 150°C 160°C 170°C 180°C 190°C 200°C 210°C 220°C

C
F
210°F 240°F 300°F 315°F 330°F 350°F 400°F 450°F
Very slow
(just to reheat) Very slow Slow Moderate Moderately hot Hot

WEIGHT MEASURES
1 1
15 g = /2 oz 3 mm = /8 in
1
30 g = 1 oz 1 cm = /3 in
2
60 g = 2 oz 2 cm = /3 in
100 g = 31/2 oz 2.5 cm = 1 in
150 g = 5 oz 5 cm = 2 in
200 g = 7 oz
250 g = 9 oz
500 g = 1 lb

VOLUME
1 metric teaspoon = 1 US teaspoon = 5 ml
1
/2 metric tablespoon = 10 ml
1 metric tablespoon = 20 ml
1
/4 metric cup = 62.5 ml = a little over 2 fl oz
1
/3 metric cup = 85 ml =
1 about 41/2 fl oz
/2 metric cup = 125 ml =
1 metric cup = 250 ml = about 9 fl oz
4 metric cups = 1000 ml = about 36 fl oz

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WHY TEACH KIDS TO COOK?


The ability to cook is one of the most satisfying things to pass on to children, whether the knowledge is transmitted from
parents and grandparents, from aunts and uncles, from teachers or from older friends. I am really grateful that both my
mother and grandmother taught me to love cooking from an early age. They welcomed me into the kitchen and showed
me how to choose and prepare simple food. They encouraged me and let me contribute to the day-to-day cooking tasks,
and after a number of years of practice I became a competent young cook. I now realise how patient they were!
There are many reasons why we should share our cooking knowledge with kids. The obvious one is that we are
encouraging them to become independent sooner by teaching them to cook for themselves. Another reason is that a good
cook is much appreciated by friends and family, so cooking skills are a great social asset. And apart from anything else,
cooking is a beautiful craft, and if we encourage children to appreciate the smells, tastes and textures of food as early as
possible, we are helping them to become creative adults.
But perhaps the most important reason to teach children about food and cooking is that we are giving them a better
chance to be healthier grown-ups. When a person can recognise freshness in food and can transform a wide variety of
ingredients into something delicious, they are able to make wiser choices about what to eat.
As adults we are all presented with opportunities to share our culinary knowledge with children. Remember that you don’t
need to be a great cook to instil in them the love of cooking. Don’t miss those special opportunities with excuses like ‘I
am too busy’ or ‘Kids make too much mess’ or ‘It’s much quicker if I do it myself’ or ‘They can learn when they’re older’. If
you haven’t already started, the best time to begin teaching kids to cook is now.
Organisations such as The Cancer Council Victoria, the Heart Foundation, the Diabetes Institute and the Nutrition
Foundation recommend that we teach our children early about good food and cooking. Education is thought to be
essential in helping reduce the risk of a wide range of diseases such as cancer, diabetes and heart problems.
At a conference run by Nutrition Australia a group of thirty-six home economists rated their twelve-year-old students on
a nine-point scale for their level of competency in the kitchen. On average boys rated at 3.1 and girls at 4.3. These
findings show that the cooking skills of boys are slightly inferior to those of girls and that the skills of both sexes are
below a satisfactory level. It’s time to address this problem.
You will find here about sixty popular, simple, mostly quick, step-by-step recipes, as well as plenty of advice on how best
to share your knowledge. Remember that adults other than parents can play a very special role in sharing knowledge with
children, as kids are often more receptive to grandparents or adults who have more time to spend with them. Have fun
with kids and teach them about cooking at the same time. They will enjoy learning from you.
Happy cooking together!

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HOW TO START
From the beginning, we need to instil in children’s minds a very positive image
of cooking. Cooking is fun and kids adore mixing, smelling, spreading, pouring,
measuring, touching, grating, rubbing, shaping and so on. Even if it makes a mess,
let them do as much as possible. The results might not be as good as if you made
it yourself, but make encouraging comments. If small accidents occur, don’t dramatise
it, just help them recover quickly. They will learn from their mistakes. Take children
shopping for food as often as possible. Treat them occasionally to special foods to
enrich their culinary experience. So much can be learned in the primary
school years and it all begins at the toddler stage.
Teaching kids to cook does not mean cooking a whole dish, especially at first.
Adults can show children so many small things, such as washing strawberries,
measuring ingredients and wiping the bench. Getting children involved as young
as possible means they gradually memorise what they see and acquire knowledge.
If the option is available, encourage children to do cooking at school because
it is one of the most enjoyable and practical subjects.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

WHEN TO START
Occasionally have two to five-year-olds next to you at the kitchen bench and give them little jobs to do, such as holding
the flour sifter and getting out ingredients for you. Talk to them about the details of what you are doing. Between the
ages of five and ten, children really love to help, so give them more responsibility like mixing a salad dressing and
making their own snacks and sandwiches. Show them how to work the stovetop, oven and electrical appliances safely.
Introduce them to the concept of cleaning up as you go. Ask them to write a shopping list. And above all, congratulate
them on their efforts. Make them proud of what they have achieved.

From about eleven years onwards, give kids more freedom in the kitchen, urging them to cook dishes on their own while
you supervise from a distance. Older children will be able to follow simple recipes by themselves. Of course, all kids are
different and you are the best judge as to the maturity and confidence of your children. I know some twelve-year-olds
who can cook a complete family meal on their own. This is rare but not unrealistic.

Primary-school-aged children are the best to teach, as it can be more difficult to get the attention of teenagers with a
busy lifestyle. However, if teenagers already have cooking skills, they will enjoy preparing their own food at all hours of
the day and night.

In a nutshell, the best time to teach kids to cook is from two years of age until the time they leave home!

HEAT SAFETY
Too often, adults use the excuse that the kitchen is not safe to prevent children from doing more cooking. A better
approach is to take time to show kids how to safely operate the stove, oven, grill, toaster, sandwich maker and other
appliances where heat is involved. Supervise them the first few times, and don’t interfere impatiently or make negative
comments as they try to master lighting the stove or plugging in the toaster.

Establish the safe practice of using two hands with a pot holder, oven mitts or tea towel to carry saucepans and pots of
hot food. When someone needs to carry a hot pan or oven dish across the room, everyone else in the kitchen should know
about it so they can get out of the way. ‘Watch out! I’m going to drain the pasta!’ or ‘I’m taking the roast out of the oven!’
are useful warnings. Let each other know when a hot utensil is left on the bench or sink. When draining pasta and
vegetables, it is safer to stand a colander in the sink on its own.

It is difficult to designate a safe age for carrying out these tasks because it’s more a question of the child’s maturity and
experience in the kitchen. However, large quantities of hot oil in a fryer and things like caramel are very dangerous and
I suggest that adults always keep control of these preparations.

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HOW TO START

30 THINGS KIDS CAN EASILY LEARN


how to
• recognise most vegetables by name or taste
• tell when fruits are ripe or ready to eat
• make a fruit salad
• cook green vegetables
• create simple salads using fresh or canned food
• cook pasta and rice
• make sandwiches using fresh, canned or packaged food
• bake a cake
• make a salad dressing
• create a soup using fresh, canned or packaged food
• cook potatoes
• boil and fry eggs
• recognise at least six herbs by name, smell or taste
• be familiar with the flavour of at least six spices
• recognise the taste of olive oil
• consume all fats, salt, sugar and hot seasoning in moderation
• create snacks using fresh, canned or packaged food
• recognise several cuts of beef, lamb and pork by name
• know most chicken cuts by name
• recognise about six kinds of fish
• recognise about six different cheeses
• make pancakes, muffins or pikelets
• make a simple meal without following a recipe
• safely operate stove, grill and oven
• safely operate several electrical appliances
• clean kitchen bench, stove, sink, dishes, pots and pans
• write a shopping list
• be familiar with as many kitchen staples as possible
• make a healthy breakfast
• visualise a dish from reading a simple recipe

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

☞ TAKE KIDS SHOPPING


Shopping with kids can be demanding when you’re busy, but if you take them along and encourage them to help you
from an early age, they will become familiar with a wide range of foods. Taking kids shopping is a great activity for
grandparents to do. Get kids to realise that shopping is part of the cooking experience. Tell them what you are cooking
and ask them to help you find the groceries at the supermarket. Teach them all you know about choosing fresh fruits,
vegetables, fish and meat so they will be able to identify freshness in foods and will know how to choose well. Teach them
about seasonal foods. Most butchers, greengrocers and fishmongers love children, and I believe adults who shop with
children get special treatment.

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KIDS AND KNIVES


We all want kids to be safe in the kitchen, and the more guided practice they get, the safer they will be. Sharp knives are
only dangerous when misused. At our place, we began by giving our young children a table knife to spread peanut butter
and to cut soft ingredients like mushrooms, zucchini and bananas. Before long, they had learned to use a small serrated
knife to cut tomatoes and other foods. Later, we introduced them to chefs’ knives, starting with the smallest one.

Teach children that a knife is best held in the same way as you shake hands. To cut efficiently, you need to use a sliding
movement, rather than just pushing down. The food you are cutting must be stable on a chopping board, which should be
medium-sized, rather than small. Children can learn to use a vegetable peeler at an early age and this also develops their
cutting skills. When children cut themselves, be kind to them and avoid discouraging them from using a knife.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

A RECIPE IS ONLY A GUIDE


Recipes are not sacred. They are a step-by-step description of how to prepare a dish. Each cook will have a slightly
different interpretation of a recipe, and the cooking times will vary a little because each stove, oven and pan are
different. It’s important to instil in a young cook’s mind that they need to use common sense and take control of a dish
by concentrating rather than expecting the recipe to be completely foolproof. Help them to accept that sometimes things
don’t work. Tell them some of your own cooking disasters. All cooks should feel relaxed enough to adapt, modify and
adjust a dish to cater for the tastes of those eating the food.

Before starting to cook a dish from a recipe, read the list of ingredients and equipment together to make sure you have
what you need. Then read through the recipe together, trying to imagine the various steps and how long things will take.
Allow more time the first time you cook something. Not all recipes include pictures of the finished dish, so help kids to
visualise the way the food will look when it is finished.

HYGIENE IN THE KITCHEN


This part is not as exciting as licking the bowl but it is important to establish good habits. Here are a few hints.

• Wash hands in hot, soapy water before preparing food and after touching fish, poultry and meat.
Tell children that it is quite normal to wash your hands three or four times while preparing a meal.
• A sponge or dish cloth is used to wipe benches and wash dishes, but the same sponge or cloth is not used to
wipe the floor. Wash cloths well after each use.
• Always start with a clean chopping board. If you cut meat, wash the board well before using it to cut vegetables.
Alternatively, have one board for meat and one for vegetables.
• Meat, fish, poultry, yoghurt, milk, cream and many other perishable foods must be kept refrigerated until a few
minutes before cooking them.
• Store cooked food in the fridge when it is almost cold and cover it with plastic wrap.
• Tea towels that are used in food preparation are not used to dry dishes, as the towels may carry bacteria.
• Keep the grocery cupboard and benches clean or they will attract pests such as ants and cockroaches.
• Cats and dogs are best kept out of the kitchen and dining area, as they carry all kinds of germs.
• Taste food from the pot using a clean spoon.

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HOW TO START

MAKE A REGULAR TIME TO COOK WITH KIDS


It’s great to cook with children on the spur of the moment, but this might not happen often enough. Try to keep a
particular day or time aside: ‘Let’s make pizza for dinner on Friday’, or ‘Let’s make a chocolate cake on Saturday morning
to enjoy at the weekend.’ Come to an agreement with the child as to what time you will begin the cooking or go shopping
for the food, and give them an idea of how long it will take. Write the date in your diaries.

READ THE FOOD PACKAGING


Children learn a lot from what’s written on the food packaging of cereals, sauces, canned foods, prepared dishes and so
on. With my children, we often played a guessing game with such information. It’s fun, stimulates curiosity and makes
kids think about what they are eating. There are always some surprises. Some foods have a surprisingly high content of
fat, sugar, salt, additives or colourings. Once children realise what certain foods contain, some change their eating
habits. It is a great investment in their future to get your children into the habit of reading food labels and packets.

KIDS AND THE PANTRY


Any parent knows that the pantry is a favourite corner of the kitchen for kids. Take advantage of this by strategically
placing foods like cereals, rice, pasta, noodles, canned fruits, baked beans and other nourishing snacks in a prominent
position, so as to tempt their taste buds. Make them aware of all that is available to them and explain how things are
used in cooking. Occasionally, ask them to contribute to the pantry shopping list.

☞ A GOOD DAY STARTS WITH A GOOD BREAKFAST


Get children involved as early as possible in preparing their own breakfast. Share with them the idea that brekkie is the fuel
that keeps them going until their next snack or meal. A good breakfast is nourishing, high in carbohydrate for energy, low
in fat and calories from refined sugars to keep them in shape, and high in calcium for strong bones. Breakfast suggestions
include cereal with low-fat milk, fruits (fresh, canned or stewed) egg dishes, noodle dishes, muffins, pancakes, or savoury
foods such as soups, sandwiches, cold meat, cheeses, yoghurt and baked beans.

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2
SNACKS
There are plenty of opportunities to teach children lots of practical skills while
they prepare their own snacks. They can practise making sandwiches to their
hearts’ content, spreading the bread, grating carrots and getting to know what
makes an exciting sandwich. They can work out their own favourite flavour
combinations. One of the first things kids can cook is an egg. And they will love
making their own pizza. Allow them to be creative and encourage them to
become independent with their snacks.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

HAM, LETTUCE AND


TOMATO SANDWICH
Get children into good habits by buying high-fibre bread, whether it’s multigrain, wholemeal or white.
Show them how to cut a loaf of bread so that they know it doesn’t always come out of a packet, already sliced.
See picture on page 8.

Serves 1
1 small tomato
2 lettuce leaves
2 slices high-fibre bread
a spread of your choice, e.g. butter, margarine, peanut butter, hummus
1 or 2 thin slices of ham

Equipment: Method:
small serrated knife 1. Wash and thinly slice tomato on the board using the serrated knife.
chopping board 2. Wash lettuce under the tap and dry by shaking.
table knife 3. Place the bread slices on a plate and spread thinly with your favourite spread.
4. Top bread with lettuce, ham and tomato. Place remaining bread slice on top.
5. Cut sandwich in half.

☞ SALT AND CHILDREN


Everyone has a different threshold when it comes to salt, and most small children can appreciate the flavour of food
without adding salt or with very little salt. When you are cooking for or with children, take a very moderate approach
regarding the addition of salt to food. Many food manufacturers, including some cheese-makers, use unnecessarily high
amounts of salt in their products.

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SNACKS

CHEESE, GRATED CARROT


AND BEETROOT SANDWICH
Allow children to make their own sandwiches from very early on. It will give them a taste of independence.
Try peanut butter as an alternative spread on salad sandwiches.

Serves 1
1 small carrot
3 slices canned beetroot
2 slices wholemeal bread or bread of your choice
a little soft butter or margarine
2 thin slices cheese (Swiss, cheddar or other)

Equipment: Method:
peeler 1. Peel and grate carrot. You’ll need about 3 tablespoons of grated carrot.
grater 2. Open can of beetroot and carefully lift 3 slices onto a small plate using a fork.
tablespoon measure 3. Place bread on a plate and spread both sides very lightly with butter or margarine.
can opener 4. Top one slice with grated carrot, then with cheese, beetroot slices and finally with the other
2 plates slice of bread.

fork 5. Carefully cut sandwich in half.

table knife
small serrated knife

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

BASIC OMELETTE
An omelette is a great light meal that you can garnish
with ingredients of your choice.

Serves 1
2 eggs
salt and freshly ground black pepper (optional)
1 tsp butter, margarine or oil

Equipment:
bowl
fork
small non-stick frying pan
wooden spoon
teaspoon measure

Method:
1. Crack eggs into a bowl and beat lightly with a fork.
2. Add a pinch of salt and pepper, then mix.
3. Put butter in frying pan and place on medium heat.
Swirl the butter around the pan until melted.
4. Pour egg mixture into pan, then stir with a wooden spoon
in gentle zigzag movements until mixture starts to
thicken. Cook until the top is set.
5. When cooked, tilt the pan away from you and lift the
omelette around the sides.
If you are adding other ingredients, place your chosen
flavouring on the half of the omelette on the other side
from the handle. Fold the other half of the omelette over
the flavouring as you tip the omelette onto a serving
plate.

Suggested Flavourings:
• grated cheese and sliced tomato
• grated cheese and sliced ham
• peeled and sliced avocado
• canned mushrooms in butter sauce
• diced cooked chicken

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SNACKS

PAN-FRIED EGGS
It is easy to cook fried eggs in a small, non-stick frying pan.
Help the child with breaking the eggs and pouring them into the pan.

Serves 1 or 2
2 eggs
1 tsp butter, oil or margarine
salt, optional

Equipment: Method:
small bowl 1. Carefully break eggs into a bowl.
small non-stick frying pan 2. Place frying pan on stove and add butter, oil or margarine. Turn heat on to medium.
egg lifter 3. When the butter has just melted, tilt the pan to help the butter spread well, then carefully pour
plate the eggs into the pan. Season eggs with a little salt.
4. Let the eggs cook until the whites have become solid. Remove eggs with an egg lifter or simply
slide them onto the plate by tilting the pan, making sure the pan is very close to the plate.
To serve two people, cut carefully through the egg white while still in the pan.

SOFT-BOILED AND
HARD-BOILED EGGS
There are several different ways to boil an egg. This one is simple and quick. The vinegar stops the egg white from
spreading too far if the egg cracks during cooking. Large eggs take a bit longer to cook than small eggs.

Serves 1
about * litre water
a few drops vinegar
1 egg

Equipment: Method:
litre measure 1. Pour about 1 litre of water and a few drops of vinegar into a small saucepan and bring to the boil.
1- or 2-litre saucepan 2. Gently place the egg on a spoon then place it carefully into the boiling water. Lower heat to a
spoon simmer and cook for 3–4 minutes (for a soft-boiled egg) before lifting the egg into an egg cup.

timer 3. For a hard-boiled egg, cook egg for 7 minutes, then place saucepan in the sink. Pour out the hot
water and run cold water over the egg for a few minutes until the egg is cold. Leave the egg to
cool in the water.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

CRUSTLESS QUICHE
This is an easy dish to prepare where children can do almost everything.

Serves 4
a little butter, for greasing
1 zucchini
100 g tasty cheese
125 g can corn kernels
a few sprigs of parsley or chives
2 eggs
1
/3 cup milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Equipment: Method:
kitchen paper 1. Preheat oven to 170˚C. Lightly butter ovenproof dish using a little kitchen paper.
18–20 cm ovenproof dish 2. Wash and dry zucchini. Grate zucchini and cheese.
kitchen scales 3. Carefully open can of corn kernels and drain using the strainer.
grater 4. Wash parsley or chives in cold water, then chop.
can opener 5. Crack eggs into bowl and beat with a fork.
large strainer 6. Add zucchini, cheese, parsley or chives, corn and milk and mix well.
chopping board 7. Season with a little salt and pepper and pour into the prepared dish.
sharp knife 8. Bake in oven for 15–20 minutes or until set and firm to touch. Cut into wedges and serve.
tablespoon measure
medium mixing bowl Variations:
fork • substitute zucchini and corn for 220 g drained canned salmon and 1 chopped tomato
1
/3-cup measure • substitute zucchini and corn for 220 g canned crab meat and 1 chopped spring onion

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SNACKS

GRILLED CHEESE AND


TOMATO ON TOAST
This is a great snack. For variety, try introducing children to different types of bread and cheese. Take them to the bakery
and let them choose a loaf.

Serves 2 as a snack
2 slices bread of your choice, e.g. sourdough, wholemeal
margarine, tomato relish or fruit chutney for spreading
1 tomato
2 slices (approximately 60 g) cheese, e.g. Swiss, tasty, Gruyère

Equipment: Method:
toaster 1. Preheat grill to medium heat.
table knife 2. Place bread in toaster and lightly toast.
small serrated knife 3. Using the table knife, spread toast with margarine, relish or chutney.
chopping board 4. Using the knife, slice tomato and trim the cheese if necessary.
5. Arrange tomato over toast, put the cheese on top and place under preheated grill.
6. Grill until cheese is bubbling and golden brown, cut into pieces and serve.

BEANS ON TOAST
This is a quick and healthy meal for breakfast or lunch. Remember beans and bread are a complete source of protein and
a good substitute for meat, fish or poultry.

Serves 2
small piece of parmesan (optional)
420 g can baked beans
4 slices light rye or bread of your choice
butter or margarine for spreading (optional)

Equipment: Method:
grater wooden spoon 1. Carefully grate about 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
tablespoon measure toaster 2. Using the can opener, carefully open the can of beans and empty contents
can opener table knife into saucepan.

small saucepan, spoon 3. Using the wooden spoon, stir over medium heat until hot.
preferably non-stick 4. Toast bread on medium setting and spread with butter or margarine.
5. Spoon baked beans onto toast, sprinkle with parmesan and serve.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

TASTY TACOS
It’s cool to eat food from other countries. Tacos are
the perfect choice because they are delicious as
well as healthy.

Makes 4 tacos
1 medium onion
2 tsp oil
150 g lean minced beef
310 g can red kidney beans
2 tbsp tomato sauce
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large lettuce leaves
2 tomatoes
4 taco shells
1/3 cup natural plain yoghurt or light sour cream

1 cup tasty cheese, grated

Equipment:
sharp knife
chopping board
teaspoon measure
medium non-stick frying pan Method:
wooden spoon 1. Preheat oven to 150°C.
can opener 2. Using a sharp knife, peel and chop onion finely (see page 65).
strainer 3. Heat the non-stick frying pan and add the oil. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes on medium
heat. Add mince and cook, stirring with a wooden spoon until the meat is brown or has changed
tablespoon measure
colour.
small serrated knife
4. Carefully open the can of kidney beans and drain. Add the beans to the meat mixture and mix well.
baking tray
5. Stir in the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and allow to simmer on a low heat for
1/3-cup measure
15 minutes.
cup measure 6. Wash the lettuce under the tap and dry by shaking. Cut lettuce into smaller pieces. Dice the
spoon tomatoes using a serrated knife.
7. Heat taco shells on a tray in oven for 5 minutes.
8. Fill taco shells with meat mixture, lettuce and tomato. Top each taco with a spoonful of yoghurt
and grated cheese and serve.

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SNACKS

HAM AND PINEAPPLE PIZZA


This is the favourite pizza topping of many kids.
Let them treat themselves.

Serves 2–4
400 g can pineapple rings in natural juice
1 pre-cooked pizza base, about 30 cm in diameter,
or 2 smaller ones
1
/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
4 thin slices ham
about 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes

Equipment:
can opener
strainer
glass
1
/2-cup measure
flat oven tray
sharp knife
chopping board
spoon
oven mitts

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Carefully open can of pineapple and drain juice into a glass. You can drink it!
3. Place pizza base on oven tray and scatter one-third of the grated cheese over it.
4. Finely shred ham using a sharp knife.
5. Carefully open can of crushed tomatoes.
6. Spoon about half a cup of the crushed tomatoes evenly over base (on top of the cheese) and scatter shredded ham on top.
7. Cut pineapple rings into bite-size pieces and dot the top of the pizza with pineapple pieces.
8. Sprinkle remaining cheese on top, then bake pizza in preheated oven for about 15 minutes.
9. Carefully remove from oven, using the mitts. Cut pizza into 8 wedges and serve.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

VEGETARIAN PIZZA
Let children create their favourite topping and shop accordingly. Using a commercial pizza base makes it a quick and easy
meal and you can use healthy toppings like corn, mushrooms and capsicum.

Serves 2–4
6 medium mushrooms
1
/2 red capsicum
125 g can corn kernels
about 1/2 cup canned crushed tomatoes
1 pre-cooked pizza base, about 30 cm in diameter
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese

10 black olives, pitted


1 tbsp olive oil, optional

Equipment: Method:
medium mixing bowl 1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
plate 2. Place mushrooms in a bowl, cover with cold water and wash them. Lift mushrooms onto a plate
sharp knife and cut each into 3 slices.

chopping board 3. Wash capsicum under the tap. Cut capsicum into thin slices about 5 mm thick.

can opener 4. Carefully open can of corn and drain into a strainer. Open can of crushed tomatoes.

strainer 5. Place pizza base on a flat oven tray. Top base with one-third of the grated cheese and spread
1
/2 cup of tomato on top with a spoon. Sprinkle the top evenly with corn, capsicum, mushrooms
flat oven tray and olives, and lastly with the remaining cheese. Drizzle with olive oil.
spoon 6. Bake in preheated oven for about 15 minutes or until the capsicum and mushrooms are soft.
oven mitts 7. Carefully remove from oven, using mitt, cut pizza into 8 wedges and serve.

☞ GENTLY, GENTLY
Explain to children that fresh food is very fragile and needs to be handled gently or it could get damaged. Once damaged,
food loses its freshness, flavour and appeal very quickly.

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SNACKS

TOASTED TUNA SANDWICH


Have a look at the different flavours of canned tuna now available in the supermarket. Show the kids how to use the
sandwich maker safely and get older children to read the instructions themselves.

Makes 2 sandwiches
small piece of tasty cheese
1 medium tomato
95 g can flavoured tuna or other fish
a little butter or margarine
4 square slices of wholemeal bread or bread of your choice

Equipment: Method:
toasted sandwich maker 1. Preheat sandwich maker.
grater 2. Carefully grate about 2 tablespoons of tasty cheese.
small serrated knife 3. Wash and dice tomato using the serrated knife, and place in a bowl.
chopping board 4. Carefully open can of tuna and add to bowl. Add cheese and mix well.
small mixing bowl 5. Very lightly spread butter on one side of each bread slice.
can opener 6. Place two slices of bread, butter side down, in the sandwich maker. Top each slice with
strainer half of the tuna filling.

table knife 7. Place remaining slice of bread on top, buttered side up, and close the sandwich maker.

spoon 8. When cooked, carefully lift toasted sandwiches onto a plate using a plastic spatula.
Warn children to be careful when taking the first bite – it may be very hot!
plastic spatula

☞ COOKING UNDER THE GRILL


Explain to kids that food must be placed about 3–5 cm from the hot grill when you wish to brown or cook it. Any closer and
the food will burn or brown too quickly. Any further away and the food won’t brown or cook quickly enough. Get kids into
the safe habit of establishing at what level the grill plate should be positioned for the food to brown or cook properly
before they preheat the grill.

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3
SOUPS & SALADS
There is a lot even young children can do to help in preparing soups and salads. They
can peel or wash vegetables and count or measure quantities of ingredients. Teach
children the skill of safely cutting vegetables into pieces, letting them practise with
a knife suitable for their age. Explain to them how to make soup by combining fresh
vegetables and canned ingredients. Get them to decide on their own combinations.
Show them how to wash and dry greens, then make them feel like wizards by putting
them in charge of making the salad dressing and tossing the salad.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

BEETROOT, CARROT
AND CHEESE SALAD
Ask the child to open the can of beetroot, to cut the cheese into cubes and the walnuts into several pieces.
Care must be taken when grating the carrot. See picture on page 20.

Serves about 3
400 g can baby beetroot
1 medium carrot
about 100 g Swiss-style cheese
12 walnut halves
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tsp red wine vinegar
11/2 tbsp vegetable oil
10 chives

Equipment: Method:
can opener 1. Open can of beetroot and carefully drain the juice into the sink. Be very careful because it
salad bowl stains. Place drained beetroot into a salad bowl.

peeler 2. Peel and coarsely grate carrot and add to bowl.

kitchen scales 3. Cut cheese into approximately 11/2 cm cubes and add to bowl.

grater 4. Cut walnut halves into 2 or 3 pieces and add to bowl.

sharp knife 5. Place a pinch of salt and a little pepper into a small bowl. Mix in red wine vinegar and oil, using
a whisk. Cut chives into 5 mm pieces using scissors, and add to dressing.
chopping board
6. Pour dressing onto the salad ingredients, mix gently using salad servers and serve.
small bowl
tablespoon measure
whisk
scissors
salad servers

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SOUPS & SALADS

TUNA AND VEGETABLE SALAD


Adapt this recipe to your taste. Plan ahead and cook
the beans in advance.

Serves 2
1 litre cold water
salt
about 1 cup green beans, fresh or frozen
4 firm iceberg lettuce leaves
1 large tomato
250 g can tuna in oil or brine
250 g can corn kernels
2 tbsp mayonnaise, bought or homemade (see page 25)

Equipment:
medium saucepan
litre measure
sharp knife
chopping board
colander
salad bowl
medium mixing bowl
serving plates
can opener Method:
strainer 1. Fill a medium saucepan with 1 litre cold water. Add a little salt and bring to the boil.
tablespoon measure 2. Top and tail beans and cut into bite-size pieces. Place beans in boiling water and cook for
spoon 5 minutes. Carefully drain beans into a colander, then place beans in the saucepan and add cold
water to cool beans. Drain again. Place beans in a salad bowl.
3. Wash lettuce in a bowl of cold water and drain. Arrange on serving plates.
4. Wash tomato, cut into about 1 cm cubes and add to bowl.
5. Open cans of tuna and corn. Drain them and place tuna and corn in the salad bowl, breaking the
tuna into small pieces.
6. Mix mayonnaise with salad ingredients and spoon the salad into the lettuce leaves.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

GREEN SALAD
Children can quickly learn to wash and dry salad leaves and to make a dressing.

Serves 2
enough green salad leaves for 2 people
2 tsp red wine vinegar or the juice of 1/2 lemon
salt and freshly ground black pepper
11/2 tbsp olive oil

Equipment: Method:
large bowl 1. Detach salad leaves from stems.
colander 2. Fill a large bowl three-quarters full with water. Place salad leaves in water and wash gently by
salad dryer or clean tea towel hand. Lift leaves from water into a colander and discard the rinsing water. Fill bowl again and
repeat the washing process. Drain leaves in the colander.
salad bowl
3. Place salad leaves in a salad dryer and spin to dry them, or use a clean tea towel to pat them dry.
whisk
4. In a salad bowl, mix vinegar with a little salt and pepper. Whisk in oil.
salad servers
5. Add the dry salad leaves and toss gently using the salad servers until the leaves are coated with
dressing. Serve.

SALAD DRESSING
There are many variations to this dressing. You can use lemon juice instead of vinegar. You can use another type of oil,
or you can add herbs and spices at the end.

Makes a dressing for 4 people


1 tbsp red wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
freshly ground black pepper
3 tbsp olive oil

Equipment: Method:
tablespoon measure 1. Measure vinegar and place in a bowl with the salt and a little pepper.
small mixing bowl 2. Start whisking and, as you do so, slowly add the oil. You could ask a younger child to add the oil
whisk while you whisk.

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SOUPS & SALADS

MAYONNAISE
Kids will be fascinated to see that the egg yolks and oil combine to form a thick sauce. Use this sauce as a dressing
or as a dip with sticks of raw vegetables.

Serves 4–6
1 egg
1
/2 tbsp red wine vinegar
a pinch of salt
1
/2 tsp hot mustard
2
/3 cup peanut oil
freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Method:
medium mixing bowl 1. Separate egg yolk from the white. Discard the egg white and place yolk in a bowl.
1
/2-tablespoon measure 2. Add vinegar, salt and mustard to bowl and whisk well with yolk for 10 seconds.
1
/2-teaspoon measure 3. Measure the oil, then very slowly drizzle the oil into the bowl, whisking continuously.
whisk Younger children will enjoy adding the oil while you whisk. The mayonnaise will thicken,
but if this becomes difficult, just keep whisking without adding oil for 10 seconds.
cup measure
4. Season with pepper.

Note: If you are not using the mayonnaise immediately, cover it with plastic film and put aside
away from the heat. Do not refrigerate it or the oil will change its texture and the mayonnaise
will lose its smoothness.

☞ HOW TO SEPARATE EGGS


You will need two small bowls. Take one egg in your writing hand and crack the centre of the shell gently against the edge
of one of the bowls. Holding the egg above the bowl, gently pull the two halves apart, making sure the yolk stays in one
half and letting the white drop into the bowl. Transfer the yolk two or three times from one half shell to the other to get rid
of any leftover white. Drop the yolk into the second bowl.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

TOMATO SOUP WITH


VERMICELLI
This easy soup shows kids that they can prepare a meal for themselves in less than ten minutes. Do it together the first
time. The carrots can be replaced with other vegetables or simply omitted.

Serves 2
1 cup cold water
4 tbsp tiny vermicelli (very small pasta for soups)
300 g can tomato soup, or larger if you wish
300 g can baby carrots
2 tsp light sour cream (optional)
parsley or chives (optional)

Equipment: Method:
cup measure 1. Bring water to the boil in saucepan and add the vermicelli. Stir with a wooden spoon for
2-litre saucepan 5 seconds, then boil for about 6 minutes.

tablespoon measure 2. Carefully open can of tomato soup and can of carrots. Drain carrots in the strainer.

wooden spoon 3. Add soup to vermicelli and water and stir well. Add carrots and heat soup without boiling until
the carrots are heated through, stirring once or twice.
can opener
4. Ladle soup into two bowls and serve with a teaspoon of sour cream. Sprinkle with a little
large strainer chopped parsley or chives.
ladle
teaspoon measure

☞ A QUALITY CAN OPENER


It can be very difficult for young children and some adults to open canned food using a cheap opener, as too much strength
is required. The handle of a can opener should feel comfortable and give you a good grip while the mechanism pierces and
cuts the top of the can easily and neatly. It is worthwhile investing in a quality can opener which can be used effectively
without much effort.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

CHICKEN AND CORN SOUP


Chicken and corn soup is one of the most popular soups for children in Chinese restaurants.

Serves 4
2 spring onions
small piece of fresh ginger
1 tbsp vegetable oil
440 g can creamed corn
2 cups chicken stock
1 large chicken fillet, skin removed
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Wash, remove outer layer and slice spring onions into small pieces.
chopping board 2. Finely grate approximately 1/2 tsp of the fresh ginger.
grater 3. Add the oil to the saucepan and heat. Add ginger and spring onion. Stir on low heat for 1 minute.
large saucepan 4. Carefully open can of creamed corn. Add corn and chicken stock to saucepan, increase to
wooden spoon medium heat and stir until it simmers.

can opener 5. Using sharp knife, cut chicken meat first into thin slices then into small cubes, then chop it as
finely as you can.
cup measure
6. Just before serving, stir chicken into the hot soup. At this point do not allow soup to boil or the
meat will toughen.
7. Season with salt and pepper and serve.

Note: For a more authentic Chinese soup, beat one egg white lightly and stir through the soup with
a fork just before serving.

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SOUPS & SALADS

PUMPKIN SOUP
The sweetness of pumpkin makes it very appealing to children of all ages. Pumpkin is the most difficult vegetable to cut,
so kids will need assistance. It is easier to cut it with a large knife.

Serves 4
approximately 1 kg pumpkin
1 small onion
1 tbsp butter or oil
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg

4 cups chicken stock


2 tbsp chopped chives
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Method:
large knife 1. Cut pumpkin into chunks and remove skin using a large knife. Remove seeds and cut flesh into
chopping board bite-size pieces.

sharp knife 2. Peel and chop onion (see page 65).

large saucepan 3. Place butter in large saucepan and heat until melted. Gently fry onion and nutmeg, stirring with
a wooden spoon.
wooden spoon
4. Add pumpkin pieces and chicken stock. If necessary, add a little water to just cover the
1
/4-teaspoon measure pumpkin. Simmer gently for 20 minutes or until pumpkin is tender.
cup measure 5. Wash chives in cold water. Cut chives into 5 mm pieces.
tablespoon measure 6. Mash pumpkin mixture with a masher or purée with a kitchen wand. Season with salt and pepper.
masher or kitchen wand 7. Serve sprinkled with chives.

☞ SECRETS OF TEXTURE
Children are not always sure why they like or dislike a dish. Sometimes it’s because of the flavour or colour, but often it’s
due to the texture. They might not like the crunch of nuts in a stir-fry, or they might love the smoothness of a soup.
Try to stimulate this fascination with texture by pointing out to them its importance in a dish. Describe to them the
softness of avocado, the crispness of lettuce, the crunchiness of walnuts, the oiliness of a dressing. The aim is to increase
their vocabulary and to help them become creative in cooking dishes.

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4
PASTA, RICE &
NOODLES
Each time you cook these child-friendly foods, ask the kids to help. It’s fun for
them, and they learn how food is prepared at the same time. Ask kids to fill a
saucepan with water, add salt to it, turn on the stove and watch the water come to
the boil. Carefully dropping the pasta into the water is great fun too. It is so simple
to teach children to cook pasta, rice and noodles. The secret is to get them involved
from an early age and then let them do it themselves.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PASTA WITH BACON,


TOMATO SAUCE AND OLIVES
This quick sauce is suitable for any type of pasta and can be adapted to the children’s taste. See picture on page 30.

Serves 2
2 rashers bacon
2 spring onions
6 black olives, pitted
1 tbsp olive oil
425 g can peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp chopped parsley
2 litres cold water
1
/4 tsp salt
2 cups pasta, e.g. penne, shells, bowtie
small piece of parmesan

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Using a sharp knife, trim fat from bacon and cut bacon into small pieces.
chopping board 2. Peel and wash spring onions and cut into small pieces. Cut black olives in half.
non-stick saucepan 3. Heat oil in non-stick saucepan, add bacon and spring onions and stir for 4 minutes.
can opener 4. Carefully open can of tomatoes. Add tomatoes and olives to pan and cook, stirring with a
wooden spoon wooden spoon until heated through.

tablespoon measure 5. Wash and chop parsley and add to sauce.


1
/4-teaspoon measure 6. Meanwhile, place water and salt in a large saucepan and bring to the boil. Add the pasta, stir
briefly, then cook for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.
litre measure
7. Carefully grate about 1 tablespoon of the parmesan.
3-litre saucepan
8. Drain pasta in colander and spoon into pasta bowls.
cup measure
9. Spoon sauce over and sprinkle with a little grated parmesan.
grater
colander

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PASTA, RICE & NOODLES

SPAGHETTI BOLOGNESE
This is a great sauce as it keeps for 2–3 days in the fridge or it freezes really well. It’s also a good dish to teach older children
about timing. Get them to work out when to cook the pasta so it’s ready at the same time as the sauce.

Serves 4
For the sauce: To cook the spaghetti:
1 small brown onion 3 litres cold water
2 cloves garlic 1 tsp salt
1 carrot about 400 g spaghetti
1 stick celery
425 g can peeled chopped tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil
300 g lean ground beef
1 tbsp flour
1 tbsp tomato paste
1
/2 cup beef stock
salt and freshly ground black pepper
small piece parmesan

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Using a sharp knife peel and chop onion (see page 65) and garlic (see page 34). Peel carrot and
chopping board wash celery. Chop carrot and celery. Alternatively, chop all vegetables, except the garlic, in a
food processor.
peeler
2. Carefully open the can of tomatoes.
can opener
3. Heat oil in non-stick saucepan and on medium heat gently fry onion, celery and carrot for about
tablespoon measure 3 minutes.
large non-stick saucepan 4. Add meat and cook on high heat, stirring until meat has changed colour.
wooden spoon 5. Stir in flour and tomato paste. Add stock, garlic and tomatoes.
1
/2 cup measure 6. Season with salt and pepper, reduce heat, then cover and simmer for 1 hour, stirring twice or
teaspoon measure more during that time.
4-litre saucepan 7. When the sauce has about 20 minutes to go, place water and salt in a large saucepan and bring
grater to the boil. Add spaghetti and cook for approximately 10 minutes or until tender.

colander 8. While the spaghetti is cooking, carefully grate about 2 tablespoons of parmesan.
9. Drain spaghetti in colander and spoon into pasta bowls.
10. Spoon bolognese sauce over and sprinkle with the grated parmesan.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

SINGAPORE STIR-FRIED
NOODLES
Noodles are always a favourite with children. Add a few extra vegetables to make a healthy meal. For variation, try
using grated carrot, chopped celery, a little grated ginger and some shredded cabbage.

Serves 2
1 pkt plain instant noodles (approximately 80 g)
approx 2 cups water
2 spring onions
1/2 red capsicum

10 snow peas
2 thin slices ham
1 tbsp olive oil
handful of bean shoots
1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tbsp light soy sauce

Equipment: Method:
kettle 1. Boil the kettle.
scissors 2. Cut open packet of noodles and place in large bowl. Pour about 2 cups of boiling water over
large bowl noodles. Leave to stand for 5 minutes. Strain in colander.
colander 3. Chop spring onions into small pieces and finely slice capsicum, snow peas and ham into small
pieces.
sharp knife
4. Heat oil in wok or frying pan. Add capsicum and stir for 3 minutes using the wooden spoon.
chopping board Then add spring onions and snow peas and stir for 1 minute.
wok or non-stick frying pan 5. Add ham, bean shoots, curry powder and drained noodles. Stir well and cook a further
wooden spoon or wok spoon 2 minutes.
1
/2-teaspoon measure 6. Add soy sauce and serve.
tablespoon measure

☞ PEELING AND CHOPPING GARLIC


Place the garlic clove on the chopping board. Using the flat part of the blade of a large knife, press down on the clove
firmly to crush it slightly. Remove the skin of the garlic using fingers. Cut the garlic first into thin slices, then chop it.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

SHORT PASTA
WITH PARMESAN
Most kids love pasta and will enjoy learning how to cook it. With younger children, help them with turning on the heat
and draining the pasta.

Serves 2
2 litres cold water
1/4 tsp salt
a bit more than 2 cups short pasta
small piece of parmesan
1 tbsp olive oil, butter or margarine
freshly ground black pepper to taste (optional)

Equipment: Method:
litre measure 1. Measure water and place in saucepan. Add salt and put pan on stove. Turn heat up high and
1
/4-teaspoon measure bring water to the boil.

3-litre saucepan 2. Measure pasta then carefully drop pasta into boiling water. Stir briefly with a wooden spoon
and cook pasta for 9 minutes.
cup measure
3. While the pasta is cooking, grate about 3 tablespoons of parmesan.
wooden spoon
4. Carefully lift one piece of pasta from water, cool under tap and taste to see if pasta is cooked.
timer Cook a little more if pasta is not cooked. If it is still hard at the centre, it is not cooked.
grater 5. Drain pasta in a colander.
tablespoon measure 6. Return pasta to pan, add olive oil and parmesan and toss gently. Season with pepper and serve.
colander

☞ DISCOVER THE CUISINE OF THE WORLD


Children’s range of tastes has widened in the last decade or so. They love Italian (pizza and pasta), Asian (noodles and
satay), Mexican (chilli con carne), American (hamburgers), Indian (curries), French (quiche) and many more. Maintain
their interest by introducing them to exotic flavours and getting them to help cook the cuisines of different countries.

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PASTA, RICE & NOODLES

PLAIN RICE
There are several ways to cook plain rice, and this is called the absorption method. It’s easy and is suitable for basmati,
jasmine or short-grain rice.

Makes 1 large or 2 small portions


about 1/2 cup rice
a little salt
a bit more than 3/4 cup boiling water

Equipment: Method:
kettle 1. Bring water in the kettle to the boil.
measuring cup 2. Measure 1/2 cup rice and place in saucepan with a pinch of salt
small, non-stick saucepan 3. Measure a little more than 3/4 cup of boiling water. Place saucepan on medium heat
with a lid and add water to rice, stirring briefly with a wooden spoon.
wooden spoon 4. When the water returns to the boil, reduce heat to a low simmer and cover pan with a
timer tight lid. If the lid is not very tight, place a layer of foil between the lid and the pan.
Cook rice for 14 minutes. Do not remove the lid.
5. Turn heat off and let rice rest for 3 minutes before removing the lid. Stir rice gently
and serve.

☞ HIGH, MEDIUM AND LOW HEAT


Teach children the concept of controlling what is happening as food cooks in the frying pan, wok, saucepan and grill. Help
them choose the right burner for the right sized pan. Teach them that a wok goes on the largest burner, while a milk pan
goes on a small one. Tell them that high heat is used to bring a saucepan of water to the boil for cooking pasta or
vegetables. Once the water boils, if it is going too fast, show children how to reduce the heat a little.
Explain that the utensil is preheated before panfrying, cooking in a wok or on the grill. Once the food is cooking, the
cook needs to keep an eye on it, listening and smelling what is happening. The cook must decide whether the heat needs to
stay on high or to be reduced. Keeping control of the heat is an important cooking skill that requires practice to master. Get
kids to practise controlling heat with simple dishes, like pan-fried chicken fillets or soft-boiled eggs.

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PASTA, RICE & NOODLES

FRIED RICE
Fried rice is always a favourite with kids and is a good way to use up leftover cooked rice. Use a wok or non-stick frying
pan for this recipe.

Serves 4
1 egg
1 tbsp water
2 tbsp oil
small piece of fresh ginger
2 spring onions
1/2 red capsicum

200 g can peeled prawns, or fresh shrimps from your fishmonger


425 g can baby corn spears
approximately 2 cups cooked rice (see page 37)
1 tbsp salt-reduced soy sauce

Equipment: Method:
small bowl 1. Break egg into bowl and lightly beat with water using the fork.
fork 2. Heat one-third of the oil in wok or non-stick frying pan and pour in egg mixture. Cook until set.
wok or non-stick frying pan Using the egg lifter, transfer cooked egg to a plate and slice into strips.

egg lifter 3. Grate about 1/2 teaspoon fresh ginger. Wash and finely slice spring onions and red capsicum.

plate 4. Carefully open the can of peeled prawns and the can of baby corn spears. Using the strainer,
drain liquid from prawns and corn.
sharp knife
5. Heat remaining oil in wok or frying pan, stir in ginger and add the red capsicum and prawns.
grater Using the wooden spoon, stir gently on medium heat for 2 minutes. Add the baby corn spears
1
/2-teaspoon measure and stir for 1 minute.
chopping board 6. Add the rice, then increase heat and stir for about 5 minutes until heated through. Stir in the
sliced egg and soy sauce and serve.
can opener
strainer
wooden spoon
measuring cup
tablespoon measure

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5
VEGETABLES
My grandmother was the cook in our family during my youth and she often asked us
kids, her grandchildren, to help in the food preparation. Mostly it was small jobs,
such as topping and tailing the beans, shelling peas, peeling root vegetables,
putting a pot of salted water on the stove to heat, and so on. Without realising it,
we learned a lot about cooking from her.
The Anti-Cancer Council and other health organisations think that most children and
adults would benefit from eating more vegetables, either fresh, canned or frozen.
Because the canning process doesn’t require preservatives or other additives, you
can take a short cut in meal preparation and use canned products safe in the
knowledge that your children are eating well.
Introduce little children to a wide variety of vegetables. Teach them to cut
vegetables into small pieces for a quick snack. Start their cooking lessons by
letting them prepare easy dishes using canned vegetables. If you have a
well-stocked pantry there will always be something they can cook.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

☞ STEAMING, BOILING AND MICROWAVING VEGETABLES


Involve children as much as possible in the preparation of vegetables. The more familiar they are with greens and other
vegetables, the more likely they are to eat them.

STEAMING
The easiest way to cook vegetables is to steam them. Vegetables, such as cauliflower, broccoli and carrots, are first cut into
manageable pieces, beans are topped and tailed, peas are shelled and all vegetables are washed. Pour about 5 cm water
into the base of a saucepan and bring the water to the boil before placing the vegetables in the steaming compartment.
Cover the pan and cook until the vegetables are tender. Take the time to explain to children that softer vegetables, such as
mushrooms and zucchini, take less time to cook than hard ones, such as carrots and beetroots. They also need to know that
thinly cut vegetables take less time to cook than big chunks.

BOILING
Vegetables can be cooked in a saucepan in a little boiling water with the lid on, or in a larger amount of boiling water with
the pan uncovered.

MICROWAVING
The instruction book that came with your microwave will explain everything in detail. In a nutshell, place bite-size pieces
of vegetables in a non-metallic dish. Add about 1 tablespoon water, cover the dish tightly with plastic wrap, place in the
microwave and set the time according to the instruction book. The smaller the volume of food to be cooked, the shorter the
cooking time will be. Care must be taken when removing the plastic wrap from the dish as the escaping steam can burn the
cook!

☞ WASHING AND SLICING VEGETABLES


Wash vegetables in a large bowl of cold water to remove dirt and chemicals or even worms and insects. To slice vegetables
such as carrots, potatoes and pumpkin, firstly cut the vegetable in half lengthwise, then place the flat side of the cut
vegetable on the chopping board. Hold still with one hand and carefully slice the vegetable with the knife. The knuckles of
the hand holding the vegetable serve as a guide for the knife. Tell the child to go slowly at first until they gain good control.

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VEGETABLES

ROASTED SWEET VEGETABLES


Get kids to roast other vegetables such as capsicum and mushrooms using this method. Show them things like how to
remove the skin of the pumpkin.

Serves about 3
1 medium carrot
1 medium orange sweet potato
piece of pumpkin, about 150 g
2 tbsp olive oil or vegetable oil
1/4 tsp curry powder

1/2 tsp paprika

salt and freshly ground black pepper, optional

Equipment: Method:
roasting tray 1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
baking paper 2. Line a roasting tray with a sheet of baking paper. This prevents the vegetables from sticking.
peeler 3. Peel carrot and sweet potato. Cut off the skin of the pumpkin.
knife 4. In a large bowl, mix oil with curry powder, paprika and a little salt and pepper.
chopping board 5. Cut carrots and sweet potato into 3 cm pieces. Cut pumpkin into 3 regular pieces and place all
large mixing bowl vegetables in the bowl.

tablespoon measure 6. Using a large spoon, toss vegetables in spicy oil, then place them in the lined roasting tray.
1
/4-teaspoon measure 7. Roast vegetables in preheated oven for about 40 minutes, turning the vegetables over with the
1
tongs once or twice during the cooking. Serve.
/2 teaspoon measure
large spoon Note: If the vegetables start burning, reduce the oven temperature.
tongs

☞ SMOOTH VEGETABLE PURÉE


When your children reject vegetables like brussels sprouts or carrots cooked whole or cut into pieces, try puréeing them
and see what happens. Use a blender or hand whizz for a smoother result. It’s not always the flavour of cooked vegetables
that kids dislike. It is often the texture.

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CRUMBED GRILLED TOMATOES


If you have tomatoes growing in your garden, take
advantage of the glut to show the children how great
it is to cultivate some foods. Help them with chopping
the parsley and garlic. This is delicious served with
Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets (see page 62).

Serves 2
1 sprig parsley
1/2 clove garlic

1 small piece of parmesan


2 tbsp breadcrumbs
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 large or 4 small tomatoes
1 tbsp olive oil

Equipment:
sharp knife
chopping board
small bowl
grater
tablespoon measure
oven tray
spoon
oven mitts
egg lifter

Method:
1. Wash and finely chop parsley or cut it into very small pieces. Place in bowl.
2. Crush and finely chop garlic (see page 34). Add to bowl.
3. Grate about 11/2 tablespoons of parmesan cheese and add to bowl with breadcrumbs.
4. Season with a little salt and pepper.
5. Preheat grill.
6. Cut tomatoes in half and place on oven tray, cut side up. Carefully spoon breadcrumb mixture onto tomato halves and drizzle
with olive oil.
7. Place tray about 4 cm under preheated grill and cook tomatoes until the top is lightly browned and tomatoes are hot. Using oven
mitts, carefully remove tray from under grill. Lift tomatoes onto plates using the egg lifter and serve.

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VEGETABLES

STIR-FRIED VEGETABLES
Stir-frying is fun for children as it is very visual. You can
choose just about any vegetable and watch it cook quickly
as you stir. These vegetables are great served with rice,
noodles or pasta.

Serves 2
1
/2 red capsicum
1 stick celery
100 g broccoli
1 spring onion
approx 2 cups boiling water
130 g canned baby corn spears
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1
/2 cup bean shoots
1 tbsp light soy sauce

Equipment:
chopping board
sharp knife
kettle
medium mixing bowl
can opener
Method:
strainer
1. Wash vegetables and drain.
tablespoon measure
2. Using a sharp knife cut spring onion, red capsicum and celery into bite-size pieces.
wok or non-stick frying pan
3. Boil the kettle. Cut the broccoli into bite-size flowerets. Place broccoli in a bowl and
1
/2-cup measure cover with boiling water. Drain after 3 minutes.
4. Carefully open the can of baby corn spears and drain.
5. Heat oil in wok and add spring onion, red capsicum and celery. Stir for 1 minute.
6. Add broccoli and cook for 5 minutes, stirring continuously.
7. Add bean shoots and baby corn and continue stirring until all the vegetables are cooked.
8. Stir in soy sauce and serve.

Note: If the vegetables look a little dry or start burning as they are cooking, add 1–2
tablespoons water, just to give some moisture.

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CAULIFLOWER CHEESE
This is a classic way to serve cauliflower. The cheese sauce makes the cauliflower more delicious, kids love it
and it’s easy to make.

Serves 4
1/2 cauliflower

2 cups water
squeeze of lemon juice
about 100 g tasty cheese
1 tbsp butter
11/2 tbsp plain flour
1 cup milk
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
1/4 teaspoon dry mustard powder

nutmeg, for sprinkling

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Wash cauliflower in water under the tap. Using a sharp knife, cut cauliflower into flowerets.
chopping board 2. Pour water into saucepan, add lemon juice and bring to the boil. Add cauliflower and simmer
cup measure for 8 minutes.

medium saucepan 3. Carefully grate the tasty cheese.

kitchen scales 4. Using a slotted spoon, lift the cauliflower into the ovenproof dish. Discard the cooking water.

grater 5. Dry the saucepan, put it back on medium heat and add the butter. Heat until butter has melted.

slotted spoon 6. Add flour and stir with a wooden spoon.

ovenproof dish 7. Cook slowly for 1 minute. Add milk gradually and whisk until smooth. Simmer for 1 minute.

tablespoon measure 8. Season with salt and pepper. Add mustard and grated cheese and stir until cheese has melted.

wooden spoon 9. Preheat grill to medium heat.

whisk 10. Spoon cheese sauce over cauliflower, sprinkle with nutmeg and place under preheated grill
1
until golden brown.
/4-teaspoon measure
11. Remove from grill using oven mitts. Serve immediately.
oven mitts

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VEGETABLES

GREEN BEANS WITH ALMONDS


Children will love the contrast of crunchy almonds with tender beans.

Serves 2
about 250 g green beans
about 1 litre water
2 tsp butter, margarine or olive oil
2 tbsp slivered almonds
salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Equipment: Method:
chopping board 1. Wash beans, remove ends and carefully slice diagonally.
sharp knife 2. Pour water into saucepan and bring to boil on high heat. Add beans, reduce heat to medium and
litre measure cook for 7–10 minutes.

medium saucepan 3. Drain in colander and return beans to saucepan.

colander 4. Add butter and slivered almonds and stir with a wooden spoon on medium heat until butter has
melted and coated the beans. Season with salt and pepper and serve.
teaspoon measure
tablespoon measure
wooden spoon

☞ GIVE KIDS A TASTE


If you think something you are preparing is really delicious, give kids a clean teaspoon and ask them to taste it. Ask them
what they like about it. Explain why you think it’s so good. Tell them that the carrots are really fresh, or that the chocolate
is really good quality. If the child doesn’t like the food, ask why. And if they’re unsure, try to find out together what it is
they dislike. All this improves children’s taste memory.

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MASHED POTATO
It’s easy to make mashed potato using a hand masher, but it tastes even better if you use a Mouli, as the texture of the
mash is smoother. A Mouli is a very useful hand-held food mill.

Serves 2
2 medium potatoes (see below)
pinch of salt
1
/4 cup milk
knob of butter or 1 tbsp olive oil
freshly ground black pepper (optional)
salt (optional)

Equipment: Method:
peeler 1. Peel potatoes and wash them under the tap. Quarter them using a sharp knife. Place potatoes in
sharp knife saucepan, cover with cold water and add a pinch of salt.

chopping board 2. Place saucepan on stove. Turn on medium heat, bring to the boil and cook for about 10 minutes
or until potatoes are soft. (To test, you can pierce them with the tip of a knife.)
2-litre saucepan
3. Drain potatoes in a colander sitting in the sink.
colander
4. Pour milk into saucepan, place on medium heat and bring to a simmer. Turn off heat.
1
/4-cup measure
5. Pass drained potatoes through a Mouli into the hot milk. Alternatively, use a masher to blend
Mouli or masher the potatoes in the pan with the hot milk.
wooden spoon 6. Using a wooden spoon, mix potato, butter and milk until smooth. Season to taste with salt and
pepper and serve.

Note: Add chopped herbs such as parsley or basil for extra flavour.

☞ CHOOSE THE BEST POTATOES


Show children that there are lots of different potatoes: some are better for wedges while others are great for mashing.
The list below is a useful starting point for identifying which ones to buy.

Salads: kipfler, nicola, desirée, sebago


Wedges: bintje, coliban, desirée, sebago, idaho
Mashed potato: bintje, coliban, desirée, gold star, sebago, spunta
Jacket potatoes: symfonia, sebago, idaho, desirée, coliban, bintje

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KIDS HAVE A GREAT SENSE OF SMELL


The younger we are, the more sensitive our sense of smell is. The drawback for kids is that they can’t express what they
are experiencing and they don’t recognise all the smells that adults know well. When you share a ‘smell experience’ with
children, explain to them what you perceive yourself: the fish smells fresh, the pineapple smells ripe, the chicken fillet
smells off. Teach them that smelling food is often the best way to assess its freshness, especially with fish and poultry.
Children benefit enormously from memorising smells. It is a reference for future experience and helps them become
better cooks.

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JACKET POTATOES
Baked potatoes in their jackets are very popular as a snack or light meal. Children can choose their own topping, which
makes it very special.

Serves 2
2 large potatoes (see page 48)
olive oil spray or oil for rubbing
salt (optional)

Equipment: Method:
vegetable brush 1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
sharp knife 2. Place potatoes in water and scrub clean using the brush. Pat dry.
oven tray 3. Cut a cross on top of each potato with a sharp knife. The cut should be 0.5 cm deep and about
metal spoon 3 cm wide.
4. Rub a little oil over the skin of potato and season with salt if using.
5. Place on oven tray and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour.
6. When cooked, carefully squeeze open the top of the potato, using your fingertips, and spoon
over desired topping.

Note: You can also cook the potatoes for about 50 minutes wrapped in foil.

Toppings:
• coleslaw
• avocado mashed with a little lemon juice
• warmed creamed corn
• salmon mixed with a little natural yoghurt and lemon juice
• tabbouleh (a mixture of chopped parsley, tomato, spring onions and cracked wheat)
• hummus (a mixture of cooked chickpeas and tahini)
• chopped hard-boiled egg mixed with snipped chives and sour cream.

☞ KEEP A CAN OF PRE-COOKED POTATOES IN THE CUPBOARD


When you are in a hurry, take a short cut and use a can of pre-cooked baby potatoes instead of boiling or steaming them.
Get children to make a quick potato salad using the mayonnaise recipe on page 25, or serve them with dinner, warmed and
dressed with a little butter and chopped parsley. They are also a lovely addition to a casserole.

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VEGETABLES

POTATO WEDGES AND


YOGHURT DIP
Everyone loves potato wedges, pictured on page 52. This recipe is low in fat because the wedges are baked rather than
fried in oil.

Serves 4
4 medium potatoes (see page 48)
1 litre water
2 tbsp olive oil
2 tsp dried oregano
2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp curry powder

1 tsp salt
3 mint leaves
1 clove garlic (optional)
1 cup natural or Greek-style yoghurt

Equipment: Method:
chopping board 1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
sharp knife 2. Wash potatoes, cut lengthwise into quarters, then into wedges.
litre measure 3. Pour water into a saucepan. Add potatoes, bring to boil on high heat and boil for 3 minutes.
medium saucepan 4. Drain potatoes in colander.
colander 5. Place potatoes in a bowl and gently mix with olive oil, oregano, paprika and curry powder.
bowl 6. Spread on baking tray and bake for 30 minutes, turning wedges over once. Season with salt.
tablespoon measure 7. Meanwhile, wash, dry and chop mint. Peel and chop garlic using method on page 34).
teaspoon measure 8. Put yoghurt in a small bowl. Add mint and garlic and stir to combine. Serve with hot potato wedges.
baking tray
cup measure Note: These wedges are great served with Pan-fried Fish Fillets (see page 54).

small bowl

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6
FISH
Fresh fish is recognised as having excellent nutritional value and is loved by many
adults. Unfortunately, it is often not so popular with kids. Find the best fish shop in
your area and take children there with you from an early age. Teach them to eat fish
with confidence and care. Unlike when we eat meat, fish is not cut with a knife and
fork. Rather, the flesh is gently lifted or pulled away from the bones. Give small
children the tail part of the fish, whether it be whole fish or fillets, because there
are fewer bones. Serve fish with lemon juice to enhance the flavour.
Fish dishes are great for kids to learn to prepare because fish cooks quickly.
Also, canned fish, such as tuna, salmon, sardines and mackerel,
makes delicious snacks, salads and casseroles.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PAN-FRIED FISH FILLET


Take children shopping for fresh fish and teach them the names of several species (flathead, tuna) to encourage them to
eat it. Make sure the fish you buy is very fresh and remember that the tail part of a large fish has fewer bones. Pictured
on page 52, this dish is really popular when served with potato wedges (see page 51).

Serves 1
about 1 tbsp plain flour
1 fish fillet, about 150 g
salt and freshly ground black pepper
about 1 tbsp vegetable or olive oil
a small lemon wedge

Equipment: Method:
tablespoon measure 1. Spread the flour on a plate. Place the fish fillet on flour, turning it to coat both sides.
plate 2. Lift fish and tap it to remove excess flour. Season fish with salt and pepper.
small non-stick frying pan 3. Place frying pan on stove on medium heat. Add oil when pan is hot, then, using the egg lifter,
egg lifter carefully place fish in pan.
4. Cook the first side of the fish, without touching it, for 2–3 minutes, depending on its thickness.
Using the egg lifter, turn the fish over and cook the second side for about the same time.
5. Carefully lift the fish onto a plate and let the child squeeze a little lemon juice over it before
eating it.

☞ BUY FRESH FISH


Get to know your fishmonger to ensure that you always get very fresh produce and friendly advice. Explain to children that
a fresh fish looks good and firm with shiny, slippery scales or skin. The eyes are bulging and usually clear. Tell them that
the smell of a fresh salt water fish reminds you of the sea. A fish that is not fresh smells unpleasant, the eyes are not so
clear, the flesh appears flaccid and the scales are sometimes dry, loose and less shiny.

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FISH

BAKED FISH ASIAN-STYLE


Ask the children to mix the Asian marinade and
to spoon it over the fish. When you serve the fish,
show the children where the bones are.

Serves 2
small piece of ginger
1 small clove garlic
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 tsp sesame oil

1 tbsp soy sauce


1 tsp honey
juice of 1/2 lemon
1 whole fish (snapper, bream, barramundi),
about 500 g, gutted and scales and fins off

Equipment:
peeler
grater
sharp knife
juicer
chopping board
medium bowl
tablespoon measure Method:
teaspoon measure 1. Preheat oven to 180°C.
baking dish 2. Peel and grate about 2 teaspoons of ginger and peel and chop garlic (see page 34).
metal spoon 3. Squeeze the half lemon using the juicer.
4. In a bowl, mix ginger, garlic, both types of oil, soy sauce, honey and lemon juice.
5. Using a sharp knife, make 4 or 5 shallow cuts across the fish. This helps the fish cook more
evenly.
6. Place fish in baking dish and spoon half the marinade over the top. Turn fish over and spoon the
remaining marinade over the other side of the fish.
7. Bake fish in preheated oven for about 25 minutes, basting the fish twice during that time.
8. Remove carefully from oven, and gently lift the fish flesh from the bones. Serve with a little sauce.

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FISH FILLETS COOKED IN FOIL


Encourage kids to cook and eat fish because it’s a great food. This main course can be cooked on the barbecue or baked in
the oven, and the children can place flavourings of their choice in the foil.

Serves 2
olive oil spray or a little olive oil
2 fish fillets (trevally, snapper, bream or flathead), approximately 120 g each
1
/2 small green capsicum
1 tomato
1 lemon
freshly ground black pepper
a few sprigs of fresh herbs (basil, parsley or tarragon)

Equipment: Method:
foil 1. Preheat oven to 180˚C.
scissors 2. Cut 2 sheets of foil about 30 x 30 cm. Lightly spray or brush them with oil, and place fish fillets
chopping board in the centre.
sharp knife 3. Using a sharp knife, cut capsicum into strips and wash and slice tomato.
juicer 4. Place tomato and pepper alternately on top of fish.
medium mixing bowl 5. Cut lemon in half and, using the juicer, squeeze out the juice. Drizzle lemon juice over the top of
the fish and vegetables. Sprinkle with pepper.
baking tray
6. Wash the herbs gently in a bowl of cold water. Drain. Place a sprig of washed fresh herbs on top
of the fish.
7. Fold the foil to seal the fish parcels tightly. Place on a baking tray and bake in preheated oven
for 8–10 minutes, depending on the thickness of the fillets.
8. Carefully unwrap foil. Warn children to be careful because steam from the parcels could burn.
Serve with rice or salad.

☞ CHOPPING PARSLEY
Select unblemished parsley at the greengrocer’s or ask the child to pick it from the garden. Wash either under the tap or in
a bowl of cold water, then drain. Place parsley on chopping board. Holding it firmly with the tips of the fingers of one
hand, slice it using a medium knife then chop it. Alternatively, cut parsley finely using kitchen scissors.

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FISH

SALMON AND RICE CASSEROLE


WITH CREAM OF ASPARAGUS
Show children that you don’t need to be a great chef to put a nourishing meal together. If you use left-over rice and
cook it in the microwave, this dish is even easier to prepare. Tuna can be substituted for the salmon.

Serves 3–4
400 g can salmon, red or pink
400 g can cream of asparagus soup
400 g can mixed vegetables
2 tsp olive oil
2 cups cooked, plain rice (see page 37)
3 tbsp dried breadcrumbs
about 50 g Swiss-style cheese

Equipment: Method:
can opener 1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
strainer 2. Open can of salmon and drain liquid. Open can of soup. Open can of mixed vegetables and
medium oven dish drain.
teaspoon measure 3. Brush oven dish with oil and sprinkle base with cooked rice. Top with drained vegetables and
pieces of salmon.
kitchen brush
4. Pour asparagus soup evenly over the top and sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
grater
5. Carefully grate cheese and sprinkle on top of casserole.
kitchen scales
6. Place in preheated oven and heat for about 20 minutes. Alternatively, use a microwave-safe
dish and heat in the microwave, covered with plastic film, for 5 minutes on high.

☞ MAKE SPACE TO GROW HERBS


When I was about eight years old, my dad gave me a little plot in the garden to grow whatever I wanted. I really loved it.
Both my father and mother helped me establish the plot with herbs and flowers and I was so proud when my mother used
my herbs in the family cooking. If you don’t have a garden, remember that herbs grow well in pots on a windowsill or in
polystyrene boxes.

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7
MEAT
Most kids love lean and tender meat. They can learn to cook it themselves, either
pan-fried or barbecued, cut into cubes on shasliks or roasted and thinly sliced.
Take children when you shop at the butcher and poultry shop and let them order
sometimes. Teach them the names of the different cuts, such as chops, cutlets,
rump steak, leg of lamb, sirloin, eye fillet, chicken drumsticks, chicken thighs and
fillets. Show them how to trim the fat or skin from meat using a boning knife and
how to cut meat into strips for stir-frying. All meat goes off quickly at room
temperature, so explain to them the importance of keeping meat refrigerated until
just a little while before cooking it.
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HAMBURGERS
Hamburgers are healthy when the meat is fresh and lean. Children love making the mixture, shaping the burgers and
watching them cook. You can make little burgers in little buns and get the kids to garnish them with vegetables and
greens of their choice. See picture on page 58.

Makes 4 burgers

1 small white onion To serve burgers in a roll you will need:


2 tsp chopped fresh herbs (such as basil or parsley) or 1 tsp mixed dried herbs 4 hamburger buns
1 1
/2 cup breadcrumbs, preferably fresh /2 cup shredded lettuce
300 g lean minced beef 8 slices tomato or 8 slices of canned beetroot
2 tsp Worcestershire sauce 4 slices cheddar cheese
1 egg tomato sauce (of course!)
salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 tbsp plain flour
tomato sauce, for serving

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Peel onion, remove ends and carefully grate.
grater 2. If using fresh herbs, wash them, pat dry and chop finely.
chopping board 3. Place onion and herbs in bowl with breadcrumbs, mince, Worcestershire sauce, egg, salt and
teaspoon measure pepper. Mix well using wooden spoon.
large bowl 4. Using moistened hands, shape mixture into 4 burgers.
1
/2-cup measure 5. Place flour on plate and lightly coat burgers. Dust off any excess flour.
teaspoon measure 6. Heat non-stick frying pan and cook burgers for approximately 3–5 minutes on each side or until
golden brown.
wooden spoon
7. Remove from pan and serve with tomato sauce.
tablespoon measure
dinner plate
To serve burgers in a roll:
non-stick frying pan Split hamburger bun and warm in oven or microwave. Place a little shredded lettuce in bun,
lifter top with burger and remaining ingredients and serve.

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MEAT

MINI LAMB ROAST WITH GRAVY


It takes only about 25 minutes to prepare a mini lamb roast – a boneless cut from the leg. You’ll be able to keep older
children’s attention right to the end. Show them how to carve the roast.

Serves 3
1/2 brown onion

1 small carrot
1
/2 stick celery
1 lean mini lamb roast, about 400 g
5 cm sprig of rosemary
1 tbsp olive oil
1/2 cup water

1 tsp cornflour
1 tbsp dry white wine or dry sherry
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Method:
peeler 1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
sharp knife 2. Peel onion and carrot. Cut onion, carrot and celery into about 1 cm squares.
chopping board 3. Trim lamb of excess fat. Detach rosemary leaves from stem and press leaves into meat.
small roasting tray 4. Place roasting tray on medium heat on top of the stove. Add olive oil and after 30 seconds add
tablespoon measure meat. Brown meat all over, turning it with the tongs. Add vegetables around the meat and stir
for 1 minute.
tongs
5. Carefully place roasting tray in preheated oven and bake for 8 minutes. Turn meat over and
oven mitts bake for another 8 minutes.
plate 6. Carefully remove tray from oven using the oven mitts. Using tongs, remove meat, place on a
piece of foil plate and cover with foil. Place tray on top of the stove on medium heat. Add 1/2 cup water to
1
/2-cup measure tray and stir until it simmers.

small bowl 7. In a small bowl, mix cornflour with wine, then add this to simmering gravy. Stir well and
simmer for another 30 seconds.
teaspoon measure
8. Strain gravy into a small saucepan, season with salt and pepper and keep warm on low heat.
fine strainer
9. Carefully carve meat into slices that are no more than 1 cm thick and serve with the gravy.
small saucepan
carving knife

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PAN-FRIED LAMB CUTLETS


WITH OREGANO AND LEMON
Children love holding the bone and nibbling the meat from the cutlets. This dish is great when served with Crumbed
Grilled Tomatoes (see page 44) or mashed potato (see page 48).

Serves 2
4 lamb cutlets
1 tsp dried oregano
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp olive oil
1/4 lemon

For those who prefer crumbed cutlets, you will need:


1 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten with 1 tbsp water
1
/2 cup dried breadcrumbs

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Using a sharp knife, trim cutlets of any excess fat.
chopping board 2. Season cutlets with oregano, salt and pepper.
teaspoon measure 3. Heat oil in frying pan on medium heat.
tablespoon measure 4. Cook cutlets for 2–3 minutes on each side. (Don’t overcook the lamb – it is best when tender
and pink on the inside.)
non-stick frying pan
5. Squeeze lemon juice over cutlets just before serving.

For crumbed cutlets:


1. Coat cutlets lightly in flour and dust off any excess.
2. Dip cutlets in egg mixture and then lightly coat in breadcrumbs.
3. Press crumbs on firmly and refrigerate for 1 hour. To cook, follow recipe above, from step 3.

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EVERYONE HAS COOKING TRICKS TO SHARE


You don't need to be a great cook to share what you know about food with children. Even if a grandad doesn't do much
cooking, he can still teach his grandchildren a thing or two. Perhaps he's a barbecue expert or has a vegetable garden.
Children will love cooking meat on a barbecue, just as they will love the surprise of pulling up new carrots out of the
ground, or picking ripe tomatoes from the bush. All of these little things add up to a well-rounded education about food.

Kids' tastes can be influenced by people other than their parents, and they might eat things that they wouldn't otherwise
try if they are in someone else's environment. It's good to take advantage of the positive effect this can have. And adults
other than the parents often have more time to spend with kids, and they have the patience to let children try new things.
Remember that brothers can teach little brothers and sisters, uncles and aunties can teach nieces and nephews, and so on.
Let's do it!

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

STIR-FRIED BEEF
WITH VEGETABLES
Your butcher may help you prepare the meat for this stir-fry. Take the kids with you so they can see how it is done.

Serves 2
200 g lean rump steak
1/2 tbsp Chinese rice wine

1 tsp cornflour
1/2 tbsp cold water

150 g green beans


1 cup boiling water
400 g can baby carrots
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 clove garlic, left in a piece

1 slice ginger, about 2mm thick


about 1/2 cup bean shoots
1 tbsp low-salt soy sauce
1/2 tsp sesame oil

Equipment: Method:
sharp knife 1. Cut meat into 5 mm strips.
chopping board 2. In a bowl, combine rice wine with cornflour and cold water. Mix in the meat and marinate in the
1
/2-tablespoon measure refrigerator for 10 minutes.

teaspoon measure 3. Top and tail beans and cut in half. Place in the second bowl and cover with boiling water from
the kettle. Drain after 5 minutes.
2 medium mixing bowls
4. Carefully open can of carrots and drain liquid in strainer. Place carrots on a plate.
kettle
5. Heat half of the vegetable oil in wok on high heat. Add drained beans and stir-fry for 3 minutes.
cup measure Place beans on plate with carrots.
can opener 6. Heat remaining vegetable oil in wok and stir in garlic, slice of ginger and meat. Stir-fry on high
strainer heat for about 30 seconds, then add beans, carrots, bean shoots and soy sauce, stirring until all
ingredients are hot. Just before serving, stir in sesame oil.
plate
tablespoon measure
wok
wok spoon
1
/2-cup measure

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MEAT

QUICK CHICKEN, PEA


AND CORN CASSEROLE
Teach kids to name the various chicken cuts by taking them with you to the supermarket or butcher. You can serve this
dish with pasta shells or with bread.

Serves about 3
400 g can green peas
400 g can cream of chicken and corn soup
1/2 brown onion

1/2 tbsp vegetable oil

about 400 g chicken thigh fillets, deboned and cut into bite-size pieces
a handful of coriander leaves (optional)
salt and freshly ground black pepper

Equipment: Method:
can opener 1. Open can of peas and drain. Open can of soup.
strainer 2. Place halved onion, cut side down on the chopping board and chop it (see below).
chopping board 3. Heat oil in wok on high heat for 10 seconds. Add chicken pieces and chopped onion and
sharp knife stir-fry for about 3 minutes.

tablespoon measure 4. Add drained peas and chicken and corn soup. Reduce heat, bring to a simmer and simmer
for 5 minutes.
wok or non-stick frying pan
5. Finely slice coriander and stir into casserole. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve.
wooden spoon or wok spoon

☞ CHOPPING AN ONION
Many recipes begin with ‘chop an onion’, so it’s a useful technique for older kids to learn. Here’s how to do it:
1. Peel the onion and cut it in half from the middle of the root through to the stalk end.
2. Place one half of the onion, cut side down, on the chopping board with the root facing away from you. Using a sharp
chef’s knife, make vertical cuts about 3 mm apart but stopping about 1 cm from the root so as to prevent the onion
from falling apart. Hold the onion firmly with your other hand during this procedure.
3. Turn the half onion around and make cuts about every 5 mm through it, horizontally this time, from the base up to the
top, but again don’t cut right through the root, stopping about 1 cm from the root. Take care to hold the onion firmly
with the other hand as this is the most difficult step and extra care must be taken.
4. Lastly, cut the half onion vertically about every 3 mm to obtain a finely chopped onion.
At first, this technique seems difficult, but with practice children will become quite skilful.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

CHICKEN CURRY WITH BANANA


Making a curry is a good way of introducing children to spices. They can learn to like it if it’s not too hot in flavour.
Sliced banana or canned pineapple pieces are a delicious accompaniment to curry.

Serves 2
1/2 brown onion

2 tbsp flour
4 chicken pieces (drumsticks or thighs), skinned
1 tbsp oil
2 tsp mild curry powder
150 g can coconut milk
1 banana
1 tsp lemon juice
2 tbsp sultanas
freshly ground black pepper to taste
boiled rice, for serving (see page 37)

Equipment: Method:
chopping board 1. Using a sharp knife, peel and chop onion (see page 65).
sharp knife 2. Place flour in bowl, add chicken pieces and lightly coat in flour.
tablespoon measure 3. Heat oil in a pan. Add onion and curry powder and stir with a wooden spoon on
medium bowl medium heat for 1–2 minutes.
non-stick frying pan or medium saucepan 4. Add chicken pieces and cook on both sides until lightly browned.
teaspoon measure 5. Carefully open the can of coconut milk, pour over chicken and stir well. Cover
with a lid and simmer for 15–20 minutes.
wooden spoon
6. Peel banana and cut into 1 cm slices.
can opener
7. Remove the lid and stir in banana, lemon juice and sultanas.
8. Season with pepper and serve with boiled rice.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PAN-FRIED CHICKEN FILLETS


Chicken fillet is a popular cut with children. They like its even colour and texture and its neutral flavour, so they’ll enjoy
learning to cook it.

Serves 2
2 chicken fillets, skin and fat removed
juice of 1/2 lemon
1
/2 tbsp olive oil
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/2 tsp dried oregano

Equipment: Method:
knife 1. Cut off any remaining fat from the chicken fillet.
chopping board 2. Squeeze the half lemon.
juicer 3. Place frying pan on medium heat and add oil. Wait 30 seconds, then place chicken
small non-stick frying pan fillets carefully in pan and cook for 5 minutes on the first side.

tablespoon measure 4. Turn fillets over using an egg lifter, and cook for another 5 minutes. Lower heat if it
is too hot.
egg lifter
5. Season chicken with salt, pepper and oregano. Add lemon juice to pan and shake pan.
teaspoon measure
6. Cover pan with foil, turn heat off and leave covered for 5 minutes before serving.
sheet of foil the size of the frying pan

☞ KIDS AND SEASONING


Seasoning can make a dish more exciting. Introduce kids to a wide variety of herbs, spices, condiments and sauces
(remember to read the labels) to widen their experience. A conservative and moderate approach is best with salt, salty
seasonings or sauces (soy sauce), very hot seasonings (mustard and chilli), acidic seasonings (vinegar and some pickles
and chutneys) and with sweet seasonings. Over-consumption of these foods may contribute to ill health.

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MEAT

PAN-FRIED PORK FILLET WITH


LEMON, CORIANDER AND SWEET CHILLI
Pork fillets are lean, tender and easy to cook. The sweet flavour of pork is appealing to most kids.

Serves 2–3
1 pork fillet, about 350 g
about 2 tbsp cornflour
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1/2 cup coriander leaves

1 lemon
1 tbsp water
1/2 tsp sweet chilli sauce

Equipment: Method:
chopping board 1. Cut pork fillet into 2 cm thick slices. Place cornflour on a plate and lightly coat pork fillet
sharp knife pieces with cornflour. Season with a little salt and pepper.
tablespoon measure 2. Heat oil in a non-stick pan on high heat. Add pieces of pork and cook on medium heat for
3 minutes. Using tongs, turn meat over and cook for a further 3 minutes.
plate
3. Meanwhile, finely chop coriander leaves and squeeze the lemon using the juicer.
medium non-stick frying pan
4. Add water, lemon juice and chilli sauce to pan and shake pan to coat meat. Add coriander,
tongs mix well and serve.
1
/2-cup measure
juicer
teaspoon measure

☞ COOK A NEW DISH SEVERAL TIMES A MONTH


When teaching adults, I suggest they cook a new dish about three times a month so they master it and remember it. The
same idea applies to children. Take the example of pancakes. After making pancakes three times, children will remember
that the ingredients are flour, eggs and milk, and they will have learned how to control the heat of the pan and the cooking
of the pancakes. They will also have gained confidence, speed and efficiency in preparing the dish. If you teach a new dish
every month to a child, they will be able to cook sixty dishes in five years.

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8
SWEET & FRUITY
Most children love preparing desserts and cakes, and these are often the first
dishes that they try. It’s important to feed their enthusiasm with lots of
encouragement. Introduce them to a wide variety of desserts, ranging from fruit
salads to pancakes, to muffins and cakes. Let them measure all the ingredients,
using cup measures and scales. Let them mix, stir and whip, and allow them to taste
the cake mixture or batter. Teach them to turn the oven on and off safely, and share
with them the importance of preheating the oven. Let them lick the bowl if they
promise to contribute to the cleaning and washing up afterwards.
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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

YOGHURT WITH
STRAWBERRIES AND APRICOTS
Even young children can do almost everything in this recipe. Start by getting them to count the fruit, collect the
equipment and help with the cleaning up.

Serves 2
1 cup plain natural yoghurt
2 tsp caster sugar
8 canned apricot halves or fresh apricot halves
6 large strawberries

Equipment: Method:
2 medium mixing bowls 1. Measure 1 cup yoghurt and place it in a bowl with the caster sugar. Using a spoon, stir until well
cup measure mixed and smooth.

teaspoon measure 2. Carefully open can of apricot halves and use the fork to remove 8 of them. Add apricots to the
bowl with the yoghurt.
spoon
3. Three-quarters fill the second mixing bowl with cold water. Place strawberries in the water and
can opener swirl them around to wash them. Lift strawberries from water and place them on a plate. Pour
fork the water out into the sink.
small plate 4. Hull strawberries and cut in half, using a table knife. Add strawberries to the bowl with the
yoghurt and mix together.
table knife

Note: If you are not eating this immediately, store it in the refrigerator covered with plastic film.

☞ A SENSE OF SEASON
Impress kids with the idea of cooking and eating seasonal foods, such as soups and stews in the colder months, and salads
and grills in the warmer months. Let them know when certain fruits and vegetables are in season, for example cherries in
late spring, peaches in summer, pears in autumn and oranges in winter.

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SWEET & FRUITY

PINEAPPLE FRUIT DRINK


Kids will love this refreshing drink on a hot day. It’s a great party recipe.

Serves 2
425 g can pineapple pieces
1 cup orange juice
1 cup mineral water
2 passionfruit
about 6 mint leaves

Equipment: Method:
can opener 1. Carefully open the can of pineapple and strain juice into a bowl.
strainer 2. Place the pineapple pieces on a tray and place in freezer for a few hours or even overnight.
bowl 3. Pour the orange juice and mineral water into the bowl with the reserved pineapple juice.
tray 4. Cut the passionfruit in half and scoop the pulp into the bowl using a teaspoon.
cup measure 5. Using a sharp knife, finely slice mint leaves. Add mint to the bowl with the juices and stir
sharp knife together with a spoon. Store this mixture in the refrigerator covered with plastic film until you
are ready to serve.
teaspoon
6. Add the frozen pineapple pieces just before serving.
large spoon

Note: This is a great drink to take out in a flask, as the frozen pineapple pieces keep the drink cold.

☞ MAKE A SHOPPING LIST


Before you go shopping, involve kids by getting them to write the list. As you decide what you need to buy, ask the child to
write it down. They can be made responsible for part of the shopping, especially for some grocery items. Get them to write
specific details on the list, e.g. an 825 g can Sliced Peaches in Natural Juice or 1 kg of large Granny Smith Apples.

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SUPER FRUIT SMOOTHIE


This healthy drink makes an ideal snack or special
breakfast. Children will need help with the electrical
equipment but it is exciting for them to see the
ingredients become a smooth purée.

Serves 2
1/2 cup plain natural yoghurt

1
/2 cup milk
1 scoop vanilla ice-cream
425 g can mango
1 tsp honey
a little ground cinnamon for dusting (optional)
2 strawberries (optional)

Equipment:
food processor or kitchen wand
1
/2-cup measure
large metal spoon or scoop
can opener
strainer
teaspoon measure

Method:
1. Measure yoghurt and milk and place in food processor. Add scoop of ice-cream.
2. Carefully open can of mango and drain. Discard syrup and place mango in food processor.
3. Measure honey and add to food processor. Turn the food processor on and blend until smooth.
4. Pour into glasses, and sprinkle with cinnamon. Decorate each glass with a strawberry and serve.

Note: You could process the smoothie in a 1-litre measuring jug with a kitchen wand instead of a food processor.

Variations:
• substitute mango for 2 small ripe bananas mashed on a plate with a fork
• substitute mango for 1 cup apricot halves or 1/2 cup of berries

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SWEET & FRUITY

STRAWBERRY, APPLE AND


BANANA FRUIT SALAD
Once kids know how to make this fruit salad, they will
have no problem creating their own special version,
using their favourite fruits. Ask little kids to hull the
strawberries and peel the banana.

Serves about 3
2 oranges
1–2 tbsp caster sugar
about 250 g strawberries
about 100 g blueberries, fresh or canned
1 large banana
1 apple

Equipment:
sharp knife
chopping board
juicer
medium salad bowl
medium mixing bowl
plate
peeler
spoon

Method:
1. Cut oranges in half and squeeze juice. Place juice in salad bowl with the sugar.
2. Three-quarters fill a medium mixing bowl with cold water. Add strawberries and gently wash them. Lift strawberries onto
a plate and discard water. Hull the strawberries, cutting large ones in half or quarters. Add strawberries to juice.
3. Wash blueberries in the same way as strawberries. Drain and add to the strawberries and orange juice.
4. Peel banana, cut into 1 cm pieces and add to strawberries. Stir gently.
5. Peel, quarter and core apple. Cut each quarter into 1 cm slices and add to other fruit.

Note: Cover bowl with plastic film and refrigerate if you are not eating this immediately.

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BUTTER CAKE
A simple, traditional cake, perfect for family birthday celebrations. Point out to children that the weight of the eggs,
sugar, flour and butter are the same but the volume is different. This cake is also perfect for making lamingtons.

Serves 8–10
a little softened butter and plain flour for cake tin
1 lemon
3 eggs, size 60 g
1/4 cup milk

180 g butter, lightly softened, but not melted


180 g caster sugar
180 g self-raising flour

Equipment: Method:
22 cm round cake tin or 1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
standard lamington tin 2. Brush tin with softened butter then dust with plain flour. Shake off excess flour.
pastry brush 3. Grate 1 tablespoon of lemon rind (the yellow part of the skin).
grater 4. Mix eggs with milk in a small bowl using a fork.
tablespoon measure 5. Cut butter into small cubes and place in large bowl. Add sugar and lemon rind and beat with
1
/4-cup measure electric beater for about 3 minutes until creamy. Beat in egg and milk mixture, adding it bit
small bowl by bit. Stop beating when just combined.

fork 6. Sift flour over mixture then, using a rubber spatula, gently fold in flour until just mixed.

sharp knife 7. Pour mixture into prepared tin, smooth the top and bake in preheated oven for 10 minutes.
Lower temperature to 150°C and bake for a further 50 minutes.
chopping board
8. Carefully remove tin from oven using oven mitts, and leave to stand for 10 minutes before
large bowl turning the cake out onto a cake rack to cool.
kitchen scales
hand-held electric beater
sifter
rubber spatula
oven mitts
cake rack

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SWEET & FRUITY

KIDS’ BIRTHDAY CAKE


A butter cake has a firmer texture than a sponge so it’s easier for children to decorate with icing and sweets, such as
Smarties, licorice, hundreds and thousands, musk sticks and jelly beans.

Serves 8–10
200 g icing sugar
200 g unsalted butter
1 egg white
1 tsp vanilla essence
1 butter cake, see page 76, or a bought sponge
a selection of lollies or berries

Equipment: Method:
kitchen scales 1. Sift the icing sugar into the mixing bowl.
sifter 2. Cut butter into small pieces and place in the mixing bowl with the icing sugar.
medium mixing bowl 3. Beat butter and sugar until creamy using the electric beater. Add egg white and vanilla and
sharp knife beat until very light.
chopping board 4. Spread the top and sides of the cold cake with the icing using a metal spatula or table knife.
hand-held electric beater 5. Let the children decorate the cake with lollies or berries and candles. Place cake on a platter
and refrigerate if not serving immediately. Light the candles and sing ‘Happy Birthday’!
teaspoon measure
metal spatula or table knife Note: To make chocolate icing, add 2 tablespoons of cocoa to icing sugar when sifting.
candles

☞ OBSERVE THE CHANGES THAT OCCUR DURING COOKING


It’s fascinating for kids to watch what is happening in a pan or wok, under the grill or in a bowl when food is being
prepared. For them, it’s magic to see the transformation when egg whites are beaten, when a cake rises, when a
mayonnaise comes together, when fish changes colour and when an egg becomes firm in a frypan. Explain to children
what is happening and encourage them to observe the changes closely.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PEAR AND SULTANA TART


Older children who have been cooking for a while will enjoy making this treat on their own. Little kids could make it with
assistance. Let them measure and mix everything.

Serves 6–8
825 g can pear halves in natural juice
50 g icing sugar
50 g very soft butter plus a little extra for greasing the tin
1 egg, size 60 g
50 g plain flour
1/2 tsp baking powder

2 tbsp sultanas
50 g almond meal
2 tbsp apricot spread (similar to jam but with less sugar)

Equipment: Method:
can opener 1. Preheat oven to 220°C.
large strainer 2. Carefully open can of pears and drain the juice. The juice is not used in this recipe.
sifter 3. Sift icing sugar into a mixing bowl. Add softened butter and mix with a wooden spoon until
kitchen scales combined.

2 medium mixing bowls 4. Add egg and mix until combined.

wooden spoon 5. Mix flour and baking powder in second bowl and sift over the butter and sugar mixture.
1
/2-teaspoon measure 6. Add sultanas and almond meal and mix until just combined.

tablespoon measure 7. Brush flan tin with a little softened butter. Pour cake mixture into the tin and spread it
gently and evenly using the rubber spatula.
pastry brush
8. Place pear halves, cut side down, decoratively on top of the cake mix.
loose-bottomed flan tin
9. Bake in preheated oven for 5 minutes, then reduce temperature to 180°C and bake for a
rubber spatula further 20 minutes. Remove from oven using oven mitts.
small glass or porcelain bowl 10. Place apricot spread in a small bowl and soften for 10 seconds in the microwave. Brush top
oven mitts of tart with apricot spread.
cake rack 11. Carefully unmould tart onto a cake rack and allow to cool.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

CHOCOLATE CAKE
For this simple cake, it’s best to use a hand-held electric beater if you have one. Just dust the cake with icing sugar and
serve with a few berries as shown on page 70, or finish with a chocolate icing (see page 77).

Serves 8–10
a little softened butter and some plain flour for the cake tin
11/2 cups thickened cream
2 tbsp cocoa
4 eggs, size 60 g
11/4 cups caster sugar
2 cups self-raising flour

Equipment: Method:
round or other-shaped cake tin, 1. Preheat oven to 160°C.
20–24 cm diameter 2. Brush tin with softened butter then dust with plain flour. Shake off excess flour.
pastry brush 3. Place cream and cocoa in a medium bowl and whisk until all the cocoa is combined with
1
/2-cup measure the cream.
tablespoon measure 4. Gently break eggs into a large bowl. Add sugar and beat using an electric beater, for about
medium bowl 5 minutes until mixture is thick and creamy.

whisk 5. Using a rubber spatula, gently mix chocolate cream into egg mixture, but don’t overmix.

large bowl 6. Sift flour over mixture and fold in gently using metal spoon. Don’t overmix, but don’t
undermix either.
1
/4-cup measure
7. Pour mixture into prepared tin and bake in preheated oven for 1 hour. If you use a wider
hand-held electric beater cake tin, the cake may only take 50–55 minutes to cook.
rubber spatula 8. Carefully remove tin from oven using mitts. Allow to cool in the tin for 5 minutes before
cup measure turning cake out onto a cake rack to cool.
sifter
Note: To check if a cake is cooked, push a wooden skewer through the centre. If the skewer
large metal spoon
comes out dry and clean, the cake is cooked.
oven mitts
cake rack

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SWEET & FRUITY

CHOCOLATE CHIP BISCUITS


These yummy biscuits are very easy to make.

Makes approximately 40
1/4 cup chopped walnuts or pecans (optional)

125 g butter
1/2 cup caster sugar

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 egg
1/2 tsp vanilla essence

13/4 cups self-raising flour


pinch of salt
1/2 cup choc bits

Equipment: Method:
kitchen scales 1. Preheat oven to 170˚C.
1
/4-cup measure 2. Chop nuts to about the same size or a little finer than choc bits.
knife 3. Cut butter into small cubes. Place the butter and white and brown sugars in a large bowl. Using
chopping board electric beater, beat mixture until creamy.
1
/2-cup measure 4. Crack egg into a small bowl and lightly beat with a fork. Add beaten egg and vanilla essence to
the creamed mixture and stir using a wooden spoon.
large bowl
5. Place the flour and salt in the sifter and sift over mixture. Add choc bits and chopped walnuts
hand-held electric beater and mix well. Using a soup spoon, shape mixture to the size of golf balls and place on baking
small bowl trays about 6 cm apart.
fork 6. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until golden brown. Remove trays from oven
1
/2-teaspoon measure using mitts. Remove biscuits with lifter and allow to cool on rack.

wooden spoon 7. Once cool, store in an airtight container.

sifter
soup spoon
2 flat baking trays
lifter
oven mitts
cake rack

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

PANCAKES
Pancakes are an all time favourite for children to cook.
Help them to follow this simple recipe and then ask
them which filling they would like.

Serves 4
3/4 cup plain flour

pinch of salt
1 egg
1 cup milk
20 g butter or margarine
a little extra butter or margarine for cooking

Equipment:
1
/4-cup measure kitchen scales
sifter small saucepan
large bowl metal spoon
litre measuring jug small non-stick frying pan
fork lifter
cup measure serving plates
whisk

Method:
1. Measure flour and sift into bowl. Add salt and make a Suggested fillings:
hollow in the centre. • berry jam and a little smooth ricotta cheese
2. Crack egg into measuring jug and beat with fork. Add milk • diced canned fruit (e.g. apricot, apple or pear) with a sprinkle
3. Slowly add milk mixture to flour and mix well, whisking of cinnamon
until smooth. • sliced banana or other seasonal fruit, sprinkled with icing
4. Place butter in small saucepan and melt. Whisk melted sugar and drizzled with a little jam
butter into pancake mixture. • lemon juice and sugar
5. Heat non-stick frying pan and grease with a little butter. • sliced strawberries, sugar and lemon juice
6. Pour a little batter into pan. Tilt pan so the batter coats it,
then cook for about 1 minute. Turn pancake with lifter and
cook other side for 30 seconds. Lift onto plate and
continue making pancakes in the same way.
7. Spoon your choice of filling onto pancake and fold in half.

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SWEET & FRUITY

LEMON BANANA MUFFINS


Muffins are a great snack, easy and quick to bake,
and they are great for school lunches or afternoon tea.

Makes 12 muffins
1 cup wholemeal self-raising flour
1 cup self-raising flour
1 lemon
3 ripe bananas
1/3 cup vegetable oil

2/3 cup milk

1/3 cup brown sugar

2 small eggs

Equipment:
sifter
large bowl
grater
teaspoon measure
plate
fork
1
/3-cup measure
wooden spoon
non-stick muffin tray
cake rack

Method:
1. Preheat oven to 200°C.
2. Sift both flours into a large bowl, making sure to return husks from wholemeal flour back to bowl.
3. Carefully grate lemon. You will need about 2 teaspoons of rind.
4. Peel bananas and mash on a plate using a fork.
5. Make a well in the centre of the flour using a wooden spoon and add rind, mashed banana, oil, milk, sugar and eggs. Mix with
wooden spoon until just combined. Do not overmix.
6. Spoon mixture into muffin tray and bake in preheated oven for 15–20 minutes.
7. Turn cooled muffins out onto a cake rack and enjoy while still warm.
Note: If you don’t have a non-stick muffin tray, grease your tray with a little oil or butter.

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how to TEACH KIDS TO COOK

BAKED APPLES WITH


SULTANAS AND BANANA
My grandmother taught me to cook this dish and I loved coring the apples. Guide the children the first time they do it, as
the apples may roll.

Serves 2
2 large golden delicious apples
1 small banana
1 tbsp sultanas
4 tbsp apple juice, orange juice or water
2 tsp caster sugar

Equipment: Method:

apple corer 1. Preheat oven to 180°C.

chopping board 2. Wash apples and place on board, stem up. Holding the apple firmly, push the corer through the
centre and remove the core. Place apples in a small oven dish.
small baking tray or dish
3. Peel and dice banana. Fill apple cavity with banana and sultanas, placing leftover banana
knife around the apples.
tablespoon measure 4. Pour apple juice over apples and sprinkle with sugar.
teaspoon measure 5. Bake in preheated oven for about 45 minutes. Carefully lift apples onto plates, spoon sauce over
egg lifter and serve.

☞ CLEANING AND WASHING UP


From the very beginning, show children how to help you with the cleaning and washing up. Such skills are best learned by
positive example.

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INDEX
A capsicum, red Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75
apples in Fried Rice 39 Yoghurt with Strawberries and Apricots 72
Baked Apples with Sultanas and Banana 84 in Singapore Stir-fried Noodles 34 see also cakes
Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75 in Stir-fried Vegetables 47 dressings
Apricots and Strawberries with Yoghurt 72 in Vegetarian Pizza 18 Mayonnaise 25
Asparagus, Cream of, with Salmon and Rice carrot Salad Dressing 24
Casserole 57 Beetroot, Carrot and Cheese Salad 22 drinks
B Cheese, Grated Carrot and Beetroot Sandwich 11 Pineapple Fruit Drink 73
Bacon, Tomato Sauce and Olives with Pasta 32 Roasted Sweet Vegetables 43 Super Fruit Smoothie 74
Baked Apples with Sultanas and Banana 84 carrot, canned E
baked beans, canned in Stir-fried Beef with Vegetables 64 eggs
in Beans on Toast 15 in Tomato Soup with Vermicelli 26 Basic Omelette 12
Baked Fish Asian-Style 55 Cauliflower Cheese 46 Boiled 13
banana celery Crustless Quiche 14
Baked Apples with Sultanas and Banana 84 in Stir-fried Vegetables 47 how to separate 25
Chicken Curry with Banana 66 cheese with Jacket Potatoes 50
Lemon Banana Muffins 83 Beetroot, Carrot and Cheese Salad 22 Pan-fried 13
in Pancakes 82 Cauliflower Cheese 46 F
Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75 Cheese, Grated Carrot and Beetroot Sandwich 11 fish
beans, canned Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Toast 15 Baked Fish Asian-Style 55
Beans on Toast 15 in omelette 12 Fish Fillets Cooked in Foil 56
Tasty Tacos 16 chicken Pan-fried Fish Fillet 54
beans, green Chicken and Corn Soup 28 see also salmon, tuna
with Almonds 47 Chicken Curry with Banana 66 Fried Rice 39
in Stir-fried Beef with Vegetables 64 in omelette 12 fruit
in Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23 Pan-fried Chicken Fillets 68 in Pancakes 82
beef Quick Chicken, Pea and Corn Casserole 65 Pineapple Fruit Drink 73
Hamburgers 60 Chocolate Cake 80 Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75
Spaghetti Bolognese 33 Chocolate Chip Biscuits 81 Super Fruit Smoothie 74
Stir-fried Beef with Vegetables 64 chocolate icing 77 Yoghurt with Strawberries and Apricots 72
Tasty Tacos 16 corn, canned creamed see also specific fruit
beetroot, canned Chicken and Corn Soup 28 G
Beetroot, Carrot and Cheese Salad 22 with Jacket Potatoes 50 garlic, how to chop 34
Cheese, Grated Carrot and Beetroot Sandwich 11 corn, canned whole gravy 61
in Hamburgers 60 in Crustless Quiche 14 Green Beans with Almonds 45
biscuits in Fried Rice 39 Green Salad 24
Chocolate Chip Biscuits 81 in Stir-fried Vegetables 47 Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Toast 15
blueberries in Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23 H
in Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75 in Vegetarian Pizza 18 ham
Boiled Eggs 13 crab meat, canned Ham and Pineapple Pizza 17
broccoli in Crustless Quiche 14 Ham, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich 10
in Stir-fried Vegetables 47 Crumbed Grilled Tomatoes 44 in omelette 12
Butter Cake 76 Crustless Quiche 14 in Singapore Stir-fried Noodles 34
C D Hamburgers 60
cakes desserts J
Butter Cake 76 Baked Apples with Sultanas and Banana 84 Jacket Potatoes 50
Chocolate Cake 80 Pancakes 82 K
Kids’ Birthday Cake 77 Pear and Sultana Tart 78 Kids’ Birthday Cake 77

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L pork Stir-fried Beef with Vegetables 64


lamb Pan-fried Pork Fillet with Lemon, Coriander and Stir-fried Vegetables 45
Mini Lamb Roast with Gravy 61 Sweet Chilli 69 strawberries
Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets with Oregano and Lemon potato in Pancakes 82
62 Jacket Potatoes 50 Strawberry, Apple and Banana Fruit Salad 75
Lemon Banana Muffins 83 Mashed Potato 48 in Super Fruit Smoothie 74
M Potato Wedges and Yoghurt Dip 51 Yoghurt with Strawberries and Apricots 72
mango, canned prawns, canned T
in Super Fruit Smoothie 74 in Fried Rice 39 tacos 16
Mashed Potato 48 Pumpkin Soup 29 Toasted Tuna Sandwich 19
Mayonnaise 25 Q tomato
Mini Lamb Roast with Gravy 61 quiche 14 Crumbed Grilled Tomatoes 44
Muffins, Lemon Banana 83 R Grilled Cheese and Tomato on Toast 15
N rice Ham, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich 10
Noodles, Singapore Stir-fried 34 Fried Rice 39 in Hamburgers 60
O Plain Rice 37 in omelette 12
olives Salmon and Rice Casserole with Cream of in Toasted Tuna Sandwich 19
Pasta with Bacon, Tomato Sauce and Olives 32 Asparagus 57 in Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23
in Vegetarian Pizza 18 ricotta cheese tomato, canned
omelette 12 in Pancakes 82 in Ham and Pineapple Pizza 17
onion, how to chop 65 Roasted Sweet Vegetables 43 in Pasta with Bacon, Tomato Sauce and Olives 32
P S in Spaghetti Bolognese 33
Pancakes 82 salad in Vegetarian Pizza 18
Pan-fried Chicken Fillets 68 Beetroot, Carrot and Cheese Salad 22 Tomato Soup with Vermicelli 26
Pan-fried Eggs 13 Green Salad 24 tuna, canned
Pan-fried Fish Fillet 54 Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23 Toasted Tuna Sandwich 19
Pan-fried Lamb Cutlets with Oregano and Lemon 62 Salad Dressing 24 Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23
Pan-fried Pork Fillet with Lemon, Coriander and see also Mayonnaise V
Sweet Chilli 69 salmon, canned vegetables
Parmesan with Short Pasta 36 in Crustless Quiche 14 in Crustless Quiche 14
pasta with Jacket Potatoes 50 how to slice 42
Pasta with Bacon, Tomato Sauce and Olives 32 Salmon and Rice Casserole with Cream of how to steam, boil and microwave 42
Short Pasta with Parmesan 36 Asparagus 57 Roasted Sweet Vegetables 43
Spaghetti Bolognese 33 sandwiches in Singapore Stir-fried Noodles 34
Tomato Soup with Vermicelli 26 Cheese, Grated Carrot and Beetroot Sandwich 11 Smooth Vegetable Purée 42
Pear and Sultana Tart 78 Ham, Lettuce and Tomato Sandwich 10 Stir-fried Beef with Vegetables 64
peas, canned Toasted Tuna Sandwich 19 Stir-fried Vegetables 45
Quick Chicken, Pea and Corn Casserole 65 Singapore Stir-fried Noodles 34 Tuna and Vegetable Salad 23
pineapple, canned Smoothie, Fruit 74 in Vegetarian Pizza 18
Ham and Pineapple Pizza 17 snow peas Vegetarian Pizza 18
Pineapple Fruit Drink 73 in Singapore Stir-fried Noodles 34 Vermicelli with Tomato Soup 26
pizza soup Y
Ham and Pineapple Pizza 17 Chicken and Corn Soup 28 yoghurt
Vegetarian Pizza 18 Pumpkin Soup 29 in Super Fruit Smoothie 74
Tomato Soup with Vermicelli 26 Yoghurt Dip 51
Spaghetti Bolognese 33 Yoghurt with Strawberries and Apricots 72

86