By now, parents and caregivers whose little ones have time off from school have figured out just how long the hours in the day can be when you’ve got an energetic kid, tween or teen to keep occupied.
Enter, culinary camp – Food24 edition! We’ve created a plan, with tons of resources, so you can simply reap the rewards: big smiles and a fairly quiet, mostly tidy home!
Grow your own fruit and veggies
Teaching your kids to grow their own produce is not only a fun, somewhat lengthy activity – but it’s also a great way to get them to appreciate fresh crops, be resourceful and get creative.
Ready your potting soil, planters and gardener’s gloves and fill a little spray bottle with water. Order in a few seeds – herbs such as basil, rocket and mint is a great place to start – then include one or two of your favourite seasonal fruit and vegetables and pop them onto the kitchen windowsill for some sun.
If you’d like to get really creative, create a themed planter. Go for your favourite cuisine and grow the herbs and vegetables typically used in those dishes together. For Mexican dishes, plant coriander, garlic and jalapeños; for Thai cuisine, opt for basil, lemongrass, peppers and ginger.
Next step: introduce them to kitchen tools. This nifty chart will help them differentiate between an egg lifter and a spatula, and know their saucepan from their casserole pot. Once they’ve mastered the basics, get them started on electrical tools like a mixer, blender, can opener and grill. Gently introduce heat – such as how to switch the stove and oven on and off, what each heat setting means and the effect it will have. (Lower heat will sauté and simmer while high heat will deep-fry, grill and seal.)
You could make a little project out of this and have your kids create their own ‘how-to’ chart, or you can print out a few helpful infographics.
It may take some convincing to get the kids to actually cook a meal, but enticing them with a sweet baked treat will having them folding quickly (especially if you allow them to lick the bowl!).
This is the perfect time to whip up batches of muffins, rusks and fruit loaves for breakfast; biscuits and cupcakes as treats; freshly baked bread; and tarts and puddings for after-dinner desserts. Encourage a love of giving in your little ones by baking a few sweet and savoury pies to gift to neighbours, family and friends.
If sweet doesn’t getting them excited, savoury just might! Get out those rolling pins, whip up some pizza bases and allow them to choose their own ‘pizza party’ toppings!
Here are few recipes your family can tackle:
With Easter a few weeks away, tots may enjoy making their own treats to fill Easter baskets with.
Pop in homemade lemon Easter cookies, mini peppermint and caramel-filled Easter eggs, chocolate-dipped figs with orange and almond, hot cross bun and white chocolate cake doughnuts, creamy coffee fudge and homemade marshmallow eggs.
Introduce your troupe to how things were done before the internet. Whip up your own homemade ginger beer, fruit lollies, ice-cream and more.