Grab your apron and get cooking in the kitchen with the kids, making some messy but beautiful memories.
Half term is upon us and dads across the UK will be scrambling to find stuff to keep the kids entertained. After the usual list of cinema, museums and meals out dries up, ideas and inspiration can be hard to come by. However, a great way for children and their fathers to bond and spend some time together is to cook.
Getting busy in the kitchen is the perfect way to have fun with the kids, and the reward of delicious, homemade food is always a winner. Another huge benefit of cooking with the kids is the opportunity to educate them about healthy food and – if you’re really lucky – introduce them to some healthy meals they really like. Most dads will attest that getting kids to eat healthily can be like nailing jelly to the ceiling, and with childhood obesity on the rise, it’s become even more important to find creative ways of improving children’s diets.
New research from Wholegrain Goodness – a not-for-profit campaign that aims to raise consumer awareness about the health and culinary benefits of wholegrains – found that that three in ten kids think healthy eating is boring. What’s more, two thirds of children think eating healthily isn’t important and one in four say healthy food doesn’t taste nice. There is undoubtedly a need to help change the opinions of children – especially when it comes to eating decent food.
One way for parents to do this is to create healthy versions of their favourite foods. There aren’t many children out there who wouldn’t put pizza on their top five list of favourite foods; so using oats – in the preparation of the base – can work a treat!
There’s also a clear need for better understanding of the nutritional value of foods among both adults and children. This study found widespread confusion across all ages around what foods contain wholegrains, with more than three quarters not realising popcorn is a wholegrain and about half not realising porridge is, and a number of children even believed cheese contains wholegrains!
This lack of knowledge about food could be down to a lack of experience of cooking for many children: Only one in four children regularly help make meals – with this figure dropping by 50% when it comes to boys. More than a third also said they would like to cook more, so for inspiration, Wholegrain Goodness threw 6 kids into a professional kitchen and set them a challenge to make a delicious vegetable salsa verde pizza.
Watch the video to see the results and try out the recipe below with your kids – surprisingly good, but messy!
Vegetable & Salsa Verde Scone Pizza
250g self-raising wholemeal flour
3 tbsp cold-pressed rapeseed oil
175ml skimmed milk
400g can chopped tomatoes
2 cloves garlic, crushed
25g pack basil, roughly chopped
25g pack chives, roughly chopped
1 courgette, peeled into ribbons
1 red pepper, diced
200g spinach, wilted
125g Fresh Light Mozzarella
Method (Revised for children):
Preheat the oven to 200°C.
Mix the flour and oats together.
Add 2 tbsp rapeseed oil and the milk to form a dough.
Roll out to a 30cm circle and place on a non-stick baking tray.
Bake for 5 minutes.
Spread homemade tomato pizza sauce over the scone base.
Whizz the herbs up with the remaining rapeseed oil in a small food processor.
Mix the oil with the courgettes and red pepper. Add some black pepper.
Arrange the vegetables on the pizza.
Tear the Light Mozzarella into small pieces and arrange on top of the vegetables.
Bake for 15 minutes until golden.