jamie cooking with kids

It’s barely a month until Food Revolution Day on Friday 16 May, so we’re super busy at Jamie Oliver HQ. This year it’s all about getting kids excited about food, and we are calling all kids, families and grown-ups to join our campaign. We want everyone to get cooking, share their love of food and inspire others to get excited too.

Food Revolution Day is a global day of action to highlight the importance of teaching our children where their food comes from, how to cook it and how it affects their bodies. But it’s not just about one day; it’s also about ensuring our kids learn good eating habits for life, and the best way to do this is to get them cooking at home.  We’ve got lots of recipes on the Food Revolution Day website that are specially designed to be cooked with young ones, and one of our favourites are the Crunchy carrot pittas.

It’s easy to think of carrots as a bit boring – usually just boiled or steamed with a Sunday roast – but kids love them, and with a bit of imagination they can be really versatile. This recipe is a perfect example of how you can create a delicious and nutritious meal from a few simple ingredients – with the carrot being the star!

Get your kids to scrub the carrots until they are nice and clean, then peel them carefully using a Y-shaped peeler. There are lots of fun facts you can tell them about carrots while they are preparing them: did you know that when carrots were first grown they were purple, not orange? You can also find yellow, pink, white, red and even black carrots too! Or, did you know that carrots are high in vitamin A, which helps us to see in the dark?  Our favourite fact is that wild carrots are called “Queen Anne’s Lace”, because they produce beautiful flowers that look like the intricate lace she would have sewn!

Being careful of little fingers, help children to grate the carrots coarsely using a box grater –one with a nice firm grip at the top and a non-slip base is best for kids so they can hold it firm and avoid it slipping. Meanwhile, you can toast the seeds and put the pittas into an oven to warm up.

The citrus dressing is great fun for kids to get involved with too; squeezing oranges and lemons to get as much juice out of them as possible, and carefully measuring out the oil. Sometimes children find it difficult to hold a spoon and pour into it at the same time, so help them out by holding the spoon for them. Mix the dressing up with the carrots, coriander and seeds, and voila your delicious salad is ready. Make sure an adult takes the pitta breads out of the oven and cuts them open because they can release really hot steam when cut into. You can serve your carrot pittas as a light lunch with some homemade hummus, or make it a more substantial meal but adding some grilled chicken and feta cheese. Either way, have a go with you kids and share your pictures with us online using the hashtag #FRD2014.

Follow Jamie Oliver’s board Food Revolution Day 2014 everything you need on Pinterest.

About the author

The Jamie Oliver Food Foundation (UK) is a registered charity that delivers food-education programmes, all of which work to keep cooking skills alive, using the magic of food to inspire and empower individuals and communities to create a better future for themselves and others. Within the Foundation there are three programmes: Jamie's Ministry of Food A range of independently run cooking schools across the UK, delivering engaging, community-focused programmes that teach basic cooking skills to attendees, inspiring healthier, better-informed food choices. We currently have six Ministry of Food Centres. Jamie Oliver's Fifteen Apprentice Programme A 12-month chef apprentice course for unemployed young people with an interest in food. The programme includes formal training at college, hands-on experience in the Fifteen restaurant, personal development activities, and work experience at a range of top-end restaurants. Jamie's Kitchen Garden Project A hands-on food-education programme that teaches kids where food comes from, how to cook it, and how it affects their body. It is about setting kids up with the knowledge they need to make better food choices for life.

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