Here at the Jamie Oliver Food Foundation we are all about getting kids excited about food – and that’s what this year’s Food Revolution Day on 16 May is all about.
Anyone who has ever cooked with a child knows that, while it may be messy and the final dish nothing the picture, the experience is magic. Watching children develop skills in the kitchen is rewarding beyond belief, and you are never fully prepared for the overwhelmingly positive impact cooking has the child’s food choices.
With the right instructions and a bit of practice, even the smallest of children can accomplish big things in the kitchen. Learning how to use a box grater or handle a knife from a young age empowers children, and the sense of accomplishment that comes with making their own dish boosts confidence and self-esteem.
Jamie’s box grater fruit salad is a dream recipe for getting kids into the kitchen. We don’t normally think of grating fruit, but I promise you that this fruit salad makes for a deliciously sticky, colourful breakfast, all the while developing key grating skills for children. Grating bruises the fruit and brings out all of the natural sugars, creating a sweet juicy sauce for the fruit without needing to add extra sugar. Plus, kids like to get involved in things that sound a bit crazy and different.
Now, the most important thing when teaching children to use a box grater is to remind them that graters can be just as sharp as knives, so they have to take things slow. Tell them to mind their knuckles and keep their fingers back. Teach them to grate using nice big pieces, and stop before they get to the end of the ingredient – it’s always better to have a bit of leftover fruit than to end up with some shaved finger in your salad! For some great safety advice, check out the below video from our friends Fred and Sophia at St. Paul’s Whitechapel C of E Primary School.
Now, grating fruit can be tricky business. Apples are nice and firm to grip, but need a bit of extra pressure when grating, so children might help getting started. On the other hand, strawberries and bananas need a bit of extra attention so they don’t end up squished between tiny fingers. This recipe calls for some concentration, and will help children develop fine motor skills along the way.
So use this recipe to get stuck in this weekend, and see what your children can do! Share your pictures with us on social media and stay tuned for more tips on getting cooking with your kids.