Cooking with the whole family can be loads of fun. It’s a great way to keep everyone entertained, and feeding kids and their imaginations is super-easy with a few family favourites up your sleeve.
Jamie says: “Cooking has got to be up there as one of the most valuable skills we can teach our children. Getting the little ones excited about food, where it comes from and how to cook it, gives them a better chance of being healthier and happier in the long run.”
We’ve rounded up our favourite recipes to cook with kids so you never run out of inspiration. They’ll develop key skills and explore new tastes and textures, and you’ll get to enjoy a delicious meal you’ve made together.
A family classic for a reason, Buddy’s spaghetti Bolognese recipe is packed with veg for a healthy recipe you can cook with kids. It freezes brilliantly, so it’s a great batch-cook recipe you can make as a family.
This Friday-night favourite is a fantastic recipe to help kids practise their chopping skills. The vibrant corn salsa brings some colour and zing, and crunchy lettuce finishes everything off nicely.
If you’re looking for a kid-friendly breakfast recipe, this is a cracking place to start. Buddy’s scrambled egg recipe teaches kids how to make beautifully soft scrambled eggs that they can customise once they’ve mastered the basics.
For a simple introduction to the world of baking, you can’t beat this banana bread recipe. You only need a handful of ingredients and no fancy equipment, and it’s delicious sliced up as an afternoon treat.
Homemade pizza is a great starter recipe for kids new to cooking. Together you’ll learn how to make mini pizza bases and a 10-minute pizza sauce – finished off with their favourite toppings.
Refreshing and colourful, this extra-fine salad is a clever way to get kids tucking into lots of veg. It’s so flexible – you can use any crunchy veg you like, then simply toss through the quick dressing and dig in.
Making meatballs from scratch is a brilliant school-holiday activity. Kids will love grating up the veg and squishing it together with minced beef and breadcrumbs, before rolling into little balls.
Black beans, creamy avocado and sweetcorn are just some of the veg used this colourful homemade nachos recipe. Using wholemeal tortilla wraps for oven-baked chips keeps things healthy, too – ask the kids to help cut the wraps into triangles and spread them over baking trays.
Kneading and rolling out the dough is a great activity for little hands. These 3-ingredient flatbreads are lovely just as they are alongside soup or a quick curry, or with veg sticks and homemade houmous. Super-tasty, super-fun!
These colourful kebabs are a delicious way to get your little ones eating more veg. They’ll love making their own colourful patterns with the different ingredients, and are perfect served with Jamie’s flatbreads, above.
These simple chicken skewers are brilliant to make together. You can use any crunchy veg or fruit you like in the salsa – serve with fluffy couscous to soak up all the tasty juices.
Kids will love squashing and shaping the meat patties before building up the burger buns with their favourite fillings. There’s grating and slicing to help with, too, for the pickled cabbage and cucumber salad. Yum!
Buddy bashes chicken breasts flat with a rolling pin, coats them in garlicky breadcrumbs, bashes them again and cooks until golden and crispy. He then uses a herb brush to finish them off with a touch of honey. Noisy and messy, but fun!
For a refreshing snack during the summer holidays, kids will love making these homemade ice lollies. Simply blitz up fresh or frozen fruit with yoghurt and honey then freeze into moulds, and you’ll have a fruity iced treat ready for hot, sunny days.
For more inspiration for what to cook with little ones, check out our kids’ cooking page.
NOTE: When cooking with kids, use your common sense to determine what jobs they can help you with, depending on their age and skill level. It’s always good to start small, with jobs such as mixing and measuring, then progress to elements of a recipe, then go on to slightly trickier techniques over time. The more they cook, the better they’ll get. Make sure you supervise them when using heat or sharp utensils like knives and box graters, and teach them about the importance of washing their hands before they start, and after handling raw meat and fish, as well as other basic hygiene rules. Most of all, have fun with it, and encourage them to give things a go.