barbecue marinaded meats with veg on skewers

By Ren Behan

The summer holidays usually mean a break from the everyday routine of school runs, classes, clubs and homework. Things are a little more relaxed with September and the new term still a few weeks away.  The summer is a perfect opportunity to try a few new recipes and to get the kids into the kitchen. They can help you with the cooking duties and, hopefully, keep out of mischief!

Start the day at a more leisurely pace by treating yourselves to some simple USA pancakes. The kids can measure out the ingredients, and help mix the batter. Once you’re ready get the pan hot and let them tip the batter from a jug or ladle. If you’ve got batter to spare they could even try flipping them! There are lots of different toppings you can try, so ask the kids what they want, making sure they pick lots of fruit and as well as the naughtier stuff.

Kids really love building their own food – it gives them something to do at the table and the can chose to add in whatever they like. Wraps are fun, just put out some bowls and let the kids prepare their own fillings, such as grated carrot, cheese, tuna or tinned salmon and sweetcorn, egg mayonnaise, some salad bits, chopped spring onions and sliced peppers. Then simply let the kids fill up their wraps and roll them up ready to eat. Wraps also make great portable, healthy picnic food.

A tasty hands-on recipe to try at teatime is Jamie’s best marinated chicken kebabs. The kids can get involved picking the herbs, chopping the spring onions and squeezing the lemon, and also getting all the lovely ingredients on the skewers.

Some other simple projects for the kids to do in the kitchen might include making their own mini pizzas or a simple bread dough, baking and customising their own cookies and biscuits or even making recipes to a world food theme. Pick and country together and let the kids design and set up their own mini restaurant with menus and colourful cutlery and napkins to match.

And finally, for a quick cool-down or power snack, try making your own smoothies. It’s a great way to interact and get the kids involved and you’ll also be packing in lots of extra fruit and vitamins. Watch Jamie’s online Editor Jim getting stuck into making some Frozen fruit smoothies with his kids for a bit of colourful inspiration.

Ren Behan is a food writer and a mum of two – find our more at

About the author

Ren Behan is a well-known food writer and mum-of-three based in Hertfordshire, UK. She grew up in a food-loving Polish household and now writes a popular family-friendly and seasonally-inspired blog at

Ren Behan


Barbecue, Kids