Hannah Gilbert, Nutritionist and Accredited Practising Dietitian from HelloFresh has kindly shared some fun cooking and food ideas to keep the kids entertained and loving meal times.
The weather’s starting to cool, the BBQ has been stashed away and a trip somewhere tropical just isn’t in the budget. Don’t despair, there’s still plenty of fun to be had at home, especially in the kitchen!
1. Helping hands
Without the busy pickups and after-school activities, school holidays are the perfect time to come together in the kitchen. Whether it’s baking an afternoon treat or helping with dinner, there lots of ways to get the kids involved!
Kids love to get their hands dirty, so get them onto things like crumbing chicken, rolling meatballs or shaping burger patties! Not only are they learning important life skills, but cooking is also a great way to get kids more familiar with different ingredients and flavours, and perhaps more willing to try new things!
2. Food Fiesta!
Who doesn’t love a party!? And what better excuse to have a themed night at home than the school holidays and your upcoming Baked Beef & Corn Quesadillas recipe from HelloFresh! Say Hola to all things Mexican…a family favourite for good reason! The food is often hands-on, plus the decoration screams fun! Get the kids to create some colourful decorations, hunt through the dress-up-box, throw on your sombreros and download some Mariachi tunes, you’ll soon have dinner turned into a fun fiesta!
3. Learn the lingo
Take the family on a culinary adventure and try cooking a new cuisine. A great way to introduce foreign flavours to your kids is to give them some background and get them engrossed in the culture. A simple way to do this is by challenging everyone to learn some fun facts about the country or a few words in the language and practice these together at the dinner table! In no time, your little ones could be greeting you in Italian, Thai, Indian or Spanish!
4. A Science lesson
That’s right, as well as spending precious time together creating tasty meals, cooking is often a lesson in science. Get the children to take notice of what happens when ingredients are combined or heated and how solids can turn into liquids. Cooking with the kids is also a fun way to start giving them basic nutrition knowledge. Point out the different elements of the meals you’re cooking, i.e. the veggies, protein and carbohydrates, and get them involved in plating up a balanced meal.
5. Get back to the dinner table
Dinnertime is an opportunity to connect and communicate with one another, relax, laugh and share stories. Studies have shown that children who eat with their family have healthier diets, do better academically and have higher self-esteem. Yep, it might be daunting, but your kids learn a lot about food, eating and table manners by watching what you do at mealtimes. If you’ve got a fussy eater or one with less desirable table manners, you may find that eating with the family will help encourage them to try new foods and mimic your manners. So yes folks, you need to be on your best behaviour too!
HelloFresh Family Favourite’s
Cheesy Beef Burgers with Caramelised Onion & Smokey Aioli
There’s something about a burger that kids go crazy for! From getting their hands messy and full of food as they make the patties, to stacking the ingredients inside the bread – burgers are just full of fun. Plus, this way kids not only get to feast on the end result, but can be excited to eat something they’ve helped create!
Baked Beef & Corn Quesadillas with Salsa & Sour Cream
Quesadillas are perfect for a dinnertime fiesta. They’re colourful, and fun, and kids can help construct and cook them! We guarantee they’ll also love the novelty of being able to eat dinner with their hands (excuse the mess)!