Cooking with kids: easy recipes with bonus tips

Tips for Cooking with Kids

Posted by on December 13, 2017

If you’re anything like me, cooking with kids is a process that you need to work up to. You need the patience of a saint, some eye blinkers like horses wear so that you can’t see all the mess happening around you and you’re going to need wine.

BUT the kids love it… and you get to drink wine.

(probably not appropriate for morning baking, but whatever works).

These are my favourite recipes for not having a complete meltdown when cooking with kids.  I don’t aim high, and I don’t have any gluten-free, paleo, organic versions of these recipes.


Savoury Ham and Cheese Scrolls

No questions, this is the EASIEST savoury creation


*not true. there might be easier, I can neither confirm or deny.  I haven’t seen every recipe in the entire world.  


Puff pastry

Tomato Paste

Ham (whatever you fancy)

Cheese (we use tasty).

Egg (beaten, to brush. Also to crack all over the bench and hands)

Cooking with kids method

Get puff pastry out of freezer and line up sheets wherever there is no lego/random socks/87 thousand plastic cups that have been used once each.

Pour a wine (not essential but recommended for a smooth cooking with kids session).

Spread a thin layer of tomato paste over pastry.  Try to leave about 1cm on one side of the pastry, but you’re cooking with kids so you know – roll with it.

Scatter some sliced ham across the tomato paste.

Repeat with cheese.  Think of it like a pizza.

Pour another wine and pretend that your inner OCD freak isn’t bothered by the uneven application of toppings.

Roll up ye old scroll, starting at the opposite side of the 1cm bit that you may or may not have left, as this will be the bit that you’ve brushed with egg so that it sticks down once you’ve rolled it.

Try to roll them tightly, if your toddler will let you “help”.

Brush with egg (or pour entire egg onto scroll).

Cut each roll in 4 and cook for about 15 mins on whatever temp your kid has set the oven to – we aim for about 180.

Pour a wine and start the process of wiping tomato paste off every surface of your house.

Banana Bread

This is my nana’s recipe.  So of course it’s awesome.

I’ll be honest that we generally just huck everything into the bowl, but if you are REALLY pedantic about sifting, blending yadayadayada then go nuts.


1 egg

2 ripe bananas, mashed.

1/2 cup milk

60g melted butter

1/2 cup sugar

1 and 1/2 cups SR Flour

1/2 tsp vanilla.

Cooking with kids method

Argue over who is doing egg, milk and beaters.

Put butter, sugar, flour, egg, milk, mashed banana, vanilla in a bowl.

(bonding tip – make a game of trying not to get any on the bench. Kidding. Don’t do this, you’ll have a stroke)

Have turns using a hand held blender to mix the egg.  Marvel at how much mixture is flicking onto your clean splashback and bench top.

(optional – pour 125mls of wine into a wine glass or any drink receptacle and pretend to be calm about process).

Pour any mixture that’s left into a lined loaf tin and cook for about 45mins on 170.

Burn kitchen down to clean up.


If you feel like spending 7yrs flipping small pieces of frisbee shaped batter while fending off hungry hoards, you’ve come to the right place.


Wine (to taste. this is for you, not the kids).

1 cup SR flour

1/2 – 3/4 cups of milk

1 egg

1/2 cup sugar

Cooking with kids method

Before starting, hide in the pantry and take 76 deep breaths and envision yourself on a tropical island.

Put the oven on, and a calm relaxed face to counteract your hyperventilating interior.

Mix all the ingredients into a bowl.  The kids will want to take turns beating it, so good luck. Pretend you don’t notice the pikelet batter all over everything.

Heat a pan and stand there pouring small pikelet sized amounts into it.

Lift each child so they can watch the bubbles appear.  Take paracetamol when you feel your back twinge from repeatedly lifting wriggling children.

Occasionally curse under your breath when you leave them in the pan too long. Tell the kids that they’re not burnt, they’re bbq style.

Cheats Choc Chip Cookies

We have been known to count out choc chips for this recipe.  But if you can avoid that ridiculous process, then this is a great.


1 can of condensed milk

2 cups SR flour

120g melted butter

Choc chips

Cooking with kids method

Mix melted butter and condensed milk together. Just a spoon – no beaters necessary here. Thank f*#$.

Add in the flour.

Open a new packet of choc chips because the kids ate the first packet while you were finding a bowl that hasn’t been used outside in the sandpit.

Stir in the choc chips.  Make sure you sample the quality of choc chips to ensure that your kids are getting only the best.

Break up the fight over who is putting the mixture onto the trays.

Give everyone a spoon with mixture on it to keep them quiet.

If there is enough mix to actually make cookies, go ahead and put the mixture onto the trays yourself and try to imagine that this is an enjoyable, stressfree bonding experience.

Tip: coughing is a great way to sample bits of mixture without being caught.

Cook for about 12-15 mins on 180 degrees.  Google boarding schools while you wait.

Tips to cooking with kids

In summary, it CAN be fun.  Sometimes.  If all the moons align, you’ve had 12hrs of uninterrupted sleep, there is a professional cleaner coming later that day (like the ones who usually clean crime scenes).

Follow my 5 top tips for cooking with kids and you’ll nail it every time.

  1. Don’t do it.
  2. Accept the fact that nothing will go as you plan.
  3. Convince yourself that mess is part of life.
  4. Subscribe to a wine delivery service.
  5. See #1.