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With all of us spending more time at home, making a meal as a family can be a great way to break up the day and do something a little different. Cooking right now doesn’t have to be elaborate – making something simple and delicious and enjoying it together can be more than enough. Call it a day on work and study and get the kids into the kitchen for a novel way to learn and play with our top tips for cooking with kids.

  1. Get them involved. Cooking for kids doesn’t have to be some mysterious process that only happens without them, and there’s no need to limit yourself to stereotypical kids’ meals. Invite them into the kitchen, and let them try new foods and see what goes into making them. Take turns choosing recipes that look good (maybe some Kids’ Party Food to start?), and get them to take an active role in the preparation and, of course, tasting. Their picks might just surprise you, and you might even find a new family favourite or two.

  2. Have them help out. There are a number of age-appropriate ways kids can play sous chef, from rolling sausages in puff pastry for our Quorn Sausage Rolls to helping pick coriander and arrange it atop our Quorn Pieces Tikka Masala. When they’re a little older, they can try using cutting sets specially made for kids to get them started learning knife skills they’ll use their whole lives – and chopping tomatoes for our Quick & Easy Quorn Mince Burritos.

  3. Make this a teaching opportunity. Kids will probably be familiar with some of the basics of cooking, but this could be a great moment to show them the tools of the trade. They’ll know their teaspoons from their tablespoons and how to work a kitchen scale in no time.

  4. Learn a little more about their tastes. As you’re making the meal, take some time to ask about what they might like to add or leave out. Get to know their preferences, and let them feel as though they have some input on the meal. Of course, not every recipe may be in need of their own creative spin, but it can still be a fun discussion. And, you never know, a Quorn Cottage Pie with marshmallows instead of mashed potatoes might just be the next culinary sensation.

    As the Chilli con Carne simmers away or the Toad in the Hole with Root Vegetables is tucked safely in the oven, start a conversation about your favourite (or least favourite!) foods – you might be surprised to hear what they say and they might learn a thing or two about you!

  5. Show them how to set the table. Setting the table for a family meal will make it just a little more special. It doesn’t have to be a formal place setting, just show them how to arrange whatever cutlery you’re using and let them get to it. They’ll get to take part in another step of meal preparation, and you’ll all get to feel a little less like it’s just another meal at home once dinner is ready.

  6. Enjoy! The meal is ready, the table is set, and now all that’s left to do is gather everyone around the table to tuck in to the meal you’ve all helped create.