Time; the most valuable commodity anyone can possess, so I believe it’s important to spend my time wisely. As a Dad of two boys aged three and two, time can be taken up by lots of different things, like swimming on an evening, visiting the family and Saturday mornings rushing around the shops. But I really believe we should never be too busy to spend time with the little ones in the kitchen; especially during school holidays.
With time off work, I really had no excuse of being ‘too tired’ or not having enough time. We were going to get stuck into the kitchen, even the little chefs.
‘Aged two and three? In the Kitchen?’ Yes, things will ‘get messy’ as many people always point out to me, but in the words of Morgan Freeman as God in the hit film Bruce Almighty; “No matter how filthy something gets, you can always clean it right up.” Besides, as well as teaching the kids important life skills of cooking – especially during a particularly impressionable stage for toddlers – the bonding time alone is irreplaceable. So what’s wrong with time spent with the kids helping to clean up too?
If you’re a parent, you’ll know that Easter can be a nightmare as chocolate comes flying into the house from grandparents, aunties, cousins and godparents, so I felt a slight distraction with a savoury Easter recipe wouldn’t go amiss. I flicked through the ProCook More Please: Tasty Recipes Children Will Love cook book and knew instantly the Rainbow Pitta Pizza recipe would go down a storm. Bright colours laid on top of pitta bread (which are ideally egg-shaped!) for a delicious homemade pizza…winner!
Having cooked with the kids before, I have to say it was a very simple and easy-to-follow recipe. The boys loved placing the peppers, onions and sweetcorn across the pitta and it was only natural we talked through the colours as we spread them out into the rainbow pattern. Voila! Our very own savoury, tasty Easter eggs!
The next day I checked out the cookbook for something else and both boys were excited when I pointed out the Dippy Egg and Soldiers recipe for breakfast. Most of the time I’m up and out of the house before the kids are awake, so it was just as exciting for me to spend some quality time making our first meal of the day together. Like kids are, they just love getting stuck in and we didn’t hold back when pressing in the spinach and peppers in to the ramekins. What was actually rather refreshing for this style of the traditional ‘egg and soldiers’ was not having to worry about eggs wobbling in egg cups or experiencing the awful crunch of stray eggshell.
There we had it. Two simple, quick and nutritious meals cooked up as a family and not one mention of ‘chocolate’. Isn’t it amazing that making something savoury with your children can be so sweet?
By Matthew Goodwin, Web Officer