Have you noticed how the children show interest in everyday life activities pretending and playing games ? But if they can choose it is more pleasant and interesting to actually do one of these activities. Without effort they develop important skills. They love to do funny things, to experiment and be creative …. cooking is all these things together and they like to do it. I started to observe kids cooking when I was a teacher, then I started to involve my son. In the three years that we have lived in Chile we had fun cooking afternoons preparing pizzas, cakes and cookies with our friends. And his teacher also used to involve parents in the preparation of cakes and biscuits with her students at school.
Cooking is a way to facilitate concentration, patience, exploration, coordination of movements, in a few time you can experience extraordinary changes: the disordered becomes ordered, the passive becomes active, gradually the aggressive attitudes tend to desappear or to reduce, the kids relax, and their mood changes completely.
I always encourage parents to spend time with their children cooking together ,obviously it is important to have a very positive attitude. You may use your kitchen as a laboratory of fun. Don’t choose complicated recipes, play with the foods colors and shapes. You might buy some cookbook for kids, they usually present many recipes with simple instructions and easy to prepare. My motto is: some rules before to start and…… keep calm and carry on cooking!
This is a pleasant way to introduce them to food, they’ll appreciate it more and they’ll learn about the properties of food and the importance of a balanced diet. Let’s take advantage of these moments ….. We can educate them at a healthy diet also through food handling.
The recipe that I chose is that to make short pastry’s cookies. My son use to prepare these to take to school because his friends love them. You can stuff them with Nutella or jam or cover with chocolate. I’ve prepared a particulary version for a special day 😉 , I’ll post also that recipe later!
Ingredients for the pastry:
300 g flour
125 g butter (at room temperature)
150 g sugar
4 tablespoons extract vanilla
if you want you can add half a teaspoon of baking powder
For the icing:
1 egg white
200 g icing sugar
a few drops of lemon juice
Preheat oven to 180°C (350 F). Mix all the ingredients together. Knead until the dough is smooth. Mold the dough into a ball, wrap it in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. Roll out dough to 5 mm in thick, in a floured surface. Cut out shapes with a cutter, put them on greased baking sheets. Bake the cookies for 15 minutes, until golden.
Prepare the icing: whip the egg whites until stiff adding the sugar gradually and drops of lemon. Cover the cookies with frosting and decorate as desired.