The best meals to cook with children, according to Greenwood Duo’s chef

Meet Chef Wendy, from Central Park Duo. As the chef at this brand new child care centre in the heart of Sydney, Wendy has quite the challenge: create delicious, nutritious and fresh meals for children under the age of five. Daily. And appeal to all kinds of taste buds, even the picky ones! 

Thankfully, Wendy has an extensive background to do with all things related to food. Having been the food editor for Woman’s Day, OK and Take 5 magazines, and written numerous cookbooks, Wendy is passionate about teaching children about food in a fun way. She is now ready to bring her wide array of recipes to the lucky children at Central Park Duo.  

Check out Wendy’s top tips for cooking with children below, along with her favourite child-approved recipes to try out at home!  

 

Kids in the kitchen  

“It’s always fun getting children involved! Just be prepared for a bit of a mess, but that is all part of the fun,” Wendy says. “Create easier recipes and jobs with the younger ones, like placing muffin cases into pans, and scooping mixture into them. As they grow, get them involved with some more complex jobs, like kneading pizza dough and preparing vegetables. 

 

Why cook with children 

  1. Children are more likely to eat what they have made, as it creates a sense of ownership. They get excited to see the final creations once cooked. 
  1. It’s a great way to spend time together as a family. Whats better than chatting and cooking together, learning more about different ingredients, flavours and cultures?  
  1. It’s a wonderful way to introduce them to healthy eating.  
  1. Cooking is a life skill that will give them confidence. Its also a great teacher for counting, fractions, using their fine motor skills and problemsolving. 

  

Wendy’s top recipes  

Rainbow vegetable pizzas 

Wendy says: “I love this recipe! Children generally don’t love their vegetables, but they love their pizzas, and it’s amazing what they can eat if they created it themselves. You can get inventive with many different colours and vegetable. Get the older children suggesting toppings to match each colour.” 

Click here for the recipe. 

 

Sushi

Wendy says: “This is a favourite for the children to get involved with. I usually premake the rice and have a selection of different ingredients in bowls. This allows them to choose their own ingredients, or opens them up to try new ingredients.  It’s a great fun way to introduce some Japanese food and the use of chopsticks! As the children get older, introduce them to wasabi and pickled ginger.” 

Click here for the recipe.  

 

Apple and oat pikelets 

Wendy says: “Working as a child care chef, I have to accommodate many different allergies. This is a fantastic base recipe that uses no egg or milk and is naturally sweetened with the apple or banana. Get the children to help by measuring and mixing. Being a base recipe, try adding half a cup of some frozen berries, or use the berry chia jam recipe I’ve included.”  

Click here for the recipe. 

 

Strawberry and mango icy blocks 

Wendy says: “This is a great recipe to keep the family cool in the summer months, and it’s naturally sweetened.  Get the children involved by helping you chop the fruit and pouring into the moulds.  Guaranteed, they will be sitting by the freezer waiting for them.” 

Click here for the recipe. 

 

If you’d like to hear more about the meals that children at Greenwood are lucky enough to enjoy, we’d love for you to come and see Greenwood Central Park Duo.  

Set to open in early 2020, tours are now available. Speak to our family specialists and book a Greenwood tour today by calling 1800 314 517.

Author: Tushna Mehta

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