By Sam Wood

Whenever I’m cooking for my daughters, I try to cook with them.

The more they can be involved in the process the more enjoyable it is, the more they learn about nutrition and cooking and the better their relationship with food. Plus, Snez gets a break.

When we all cook together, everybody wins.

Just like exercise, I’m a huge believer that our children are sponges when it comes to nutrition. We need to be healthy role models and show our kids that you should cook, you should use real ingredients and it can still be yummy and it can be a lot of fun.

Here are Sam’s top tips for cooking with kids

1. Choose recipes together
Get them involved in planning your meals for the week and encourage them to try something new. Kids love flicking through cookbooks or looking online at new recipes with you.

2. Teach your kids about the food
Telling your kids where fresh food comes from and its health benefits can be really powerful. I don’t mean telling your three-year-old that bananas are a great source of potassium, but telling them that they’ll give them energy for their bike ride or swimming lesson is a great start.

Sam with his girls: One-year-old Charlie Lane, three-year-old Willow and his step-daughter, Eve, 15.

3. Cook together
It’s usually a bit slower, it’s definitely messier but it is so much fun. Getting your kids involved in the process gives you an opportunity to teach them handy cooking skills, educate them on food, ingredients and flavours and show them that healthy eating can be simple and can be delicious.

Here are some of my favourite recipes to cook with the kids:

FRITTERS
Fritters are easy, baby & toddler friendly, super healthy and fun to make together.

Lately we’ve been making these super easy fritters with the best smoked salmon ever from Tassal to top them off and give us a great source of healthy omega 3’s.

Click here for a tasty recipe.

SAUSAGE ROLLS
Who doesn’t love sausage rolls and tomato sauce? This one is lots of fun to make with the kids, they love brushing the pastry and dad loves eating the final product!

Serves 4

INGREDIENTS

  • 300 g beef mince
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil ( finely chopped)
  • 2 free range eggs
  • 5 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
  • 1/4 cup wholemeal (or gluten free) breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 1 carrot (finely grated)
  • 1/2 brown onion (finely grated)
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • 2 puff pastry ready rolled sheets, defrosted
  • 1/2 tablespoon poppy seeds

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven 200oC.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix together mince, basil, 1 egg, worcestershire, breadcrumbs, tomato paste, carrot and onion. Season to taste.
  3. Refrigerate mixture.
  4. Cut pastry sheets in half (about 10-12 cm wide).
  5. Lightly beat the other egg.
  6. Divide beef mince mixture into 4 even portions and form each quarter along one edge of the pastry.
  7. Brush the open strip of pastry at opposite side of the mixture with egg and roll pastry over mixture into a long even log.
  8. Brush the tops with egg and sprinkle with poppy seeds and cut into rolls
  9. Place roll seam side down on a lined oven try with baking paper.
  • Bake for 20 – 25 minutes until golden.

Sausage rolls are a fave meal at the Wood household.

Homemade pizzas are fun, delicious and a great way to use real ingredients and get creative with the kids. Willow loves making her own pizza and Charlie loves making a mess.

I often make the BLD pizza from my 28 program and the kids experiment with different toppings. We usually lay out a bunch of different veggie options and let the kids pick what they want to use and ‘decorate’ their pizza.

This is a really simple way to make cooking and eating fun, healthy and something the whole family can enjoy together.

BLD (breakfast, lunch or dinner) PIZZA

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 wholemeal (or gluten free) wrap
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 4 cherry tomatoes (halved)
  • 25 g Dodoni feta cheese
  • 40 g ham (shaved)
  • 1/2 teaspoon thyme (dried)
  • 1 free range egg
  • 1/2 cup rocket leaves
  • salt & pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Preheat an oven to 180°C. Line a baking tray with baking paper.
  2. Lay flat the wrap on the tray and spread with tomato paste.
  3. Top the pizza with cherry tomatoes, feta, ham and thyme.
  4. Crack an egg in the middle of the pizza.
  5. Place in the oven for 10-15 minutes until the egg is cooked to your liking.
  6. Top pizza with fresh rocket, season with salt and pepper and cut into slices to serve.

Breakfast, lunch or dinner… this pizza is a winner!