Cooking with kids: recipes for each age group

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Cooking with kids: recipes for each age group

Keep the kids busy while having them make things for the whole family.

So you’ve made banana bread (twice) and have run out of a bit of steam on the dinner front. The kids have started school, but without the extra mural-filled afternoons, so why not get them to cook for the family? Yes, if they’re a bit younger they’re only really going to be interested in cooking something that involves cake (and you will still need to be involved), but if they’re older, they’ll relish the challenge of doing something all on their own. Here’s our recipe selection for cooking with kids, depending on their age.

Ages 2–5

Mixing, cracking, rolling, cutting out, spooning are all things younger kids can easily help with, and assist in developing fine motor skills.

Butternut or marrow muffins

A handful of ingredients and some secret veg makes for the perfect recipe for littlies to practise their pouring and mixing. Freeze in a Ziploc bag or individually in clingwrap (Abi finds that doing it this way takes up less space in the freezer).

Get the recipe here.

Gran’s classic custard cookies

Sifting, rolling and flattening with a fork are stuff the smalls can handle in these classic cookies (and they’ll deliver a healthy dose of nostalgia for you!).
Get the recipe here.

Ages 6–8

By age 7, they’ll love to practise their reading skills – let them read out the recipe to you before they get stuck in with measuring and mixing.

Peanut butter-and-blueberry loaf

This genius loaf combines two star ingredients in one delicious loaf that will work well as a school-from-home snack (use frozen blueberries if you don’t have fresh).

Get the recipe here.

Oat cookies

Get the kids to make these wholemeal oat cookies as treats for the family.
Get the recipe here.

Fresh pasta

Kids get incredible satisfaction from making their own pasta. Let them take turns kneading the dough and passing it through the pasta machine. Serve with your favourite sauce.
Get the recipe here.

Ages 9–12

From 9, kids can read and follow a full recipe, but will need some assistance with handling food in and out of a hot oven.

Easy home-made sausage rolls

Choose one of Woolies’ fab flavoured sausages to use in these easy sausage rolls. Reduce the chilli flakes if your kids aren’t keen on spice.

Get the recipe here.

Marie’s apple bread

Give the banana bread a break with this wholemeal apple loaf, that’s best eaten warm, slathered in butter.
Marie's apple breadGet the recipe here.

Easy chicken tray bake

This recipe lets you spice up half of it for the adults. Kids can get involved with crushing, mixing and marinating.

Get the recipe here.

Berry-and-coconut muffins

Use your choice of frozen berries in a batch of these delicious muffins – the batter will keep for three weeks in the fridge, for fresh muffins in a flash for schooling breaks.


Ages 13+

Teens are fully capable of handling a full meal, and are probably more inclined to seek out healthier options. Get them to take the reins on the weekend and design their own two-course meal using these recipes as inspiration.

Roast butternut quiche

Any roast veg would do to add to this easy quiche recipe.

Get the recipe here.

Double cheese-and-mushroom pizza

Just two ingredients are all you need for this genius base. Let them get creative with the toppings.
Get the recipe here.

Fast, easy, fish tacos

This TASTE team favourite uses frozen fish. Use wraps or taco shells and add some slaw for extra crunch.

 Get the recipe here.

Pork schnitzel-and-pineapple slaw burger

More assembly than cooking, they can use chicken schnitzels instead of pork in these easy burgers. Serve with oven chips for burger Friday.
Get the recipe here.

Genius yoghurt brûlée

Six ingredients get you a creamy brûlée treat.


Rolene’s lemon meringue

One of our most watched videos, this lemon meringue pie is a perennial crowd-pleaser, and uses ingredients you are likely to have at home.

Get the recipe here.

TASTE Article by: TASTE

The TASTE team is a happy bunch of keen cooks and writers, always on the look out for the next food trend or the next piece of cake.

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