Arh how do you hone your little boy’s cookery skills? One way is to try a fun pre-schooler cookery date by ‘Little Pickles Kitchen’, taking a step back to understand how to engage little cooks in the kitchen.
Little Pickles Kitchen runs cookery dates in St Albans and Harpenden over half-terms and the longer school holidays. They can also arrange sessions at children’s birthday parties getting the children to cook their own party tea!
Our session at Redbourn Parish Centre was run by Claire who immediately got the kids stuck in by feeling out the ingredients in their mixing bowls that they would be making into their Valentine’s Day cake – a dairy and egg free sticky chocolate, date and raspberry cake. Her simple instructions were easy to follow throughout, and added nutritional snippets about what ingredient helped which part of the body grow made nutrition interesting even to a 3 and a half year old!
Little A was able to correctly identify the flour, sugar and cocoa that he was rubbing in between his fingers and sniffing which made him very proud. Sticky dates that acted as the main sugar substitute in the cake proved undesirable in their too sweet glupiness to handle for A but perfectly palatable when he ate them in the cake.
Adding a measured tip of a teaspoon of cinnamon proved challenging, as a full spice jar was a little too inviting and beckoned more more more! We ended up with a little too much in our cake, but A learnt a very important lesson about how strong a little spoon of spice can be.
The olive oil and vanilla essence was a nice little sensory exercise looking at the vanilla float on top, as well as sniffing it and working it into the mixture.
Frozen raspberries were too much of a temptation for Little A to leave uneaten but there was still enough to line our little cake tin, pour mixture over and give to one of Claire’s assistants to pop in the oven.
The food theme continued with tweaking songs like Hop little Bunny into Hop Little Carrot to keep the food theme and then onto colouring-in of a foodie poster in the the patient wait for the cakes to bake. Once the cakes were out the oven, they were left to cool for a bit, but not too long as extremely eager proud hands grabbed them to put in their containers to carry home.
Learning for Mums
At nursery for Harvest Festival Little A had spent the week happily baking a different gift each morning that the children then took to the cathedral to be distributed at local food banks. I’d often wondered how they managed to get nearly 20 children to do this for 5 days on the trot? Taking A to a Little Pickles Kitchen cookery date I suddenly realised what an art there was to engaging a 3 year old in the kitchen. Using smaller proportions in the recipe and creating mini pots of combined ingredients to explore are just 2 of them!
Little Pickles Kitchen official website