We use every opportunity to cook as often as possible with children of all ages. Our cooking activities are sometimes inspired by the children themselves following a particular interest they had that day or they may be adult led where we have pre-planned it into our routine.
We take our Toddler and Pre-School room on a weekly trip to the local market where the children purchase their own ingredients and then explore the foods in as many ways as possible at nursery – this always results in an edible option! As you can see in the photos the children once purchased tomatoes and then made a delicious tomato bread.
We have made our own pasta where they developed their hand eye coordination whilst turning the pasta-machine. They gained an understanding of how pasta is made and then extended this by exploring all the different shapes and sizes of pasta that we eat at nursery and home.
For Chinese New Year the children helped to make pancakes, dumplings and a stir fry. They were particularly proud of what they had made and enjoyed tasting them during lunch. This also aided the understanding of the concept of now and next.
The children made pancakes for Pancake day and enjoyed choosing a variety of toppings. They found this very interesting as they make their own play dough every day using very similar ingredients. They were able to identify that they were using eggs in the pancakes which isn’t in the play dough recipe.
Children in Need was a hugely successful day at Puddle Jumpers where the staff and children baked a variety of cakes and sold them to parents at home time.
We have found that food is a wonderful way to introduce children to different cultures which is not only reflected in our menu but also through our regular cooking sessions. We also feel it is really important for the children to understand the value of food and welcome any opportunity to encourage them to be more mindful of what they eat.