Tuesday, 28 July 2015

Cooking with Kids: Flatbread Pizza #LetsCookalong

Nature or nurture?  I sometimes wonder if there's a cooking gene as, having a chef dad and a foodie mum, our three love to cook.  From before their first birthday, each of them has been found wielding a spoon or spatula, getting to grips with knives, and sampling ingredients.  Cooking is such an essential life skill, and its departure from the school curriculum was a big mistake, especially in an age when many parents don't have the time, or even the skills and knowledge, to teach children themselves.  We are already facing a huge health crisis, with all of the top killers being related to poor eating habits, and with a food culture focussed on convenience this is only going to get worse.

Thankfully, TV chefs, commercial organisations and charities are stepping in to fill the gap.  Tesco has partnered with the Children’s Food Trust to launch an exciting new online cooking series called Let’s Cookalong.  Each week over the summer holidays they will release new videos which showcase cooking skills and guide children through the process of making their own tasty dishes.  Parents might even learn some new skills, and some recipes to add to their repertoire, in the process!

This week the theme is Italy, with recipes for Spaghetti Bolognese, Pesto, Flatbread Pizzas, and Bruschetta.  Last week's recipes were Picnic ones, and there will also be Moroccan, BBQ, Indian and Baking ideas to come.  Sign up to the Let's Cookalong YouTube channel so you don't miss any!

Lara and Sophia really enjoyed watching the whole recipe video before we began cooking as it is presented in such a jolly, fun style.  I thought it was great that the presenter included 'pause' prompts so the children could gather the ingredients and equipment together themselves.  A great way of someone other than us showing the children how to cook, and there are some brilliant skills videos on YouTube too, so if you're children want to see how to grate or peel, or you're not sure about the difference between boiling and simmering, head over there to watch.

We made the Flatbread Pizza recipe over the weekend, here's how we got on:

Tatiana stirred the wholemeal and self-raising flours together, Lara added the yogurt and mixed.  then the girls had a lump of dough each to knead and shape.

All that Playdoh practice came in handy when it came to rolling out the dough into flatbreads!  We decided it was OK if they weren't entirely circular though...

We then popped them in a hot, dry frying pan, which Lara supervised.

We made a delicious tomato sauce, prepared our toppings, and then set to creating our masterpieces.  We put the sauce, sweetcorn, sliced red pepper, olives, rocket, mushrooms, basil and grated mozzarella in bowls on the table and the girls chose what they wanted.  They each had a chopping board and knife so they could chop up anything they needed to.

Don't they look tasty?

How proud?!

We even had 'treat' drinks with our special lunch, it's all about balance after all!

The girls loved making their own flatbread pizzas, especially as they saw the whole process through from beginning to end.  They developed lots of skills and tried some new foods they had previously avoided, but most of all they had fun!

Head over to the Eat Happy website where you can find all the recipes, and also some fun activities and games.  And don't forget to subscribe to the Let's Cookalong YouTube Channel for all the recipes.  Happy cooking!

And don't forget to enter our competitions!

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