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Planning on spending some quality time with your children cooking up a storm this holiday season? Remember, it won’t be easy, it will be easy, but most of all, it should e fun. Here are some of Annabel’s top tips for spending time with children in the kitchen:

1.What mess?
Remember, it won’t be easy, it will be messy, but most of all, it should be fun. Using a plastic table cloth can make clearing up a bit easier and get your children wearing aprons or old clothes that be thrown straight into the washing machine.

2. Get Equipped
Use equipment that won’t break easily; plastic bowls; wooden spoons; plastic cookie cutters and wooden rolling pins. Silicone cupcake moulds are good for baking small batches of cakes.

3. Mini Cooks
Kids can join you in the kitchen earlier than you think. Children around the age of three love to measure with spoons, mix, stir, roll dough and cut out shapes with cookie cutters, albeit with a helping hand. They also love playing with different textures of food. Give them bowls of different ingredients and let them explore.

4. Keep it simple
Children (especially tots) have short attention spans and so to start with choose recipes that are extra easy and provide a result reasonably quickly.

Tips for baking cooking with children5. Let them prep
I always gave my children little jobs to help them feel part of preparing one of the biggest meals of the year. There’s lots of pre work they can do; wrapping the pigs in blankets; rolling mini stuffing balls; helping to peel the mountain of potatoes and carrots. It’s time you’ll all enjoy spending together.

6. Food Hygiene
Ensure they wash their hands before they touch any ingredients and in between touching raw and cooked or ready-to-eat foods.

7. Make it fun!
Children will learn to love cooking if you relax and have fun with them in the kitchen. If you feel nervous, start with basic recipes, they’re still a good learning experience. Only step in when it’s absolutely necessary, otherwise let them enjoy and create.

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