Home > Nutrition & Health > Cooking With Kids: Eating Healthily Together

Cooking With Kids: Eating Healthily Together

By: Joanne Walker BA (hons) - Updated: 5 Dec 2012 | comments*Discuss
Cooking Children Food Healthy

Getting children to eat healthily does not have to be a chore, as long as they grow up with a varied and healthy diet. After all, if eating well is normal to them, there are far fewer reasons for them to turn their nose up at cabbage or cauliflower. One of the best ways to get children interested in healthy food is to encourage them to help you to cook. Even young children can get involved with cooking – there is plenty they can do without flames and knives when they are younger.

Safe Cooking

Children love to get messy, so when cooking with them, remember this. You do not have to splatter food around the kitchen to allow them to get a little bit messy but if you put them in an apron and hat, they’ll love getting hands on with food. One of the most satisfying things you could make with young children is a pasta sauce such as pesto. A really rustic version will not even need a food processor and children will love helping to bash together the ingredients to make the sauce. The beauty of something like pesto is that from making it, children will really learn about ingredients and which ones taste which way. You can have them taste it halfway through and decide to add more basil or cheese and they will really feel as though it is all theirs – handy when it comes to encouraging them to eat it as well.

Moving to the Oven

If you cook with kids a lot, the chances are that they will soon want to move onto something a touch more advanced than a no-cook sauce. But this is where you can really nurture a passion for food, tastes and a real variety of fruit and veg. And what’s more, you can do it with foods which are not always considered the most healthy. But if cooked in the correct manner, even ‘treat’ foods like pizza can be healthy. Children will have great fun helping to knead the dough for the base of their pizza and watching it can shape and colour when it bakes. And when it comes to the topping, let their imagination run wild. If they want four different colours of pepper to make it bright, then let them – the more variety, the better.


The key thing to making cooking fun is making it inclusive. Rather than shooing children away while you rustle up something for their dinner, get them to help. Whether it is throwing beansprouts into a stir fry or tasting a sauce to determine what is needed to make it perfect, children love to feel useful. And the feeling of usefulness will hopefully translate into a passion for good and healthy food.

Food is fun and children should be encouraged to find this out for themselves. By learning about good tasting food and what goes into their food, children should be attracted to eat well – hopefully for the rest of their lives. Of course, there will always be some times when they turn to junk, but if they enjoy cooking from scratch they will hopefully realise food is far better when you know what is in it.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
Why not be the first to leave a comment for discussion, ask for advice or share your story...

If you'd like to ask a question one of our experts (workload permitting) or a helpful reader hopefully can help you... We also love comments and interesting stories

(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
(never shown)
Enter word:
Latest Comments
  • Irene
    Re: Activities for 3-5 Year Olds
    I like the comments exercise is very important for young children
    8 October 2019
  • Cat
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son is 8 yrs old and was in football club today. When I came to pick him up they were in shorts and t-shirt outside in heavy rain he…
    24 September 2019
  • Dave121
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I see some comments on here saying that PE is compulsory, however, the Education Act of 2002 prohibits the Secretary of State for…
    12 September 2019
  • PeIsBad
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I'm in Year 10 and P.E is made a living hell for me, the girls in the class shout at you and put you down swearing at you and telling you…
    10 September 2019
  • ASN teacher
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    There is more to pe than simply sports. It is good for growing brain cells (for real). It is good for social skills (if delivered…
    25 August 2019
  • ellz
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    My son went through he'll at school because of his bullying pe teacher my son has a pigeon chest and shortness of breath and is currently…
    6 August 2019
  • Joel
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    I’m 12 and PE in my opinion is stupid. To me, it’s an entrance ticket for bullying. My school especially needs to understand not everyone…
    8 June 2019
  • fina
    Re: Active Games for Teens
    wow interesting thanks this is my essay!@!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
    29 May 2019
  • Waleed
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    Im in year 9 and we have 1 double lession a week and in those lessons we are forced to do exercise. The think I hate is the treadmills…
    23 April 2019
  • EndPE
    Re: Compulsory PE in School
    PE needs to not be compulsory for GCSE students, if the kids are unfit that's their problem but PE does not and will not help them,…
    26 March 2019