Meet the teacher: Vanessa Baxter's back-to-school recipes for kids
Former early childhood educator and 2013 Masterchef contestant, Vanessa Baxter, runs kids' cooking classes. She shares three nutritious recipes that junior cooks can make for themselves.
It’s back to school for the kids and time for the daily routine of lunchboxes, snacks and family meals. Get yourself off to a great start with these simple recipes, which will have the kids clambering to jump into the kitchen too.
Empower your children by giving them specific kitchen responsibilities. The more tactile and interactive you can make it, the happier they will be to help. Reading a recipe assists in understanding the systematic importance in cooking. Once they are clear about how the recipe will be followed they can get ready to prepare.
Give them a tray where they can lay out all their ingredients. They will be excited to copy this prep method — just like a celebrity chef! Provide them with simple kitchen safety rules plus a few basic tools and your mini chefs will be ready to cook.
There could not be a more practical example of an interactive learning experience than cooking. You can lighten the load and in the process your kids are likely to try more ingredients while learning patience, sharing and sequencing.
Don’t forget to show them your ideal method of tidying up too. Create a positive cooking experience in your home and support invaluable life skills and communication. Keep the kitchen a positive and fearless place for growth and family fun.
In creating this simple dish, kids can practise kitchen techniques and very quickly have something delicious to eat. It is a wonderful dip for post-school snacking or as a topping or filling for lunchbox items. Make sure all the avocados are at the same point of ripeness.
Season and flavour the guacamole then let it sit for at least 5 minutes before taste-testing as the avocado takes time to absorb all the flavours. Add further seasonings such as chilli, onion, tomato and coriander then, if required. Get the recipe
Children I have taught love making fritters. There are so many possible combinations, and kids can be encouraged to add ingredients and sample the results. Fritters are quick to prepare and fun to cook. They make a fabulous, nutritious snack and leftovers are perfect for the lunchbox or even breakfast. Serve with the guacamole for a yummy lunch idea. Get the recipe
This is a wonderful quick and fun dish that all ages can create. Have chopped fruit available in the fridge to encourage kids to add to their soaked oats. It will store in the fridge for three days and it makes a yummy yet healthy breakfast treat. You may even find the kids hunting for a snack of this after school too. Get the recipe