Creative cooking for children: a fun alternative for the lockdown
Creative cooking is a really fun alternative to share with children during lockdown. Below, we give you some ideas to enjoy as a family and to kick-start your creativity and make unique dishes.
Cooking is a good way for little ones get close to different foods. If you also add a little fantasy to the dishes, you manage to entertain them, they take part in the process and savour the result even more.
Play with shapes, colours, textures, and invent new options with fruit, vegetables, doughs, jams...and why not? The limit is your imagination. Although most of the utensils you will use, you will already have in the kitchen (toothpicks, cutlery, scissors, skewers...) don’t forget about other items you have to hand such as moulds or toy shapes which, properly cleaned, can give an original touch to the dishes.
Biscuits with coloured “freckles”
- 50 g brown sugar
- 50 g white sugar
- ½ teaspoon vanilla essence
- 90 g butter
- 1 large egg
- 155 g baking flour
- A pinch of salt
- 1/2 teaspoon of bicarbonate of soda
- Coloured chocolate sprinkles
• Heat the oven to 180 ºC with top and bottom heat without the fan activated.
• Beat the two types of sugar with the butter until you get a creamy texture. Add the vanilla essence and egg while you continue beating. Sprinkle the mixture of flour, bicarbonate of soda and sifted salt and mix with a spatula until everything is fully integrated.
• Make dough balls with the help of a spoon. You can also wet your hands a little, so it is easier to work with the dough. Afterwards, place them on a lined baking tray.
• Squash the balls a little on the baking paper and be careful to place them with space between them. Decorate with chocolate sprinkles, this is where you can let your imagination run wild, and bake for 10 or 12 minutes, or until the biscuits are a little golden.
• Remove them from the oven, leave them to rest on the tray and place them on a rack so they cool before trying them.
Ladybirds, piggies or mushrooms
A good base to start to work creatively in the kitchen with children is to make foods of different shapes and colours and encourage them to create shapes by helping them with cutting. With this idea, they don’t need to touch the oven and they can create pieces by themselves, although always under your supervision. Some basic ingredients are boiled eggs, cherry tomatoes, carrots in their different cutting options, olives, ham, raspberries and blueberries, strawberries...
Piggies with a body made of egg and sausage ears, ladybirds made from cherry tomato on top of corn tortillas, mushrooms with the stalk made of egg and the ‘cap’ made from cherry tomatoes...there are so many possibilities. You will only need the usual products from your cupboard or fridge and some utensils to fix the shapes together that you will find at home such as scissors, cutlery or cocktail sticks.
Mini pizzas, snake skewers, cheese lollipops
Short pastry or puff pastry can help you to spend a while entertaining the mini chefs of the house because they offer lots of possibilities of cutting and decoration, but if you can’t find them, you can make an easy pizza base.
- 1 glass beer
- ½ glass sunflower oil
- ½ kg flour
- A pinch of salt
- A pinch of baking soda
• Preheat the oven to 180º. Mix the oil and beer in a bowl and gradually add the flour, using a spatula.
• Start kneading it and when it hardens a little, knead the dough on the kitchen worktop, which has been covered in flour, until it stops sticking to your hands. This will mean it’s ready.
• Spread onto baking paper and bake for 30 minutes. For the final 10 minutes, without the grill
With this type of dough, in addition to any type of pizza you can think of, you can make cheese lollipops, with a little bit of grated cheese and baked skewers or snake skewers. Roll out the dough, cut into strips and twist them around a skewer stick, then place the snakes on a dish covered with baking paper. Brush them with oil, sprinkle a little salt and aromatic herbs on them and place half a slice of black olive on the end to make each eye, and a piece of pepper for the tongue. Bake in a preheated oven for 200°C until they are golden.