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by Mikala Atkinson, Schools Nutrition Coordinator for Crunch&Sip

Making pancakes for mum

Whether it’s breakfast in bed, a delicious morning tea or dinner to remember, preparing a home-cooked feast for your mum to enjoy this Mother’s Day is a great way to show her how much you care.

Whipping up a special treat for mum is not just for grown-up kids either, this family friendly activity suits children of all ages. While younger children love any excuse to get busy in the kitchen, they will need an adult helper such as dad (because mum is still in bed we hope!), an older sibling or the grandparents.

So choose a recipe and start getting organised to make this Mother’s Day one to remember. Here are some easy and delicious ideas:

Date and muesli slice

Just remember that cooking with children can be a little messy, and often requires an extra spoonful of time and patience, so try these tips to help make the process run a little more smoothly!

1. Allow plenty of time

Learning to cook is all about trial and error so give yourself lots of time to enjoy the process together, and remember to be patient when mistakes happen.

2. Be prepared

Be organised and get all the equipment set up before the kids begin. Depending on the age of your child it may even be worth preparing ingredients and quantities ahead of time.

3. Talk about food safety

Getting ready for cooking is a great opportunity to talk to kids about food safety. This includes using a clean surface, washing hands both before and after, tying back long hair and keeping little fingers out of mouths (at least until they have finished making their yummy spread!)

4. Expect mess

Mess is an important part of the process. It takes time to learn to whisk an egg or sift flour (so that it actually ends up in the bowl). Encourage kids to throw on some old clothes or wear an apron, and worry about cleaning up at the end.

5. Let go of perfection

Remind kids that the final product is going to be its own special creation, so they can let go of perfection and enjoy the process. Be sure to build confidence by telling them they are doing a great job.

6. Take time to enjoy together

Make a lovely fuss and take time to enjoy your special Mother’s Day meal together. When children feel pride in their kitchen creation this helps them develop independence and a positive experience of cooking.

Good luck! And remember it helps to pick age-appropriate tasks, which will be different for every child, but here are our rough guidelines.

2- 3 year olds

Washing vegetables and fruit

Tearing lettuce and salad greens

Stirring dry ingredients or tossing salads

3-4 year olds

Mashing potatoes and bananas

Mixing together batters

Adding ingredients


4-6 year olds

Measure out ingredients

Set the table


Some peeling and grating

Using a butter knife on soft foods – avocado, mushroom, berries

6-8 year olds

Make a simple breakfast

Doing the washing up

Most peeling, grating and some chopping

8-11 year olds

Peeling, grating and chopping

Make lunch on their own

Help to plan the meal

Use the stove and oven with supervision

11-12 year olds

Follow simple recipes

Use the stove and oven


Could be in charge of making the whole Mother’s Day feast

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