Kids in the kitchen

Jude pictured with chef Ben teaching young child to cook pasta in the kitchen.

It’s got to be a good thing getting kids in the kitchen – it sets them up with good eating habits and a love of food, and they’re much more likely to eat something they’ve helped make than if we plonk a plate in front of them!

Most kids love pasta, so our chef Ben Bayly thought what better place to start than that all-time classic, spaghetti and meatballs, a favourite with his own children. Get the kids involved with fetching herbs from the garden, grating cheese, grinding the pepper, stirring the sauce … and before you know it, they’ll be cooking you dinner!

Why preparation is key

Homemade baked beans and sausages.

Doing a bit of preparation the night before or earlier in the day can mean meals are more nutritious, less expensive and less stressful! Chef Ben Bayly has freshened a Kiwi classic – his dad’s cauliflower cheese recipe – and teamed it with some healthy, homemade baked beans and sausages. Yum!

Afternoon snacks

Mexican favourite filled tortillas.

Who doesn’t need inspiration for what to feed hungry kids in the door from kindy or school? In this Food for Thought recipe, Ben Bayly puts a Kiwi spin on a Mexican favourite – filled tortillas. It’s a dish his girls love – tasty of course, but quick, easy and nutritious too. And don’t forget that go-to after school snack – smoothies. All you need is a blender/food processor, milk, banana and berries. (Yoghurt makes a great addition too.)

Special occasion food

Chocolate and berry icecreams.

Gorgeous to look at and delicious to eat, these special occasion iced treats will woo any partygoer! Strawberry or chocolate … such a difficult choice!

Takeaways at home

Homemade butter chicken with pita and rice.

We often reach for the phone when we’re looking for a quick dinner. But are takeaways really faster and how much more do they cost? Ben’s decided to make his own version of an Indian-inspired ‘takeaway’ the whole family will enjoy.

Family mealtimes

Tray of dough ready to be baked.

It can be hard to find the time to eat together as a family but there are plenty of reasons why it’s great to gather around the table as often as possible. Your kids will tend to eat a wider variety of foods and have better table manners for starters!

Here Ben and Jude whip up a family favourite – pulled pork on homemade sliders, with kid-friendly coleslaw.

Garden to plate

Bunch of fresh beans and tomatoes from the garden.

Ben makes yummy tomato soup using fresh tomatoes from his garden, which he tops with (freshly-picked) green bean salad and a cottage cheese toasty. Fresh and tasty!

Meals without meat

Home cooked meals in casserole dishes.

Want to cook more meat-free meals but lack inspiration? Ben puts a vegetarian spin on a couple of family favourites – bolognese and lasagna.

Nutritious breakfasts

Fresh fruit on top of porridge.

Breakfast really is the most important meal of the day. Ben’s choice for kick-starting his family’s day? Oats, in the form of muesli and porridge.

School lunches

Plate of sushi.

Ben helps answer that perennial question, what to put in the school lunchboxes, by sharing his kids’ lunch of choice – sushi.