With this week's eye-opening introduction to home schooling for many parents, the Spice Pots Team of mums have been pinging messages back and forth to discuss the plans for the day with kids, and requests for ideas to occupy their time.
Cooking is a really great option... even though it might sound off-putting! It ticks a whole lot of boxes on the learning front for one - literacy for reading the recipe; maths for measuring out; and maybe even P.E. if some vigorous whisking is involved? That might be a stretch but we'll take it!
So we've put together some of our top tips that we feel can help make cooking with kids go more smoothly:
This is always a must, but definitely more so now. And if your kids are complaining of sore, dry skin, make sure they are really rinsing all the soap off and use E45 cream for delicate skin - it doesn't sting too much. Remember to wash hands as well if you're doing things like cutting raw meat or handling chilis.
First off, make sure you're in the right mood to cook with the kids and not in a rush. Secondly, don't pick a new recipe that will have you all pouring over the method and confused. Choose something you've done lots and are really comfortable doing - and that you know the kids will find straightforward! - and most importantly will get them excited to eat! And then get any hard bits out of the way. If they're really little, cut up the onion and meat, and have it in bowls. Get everything out on a clear table - measuring cups and scales, all ingredients... basically anything needed!
You know how people always say you shouldn't shop at a supermarket when you're hungry? The same goes for cooking! If you want to keep those little hands out of bowls, give them a snack before you begin. It will mean that they'll be happier and more focused as well.
Cover any of the things you want kids to be really careful around, including hot stove tops, sharp knives and handling raw meat. But do remember you're trying to teach them too! So, if they're old enough, show them how to use a knife properly or stir the onion on the hob, while keeping a very close eye on them.
Most importantly, have fun! Try not to worry about the flour sprinkled over the floor and, do not, under any circumstances, cry over spilt milk! Hopefully our top tips will mean a stress-free little cooking class and, if that couldn't be achieved, at least you have something for everyone to eat.