Getting children to be more adventurous with food is one of the biggest challenges a parent can face. But what if we turned it into a celebration? It would inspire not only our own children, but also their friends to get in the kitchen and experiment.
Here we take a look at cooking parties for children – those available from specialist companies, as well as how you could create your own at home.
Why Have a Cooking Party?
Let’s face it, all the best parties focus on what we get to munch on. This is especially true for kids. As a child, I would always look forward to what treats would be on offer. Usually because I didn’t get to eat party foods very often!
If your child was born at a fairly cold or rainy time of year then this is a novel indoor celebration idea. Combining their creations with the usual bubbles and noisy balloons sorts the party bag aspect too!
A party is an ideal chance for children to think outside the box when it comes to food. Especially when they’re in the mood to have some fun. If tasks involve prizes it can bring out their competitive side, and make them more inclined to join in. A cookery party is an all-round perfect opportunity to introduce healthy foods as well as some treats (of course) in a fun and exciting way.
Who Is Doing It?
There are many companies available across the UK offering a great variety of party options. We’ve narrowed it down to three that we think are especially good.
Cookery Doodle Doo have classes available in the south of the UK. Their locations include Brighton, Cheltenham, North Hampshire and more (note that some themes are only available in certain areas). Their focus is on creating a fun and exciting experience centred around food. Plus they take the stress away from us parents – what’s not to love about that!? Kids can design their own cookies, or enjoy a traditional tea party. All accessories are provided along with party bags filled with goodies.
Kiddy Cook are located all over the UK, with some really lovely, imaginative party ideas. Available for age two and up, Kiddy Cook can provide a ‘Teddy Bear Picnic’, or even a healthy juice bar with names that are sure to get the kiddies lining up. Anyone fancy a ‘Shrek Juice’ or a ‘Princess Elsa’ blueberry smoothie? Even the biscuits the kids can decorate are naturally sweetened with fruits and berries.
Little Munchkins are currently only serving Bournemouth and the surrounding areas, but come highly recommended. They’re passionate about involving children in healthy and nutritional food from a young age. Their parties are based on educating children early, and making food fun. Cookery parties with Munchkins are located at their venue in Iford, but they’ll consider other locations upon request. There are lots of optional extras to choose from, including tea and scones for the adults – yes, please!
DIY – Cookery Fun on a Budget
Hosting a party in your own home can have its limitations. You might be short on space, and then there’s the reality of managing a horde of excitable children by yourself! But there are some really easy ways you could recreate a cookery party at home on a budget.
You could offer a savoury and a sweet option to keep everyone happy. The sweet option could be a souvenir to show their loved ones as part of their party bag. And the savoury option is your party catering sorted!
An example that I’ve done with my own children is making pizzas using tortilla wraps. This was a cheaper option as opposed to the pricier ready-made bases. I then put out bowls of toppings and made a little production line. The kids move from bowl to bowl putting what they like on their pizza. I find just a tablespoon of tomato puree works well as a base sauce too!
For the sweet option you could have some biscuits or cakes already made for them to decorate. As with the pizzas, you can get different stations set up for the kids to visit. These can be icing, sprinkles, dried fruit, mini marshmallows – any colourful and yummy decorations the children will love. If you fancy creating something from scratch, then there are some great options available that don’t have to be complicated or take forever. Just remember to be mindful of any intolerances or allergies.
If you really don’t have the time to make your own sweet treats for decorating then you could buy some. Just grab some plain cookies or biscuits from your local supermarket. There are often trays of undecorated cupcakes or madeleine cakes available too. It really can be that easy!
Take the hassle out of party planning, or be the trend setter for children’s parties in your town. Either way, I think cookery parties are brilliant. Not only are they a fun and different way to celebrate a birthday, they’re an opportunity to introduce kids to healthy foods in a fun way. Win, win, I reckon!