Schools out for…..? Nobody really knows how long! But our development chef, Joe Boiling has come to the rescue with his top tips for keeping the little foodies in your house engaged and interested with cooking and food during these difficult times…..
Some time ago I was tasked with looking after my nieces and nephews (there’s 6 of them, all under 12 at this point in time) for 5 full days and, naturally, I panicked. After some consideration, I thought cooking with them - letting them get hands on with food - would be the way to go! I was a young eager chef at the time and thought I could impart my knowledge on the future of the family! I can educate them and have fun - I’ll be Fun-cle, Joe!
They ended up having fish fingers and waffles every night and I nearly had a breakdown.
Fast forward a few years, now I have Gozney Roccbox and my nieces and nephews keep coming back. Cooking with them is so much easier, and a LOT more fun! I can’t help thinking my hair would be a lot fuller now if I’d had a Gozney Roccbox back then.
Below are my top tips for making cooking with the kids an enjoyable thing.
1. Hands on
Making pizza naturally throws up plenty of opportunities to get the kids involved and hands on with everything; from the dough through to the toppings. Ditch the mixer and let everyone get messy with the dough (this simple dough recipe is a brilliant starting point) and channel your imaginary Italian Nonna and crush those San Marzanos by hand!
2. Sneak in the good stuff
Getting the kids to eat their 5 a day can be challenging at the best of times but pizza provides an amazing vehicle to make those things more desirable. Nothing is off limits when topping pizzas (well, maybe not pineapple for some purists!) which means you can throw on whatever spare veg you have to hand or left over from the night before.
Making hilarious pizza faces is one of my favourite things to do (even if the kids aren’t present tbh); I’m talking mushrooms noses, sweetcorn hair- anything goes with pizza faces! Although I find it works best to add raw or cooked veg to a tomato pizza base - otherwise you may find a nose or an eye flies off when you launch the pizza into Roccbox!
3. Keep it fun and varied
We love a themed pizza night in my house; who can make the best Harry Potter pizza face during a HP movie marathon, who’s pepperoni pizza best resembles the death star on Star Wars night?! Options are endless!
A Blindfolded pizza tasting session is a great way to get (force?!) kids to try new and different flavours too. Set this one up as a game with a scoreboard and see who can identify the most toppings by taste alone.
4. Home schooling
There’s loads of help out there for home-schooling at the moment but could ‘Pizza School’ be the future?!
Art class? Get the kids to draw they’re pizza face before making it. Math? Slicing the pizzas up to learn about fractions and percentages is a brilliant (and tasty!) way to keep their grey matter working. You can even sneak in some science by talking through the fermentation process the dough undergoes!
5. Grow your own
Growing your own develops a brilliant respect and understanding of ingredients as well as being loads of fun and educational.
Cress and herbs are the easiest to start with and can be done in the window sill if you’re short on room. If you’re lucky enough to have some outdoor space you can grow tomatoes and all sorts of weird and wonderful vegetables for those pizza faces!
So there you have it, my top tips on keeping the kids entertained and educated with Gozney Roccbox during these trying times. The only worry is they’ll never want to go back to school!