Kerryn Boogaard Kerryn Boogaard
Beverly Goldsmith Beverly Goldsmith
Zoe Bingley-Pullin Zoe Bingley-Pullin

Winter cooking with kids:

Winter is a great time of year for cooking, as the days get colder there really is nothing better than the warmth and smells of a busy kitchen so it’s the perfect time to be encouraging your kids to get involved in the preparation of meals, especially on those cold winter nights.
By Motherpedia
Date: July 02 2012
Editor Rating:

Cooking with kids can of course be a challenge and sometimes the resulting mess can be more work than it’s worth. In this guest post the team from Vegecation Melbourne reintroduces you to a winter cooking technique that will have you enlisting the kids’ help every night – the One Pot Wonder.

If you are washing up averse (and let’s face it – who isn’t?) one pot dishes are probably not a new technique for you. But as well as meaning less mess to clean up, one pot wonders are great recipes to have the kids join in with. Here’s why:

  1. Freestyling: The great thing about the one pot wonder is that there are no hard and fast rules. Have the kids add ingredients in small doses, encouraging them to work independently of the recipe and go by feel, this will encourage experimenting with flavours, plus it’s more fun!
  2. Simple Supervision: With only one pot on the go it is easy for you to keep an eye on the stove while watching over the kids as they measure out the ingredients. Have them find the ingredients, measure them out and add them to the pot as you watch
  3. Child Checker: If you’ve got more mature children have them look after the stirring and checking when the pot is on simmer. Kids can be very persistent when they want to be, making them great checkers and entrusting them with this task free you up to do other things
  4. Less Mess: it almost goes without saying but one pot equals super fast clean up. So there should be no guilt about leaving this for the kids to do.

Why not try it out with your young’uns? Here’s a recipe to get you started:



2 Tbs Olive oil

1 red capsicum, finely chopped

1 large onion, chopped

2 cloves of garlic, finely chopped

500g lamb mince

300f basmati rice

2 tablespoons pine nuts

1 Tbs cinnamon

1 Tbs paprika

1 pinch of salt

1 tsp ground black peppercorns

1 litre chicken stock

1 sprig of rosemary, leaves separated

Lemon juice (to taste)


Fry the onion, capsicum and garlic in olive oil in a large pot until soft. Place mixture in a separate bowl while you brown the mince. Return the onion mixture to the pot with the mince and add pine nuts and rice. Cook until warmed through. Add spices, salt and rosemary and mix well. Stir in chicken stock, until all ingredients are covered then cover and simmer for 15 minutes until rice has absorbed all of the stock. Add lemon juice and serve immediately.

About Vegecation

It may be cold out, but Melbourne’s backyard beasts will be warm as toast this July when Centro Box Hill opens the gates to a Vegecation Winter Wonderland this school holidays. Come join us as we explore the fun to be had in your backyard during the colder months, and take home your very own winter seedling to grow in your back yard.


What: Vegecation - a fun and engaging community school holiday activity

Where: Centro Box Hill North Precinct (opposite the food court)

When:  9 – 13 July 2012

What time: 11am to 2pm each day, interactive play times: 11.30am and 1pm

Who: Aimed at children aged six - 15 and their families

Price: FREE to attend. Every child receives a free apron to take home

What's your favourite recipe to cook with kids?

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