Thursday Thoughts: Cooking and kids


This summer we have been cooking a lot. Nothing special or extravagant – but simple, good food that you don’t need recipes for. I wanted my kids (now 10 and 8) to be able cook a full meal: starter, main and desert, without a recipe book.

Here is my thinking:  We visit so many friends and family, and nowadays, the kids are also visiting friends and family without me. I feel it is nice for kids to be able to offer to help and to be able to genuinely make something tasty and have the confidence to do it, without much fuss. There is just something satisfying about cooking for a group of people and having them enjoy it, plus, it is a great way of saying “thank you” to family and friends.

Especially since nowadays, we all have become a lot more casual — everyone participates, hosts and guests, when it comes to meal times. (Or is it just me who has the impression we don’t host the same way our parents did when friends come to stay?)


So far Coco has mastered a great cucumber salad with goat cheese as a starter, escalope pané with rice as a main, and she has perfected an apple crumble for dessert. She is also an expert guacamole and humous maker, so the important meal of ‘apéro’ (pre-dinner drinks here in France) is also taken care of.

Violette can prepare a red beet or a tomato salad for a starter (her main skill at the moment is the vinaigrette making), pasta with fresh pesto as a main course and her chocolate mousse is something she is pretty proud of. She also makes a mean fruit salad!

There have been some minor burns and little cuts and failed attempts, but in general the cooking un-aided by adults has been a great success! I am super interested! What are your kids go to recipes? At what age do you expect them to be able to cook a full meal?

Emilie x


Comments (7)

August 25, 2016

I love this! My eldest has done a little cooking – chocolate chip cookies, fruit salad, smoothies. But I think it’s time to up her confidence as well as get her little brother going now too (he is 8). I love the idea of them being able to help out when we visit family and generally feeling confident in this regard (so much is about confidence, right?). Feeling inspired from your post!

August 25, 2016

Thank you, Lindsey and yes it is so much about confidence. I get a lot of pleasure by able to feed people well (I hope ;)). I want to pass that on to the kids…

August 25, 2016

This post is timely! And what a fantastic idea to cook without a recipe. My kids are ages 7 and 10 and are pretty interested in cooking. My son (10) loves tacos of any sort, but has made fish tacos his signature dish with salsa and guacamole. My daughter (7) really loves to put together a fruit salad, which I also found is a great way to move some of the fruit that is starting to get too old in our fridge. They work well together in baking sweets. I can’t wait to share your mousse recipe with them!

August 25, 2016

I absolutely LOVE everything about this! I don’t have any kids of my own but I adore them and have several nieces and nephews that I cook with all f the time. We love it and like you said it is such a fantastic feeling to prepare a meal for other people and watch their reactions. My heart is full from reading this link so thank you for sharing! Bon appetit!! 🤗

August 25, 2016

My girls love to cook, my friend has a great idea, each Tuesday night her children take it in turns to cook dinner, they love thinking about, planning and then cooking their meal.
I hadn’t thought about it but you are right we host in a very different style to our parents!

September 6, 2016

What a great idea, and also very impressive.

November 5, 2016

[…] and kids – I loved reading this too. Emilie writes that she wanted her 8 and 10 year old to be able to cook a simple three course […]

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