I Can Cook On The Go is a celebration of healthy eating and looks at how healthy snacks can be used as fuel for energy whilst on the go, as well as encouraging families to get active. In this third series Katy travels around the country in Horace the van, with her friends Mr Spoon and Pinchy Parrot meeting four children each day, making a quick and easy snack or drink in the outdoor kitchen before setting off to take part in an exciting activity. As well as learning cookery skills including grating, mixing and snipping, there's lots of ideas for fun and energetic things to do.
You can recreate every recipe used on I Can Cook with your child. The team behind the recipes on the programme have put together a few helpful pointers to help you get started:
Seasonality Where possible use fresh ingredients when in season, washing and rinsing them before use. If you are unable to find the fresh ingredients, tinned products can be used in their place.
Preparing the space It's best if the work surface is at the height of the child (eg you could use a painting or picnic table) to allow the child to stand to cook. The child should not be balanced on a chair to reach a counter. Preparing the space you are going to be cooking on and cleaning up afterwards is an important part of the experience. Your child can help and learn good habits from the start. A work mat is used by Katy to help define the clean working area for her I Can Cook visitors. This helps ensure that the preparation surface is really clean for your child to use. If the mat slips, you can place a damp piece of kitchen roll underneath and it will help keep the mat in place.
Mixing bowl Where a mixing bowl is needed, choose one with a 1 or 1.5 litre capacity. This is big enough to allow the children to get their hands into the mixtures when needed and is plenty big enough for the small quantities they make.
Eggs Where eggs are specified they are always medium sized.
Salt Only the Bread recipe uses added salt. This is necessary for the yeast to work. Otherwise, all the recipes have been developed without added salt.
Portions All the recipes have included how many portions they make and serving suggestions. The recommended portion size is suitable for most children up to six.
Apron Katy and her visitors always wear an apron to cook. This keeps their clothes clean and also stops things that may be on their clothes, like pet hairs, going into the cooking.
Baking paper To help stop the recipes sticking to the tray in the oven, Katy uses siliconised baking paper. Often this is enough, but sometimes she uses oil as well. Greasing the baking paper or container to prevent the mixture from sticking can generally be done using vegetable oil or olive oil. However, sometimes olive oil is specified because it adds flavour too.
Grater In Katy's kitchen, she uses a multi-purpose grater which has a suction facility to stick it to the table. You can also use other types of grater but be very careful of little fingers.
Scissors The I Can Cook children often use scissors to cut up ingredients such as cooked bacon and spring onions. Choose standard metal-bladed nursery scissors and keep them only for food use in the kitchen.
Oven temperatures Oven temperatures are given for fan ovens, static electric ovens and a gas setting. Cooking times may vary depending on your oven and the material the container you are cooking on or in is made of. For example, a metal casserole will heat up quicker than a ceramic one, which potentially reduces the cooking time.
Oven gloves We recommend you always use oven gloves and that you remind your child that you are in charge of using the oven and all sharp tools.
The 'two spoon' method The two spoon method is used in some of the recipes - this means taking two teaspoons, one of which you fill with the ingredient or mixture, the other one is used to push the ingredient or mixture off. This can be a coordination challenge for your child the first time, but with practise becomes much easier.
The educational value of the show
I Can Cook helps children to:
- Have fun experimenting with different ingredients to make some yummy recipes.
Connect what's on their plate with the world around them (how food is made, recognising healthy foods, connecting healthy eating as good source of energy etc).Learn some simple kitchen and cookery skills - and develop their hand-eye coordination and fine motor skills in the process (as they mix, stir, sift, spinkle and snip ingredients).