Search icon


14th Jul 2015

12 kitchen commandments for cooking with kids (you need these!)


Cliodhna Prendergast is one crafty lady, the founder of cool new cooking platform Breaking Eggs – a beautiful new website with a series of video tutorials – a brilliant new concept aimed at bringing children to the kitchen to work, and play with food.

Having grown up in the kitchen of my family’s country hotel, food and cooking have formed the back drop to my life so it was inevitable I would forge my career as a professional chef. I was fortunate that the kitchens I worked in always had a close and direct link to the farms and community of producers that supplied us. Now a mother of three young children, I appreciate more than ever the value of this awareness.

Breaking Eggs kids cooking programme Ballinahinch Connemara Galway Ireland, photographer Julia Dunin (337)

In sharing this experience and perspective with my own children, I came to create my series of programmes that are informative but fun food adventures for the family table.

Here are my 12 kids-in-the-kitchen commandments:

1. Touch

Get your children’s hands involved in food, get tactile.

2. Taste

Get them to taste everything, even if they might not want to eat it. A tiny taste from the tip of your finger or spoon can help them make up their mind. The more they taste, the more open they will be to new things.

3. Balance

Variety and sensible shopping are key to a balanced diet.

4. Moderation

Everything in moderation, the odd indulgence won’t do any harm.

5. Adventure

Make the buying, finding, cooking of the food a fun experience, something they will look forward to. Food is not just fuel.

6. Respect

Show them the back story to the food by talking about and connecting with your dedicated local producers and markets.

7. Talk

Talk about the food, what gives you energy, where eggs come from, the life of a farmer, how flour is made…

8. Celebrate

Celebrate the seasons with your children and explain what foods are seasonal.

9. Patience

Gentle encouragement is the way to approach food. Never force it on your children.

10. Positive reinforcement

Ensure your partner and the whole family enthusiastically endorses the family meal.

11. Listen

Listen to your child – sometimes they are actually full. Try not to overload the plate, they have a great sense of achievement if they can finish everything and have much smaller tummies than we do.

12. Regular meal times

Try to stick to a schedule, their bodies will be ready for food if it’s given at the same time every day.

 Breaking Eggs kids cooking programme Ballinahinch Connemara Galway Ireland, photographer Julia Dunin (352)