The home of easy and delicious banana loaf recipes and a wealth of articles to answer all your banana loaf baking needs.
Pick a time when you’re not in a hurry and when you don't need the results to be perfect.
Familiarise yourself with the recipe - read it through. Know what needs doing and that you have all the ingredients and equipment in the house. Look at the pictures on our main banana loaf recipe page as a visual guide to understanding what each step involves.
Prepare the area. Clear a big space (move their drawings and your laptop!) and, if you are worried about the floor, put down some plastic.
Be prepared - if you have time. For example, get out ingredients in advance - you want to be supervising the children not hunting around the back of the cupboard for the next ingredient while they empty the flour onto the flour.
Make sure the children wash their hands, roll up their sleeves and wear aprons or bibs.
Make sure the children can see what’s happening - work on a surface they can kneel up to - or bring the whole process down to the floor!
Explain safety and hygiene in basic terms - eg we don’t eat raw eggs and the oven is hot so don’t go near it. Don’t let them near sharp knives.
The younger your child is, the shorter their attention span. If you know your child has a short attention span, pick a part you think they’ll enjoy and engage them at that stage after you’ve done some of the prep work yourself.
Trust your child - but accept that they will do silly things. Kids as young as two can crack an egg into a bowl by themselves and rub fat into flour. But they may also tip the ingredients over their heads! Cooking is about experimenting - with the feel, the texture and the “what happens if I do this” aspect of mixing things together. When things go wrong or they wreck it, take a deep breath and try to think positively about what they have learned.
If you’re letting your younger child do the weighing out, it helps to use a separate bowl for weighing and then tip each weighed ingredient into the main mixing bowl. Similarly, crack one egg at a time into a small bowl, then tip each one into the mixing bowl once you’ve checked for shell. That way, you limit the effect of mistakes.
Enjoy yourself! You’re having fun with the kids and they are learning!
And if it didn’t work this time? Don’t give up on cooking with the kids. Just go back to the most simple cooking with kids thing you can think of - like jam tarts with ready made pastry - until they’re ready to move on.