kids in the kitchen + gluten-free lemon coconut cupcakes recipe {guest post}

Teaching our kids that vegetables are grown in the earth, that cakes come from mixing natural ingredients in a bowl before baking instead of merely buying one ready-made, to me, are some of the greatest and most fundamental things that we can do as parents.

The world we live in today is somewhat of a scary place. To think that so many of our little ones are growing up believing that milk comes from the shop, beans from a can and juice from a bottle is just heartbreaking. So what can we do to help change all this you ask?

Get in the kitchen and cook with your kids.

I know the mere thought of it will have many of you in a fit. Trust me I understand. I ain't no saint and I'd never pretend that my kids cook with me on a daily basis, that's just not always realistic in these busy times we all live in. But, as often as you can, clear a little space, pull up a chair or two, strap on those little aprons, roll up those sleeves and take a deep breath. Accept that there will be mess, that's okay. Accept that nothing will be perfect, that's okay. Accept that things may take twice as long as it would have done had you just done it yourself, that is okay. Repeat after me, it's all okay.

It's not so much about what they make, but more about the fact that they are learning about food, how to prepare it and how to feed themselves later on in life. I don't believe any kid is too young to help out in the kitchen and from around the age of two my kids have helped out whenever possible.

I'm excited to be guest posting over at The Balanced Platter today. To continue reading on for my list of jobs that little ones can help with and get the recipe for gluten-free lemon coconut cupcakes head on over to the The Balanced Platter.  Happy cooking boys and girls!

P.S Last chance to vote for My Darling Lemon Thyme in the Circle of Moms Top 25 foodie Moms. I'd love your vote. Currently sitting at #56. One vote allowed daily. Thank you xx

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  • Reply
    dear olive
    May 28, 2012 at 3:54 am

    I love this. Such a simple idea, to get kids on the kitchen. But how powerful. (And the lemon coconut cupcakes don't look half bad, either!) Kellie xx

  • Reply
    The InTolerant Chef
    May 28, 2012 at 9:14 am

    So very true. I really think kids need to know that food is really real. I do buy the odd tin or packet, but my children much prefer home made, and to pick their own peas and carrots rather than defrost a packet. Great recipe, and great message!

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 11:30 am

      Oh yes, I ain't no saint and don't make everything from scratch. But I'd love to see more people teach their kids about real food. Our kids know that you can buy biscuits in a packet, but they also know how to make them from scratch. I think this is so important.

  • Reply
    Shirleen @ Sugar and Spice
    May 28, 2012 at 9:37 am

    Don't have kids (yet). The cat though is pretty keen to hang around with me when I bake/cook. He sits at the dining table and STARES at me or on the kitchen floor and STARES at me…until I drop something on the floor. He participates by cleaning up floor scraps. And that's okay. :-p x

  • Reply
    May 28, 2012 at 2:35 pm

    LOvely post,great apron!!Happy kids are usually dirty kids making a mess somewhere,i've decided to paint my house different shades of dirt colors.

    • Reply
      May 29, 2012 at 11:25 am

      Cute apron eh. My sister made it. You should see Ada's one too! Will have to take a pic and email it to you xx

      p.s love the dirt coloured paint idea 😉

  • Reply
    Angry Asian
    May 29, 2012 at 1:32 pm

    as a kid, i recall helping my grandmother with picking the dark, bad beans out of the mung bean bags. honestly, it was annoying at the time, tho i pretended to love it because it seemed to make her so happy for me to be helping. i also remember grating carrots & daikon for pickling. i would've preferred to help with the frosting of cakes & such. as it is now, i do more of the cake decorating, all the things i couldn't do in the kitchen, and i relegate the other mundane stuff i hated to my sweet boyfriend. 🙂

    how old is the child chopping carrots (I LOVE LOVE LOVE LOVE that shot!) and what kind of knife is that? would you believe, i didn't treat myself to proper chef/grown up knives until i was almost 30? before that i just didn't handle meat that required chopping/cutting.

    • Reply
      May 30, 2012 at 5:06 am

      That is so cute you used to agree to pick over the mung beans because you knew it made your Grandmother happy. What a good girl 🙂

      That's my 4 year old son Kye in the photos above (Ada was at school, but happily joined in with icing the cupcakes when she got home). I bought the kids a Scanpan Spectrum Santoku knife each last Christmas. But before that they have always just used one of my little Victorinox paring knives. I remember the first time I used a proper chefs knife, I was about 15. It was so scary! My kids will be pros by the time they reach that age 😉

  • Reply
    Treble Tart
    May 29, 2012 at 1:56 pm

    I popped over and read the rest of your guest post — I LOVE these cupcakes!! They are so adorable! Also, been voting for you as one of the Top 25 Foodie Moms. My fingers are crossed you make it into the Top 25! 🙂

    • Reply
      May 30, 2012 at 5:07 am

      I ended up coming in at #43, but thanks so much for your support! xx

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 2:23 pm

    Such a cute idea! Looks like everyone had a ton of fun making these!

  • Reply
    May 29, 2012 at 8:33 pm

    What a sweet little guy! I have one that just turned 14 and I never cooked enough with him out of the frustration of having a closet sized kitchen.

  • Reply
    June 3, 2012 at 8:29 pm

    Nice to do guest posts and lovely that you incourage the kids to have a go in the kitchen, never too early to learn to cook

  • Reply
    June 9, 2012 at 9:44 am

    Your parenting style is so proactive. That's how you educate your kids' palates and it's really admirable to see how well they adjust to helping you making some of your recipes. Those cupcakes = awesome. No doubt they loved it.

  • Reply
    April 11, 2013 at 8:50 am

    Your images are so cute. I think it's great to get the kids helping in the kitchen and that's a little pastime myself and my six-year-old son do together. He loves all the decorating and of course scooping up and eating the remaining cake batter. These cakes are great. 🙂

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