The Big Cookathon

The Big Cookathon - Handy Herbs - Cooking a simple and healthy Vegetable Pie with a toddler.
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The Children’s Food Trust Big Cookathon is an annual event where the aim is to get the nation cooking.Big_Cookathon_2015

They ask families to cook and eat a healthy meal from scratch together over the weekend of 22-25 April. Those people who read my blog will know how keen I am on encouraging cooking with children. So of course, I signed up to this.

The official recipe is the Big Cookathon Cottage PieChildren enjoy picking herbs to use in cooking. This rosemary is for an easy to cook, healthy family meal. – a healthy version of a traditional favourite. They have a great vegetarian version too which I preferred to cook. I have made a couple of adjustments, using fresh herbs from the garden and sweet potato as we love that here and it is very nutritious. We had great fun cooking and eating the pie together. I actually did this with a toddler and there was plenty for her to do so that she was involved in helping to make the pie. Find the recipe and further details here.

This year The Children’s Food Trust are hoping to reclaim family mealtimes. The Big Cookathon Cottage Pie takes its inspiration from a time when meals were eaten by families around a table at home, without the distraction of modern technology.

Children can enjoy helping to make this simple Vegetable Pie.Learning to cook is an essential life skill and like me, the Children’s Food Trust believe that by eating better, children do better. Cooking also helps to develop a range of other skills and encourages healthy eating. Cooking together is also great fun!

You can find more information about cooking with children from

Cooking with your Children and

Children Cooking with Herbs

The Big Cookathon - Handy Herbs. Helping make my Vegetable Pie from start to finish.

Do you enjoy cooking with your children? Would it be something you would consider?




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27 thoughts on “The Big Cookathon

  1. I love this idea! Our children are finally at the age where sitting and eating together is becoming fun (I have to admit that until recently, it’s been fairly hard work, so I have always favoured cooking for them, helping them with it, clearing up the monumental mess, then eating a peaceful meal with my husband when he’s in from work!) But it’s getting to be lovely family time to do it together. My children also love cooking with me! As soon as they see me get chopping boards and pans out, they are there, and I have no problems with them helping. They know loads about different fruit and vegetables, and my brother has a space for them on his allotment, where he takes them to tend to their little spot! There is a little herb patch in our local park, and they love smelling all the different herbs! They remain however, very fussy eaters, despite of this, so I’m just hoping that if I continue to encourage them, they will start to take more of an interest in the finished product, and start trying a little more!
    I do have a thing for fresh herbs-I have a cupboard stocked with dried ones, but there’s something special about fresh ones in cooking!
    Thanks for linking up to #bigpinklink!

    1. Fantastic that your children love helping you cook. How lucky that they have a patch on your brother’s allotment! They will end up with so many important skills! I am fairly sure that over time these activities will make them less fussy eaters and will help them have a healthy relationship with food. Definitely something special about fresh herbs 🙂 Thank you so much for your comment 🙂

  2. Great idea.
    My mum never really liked to cook, she’s view on cooking is that it’s just a duty. I’ve been always sent out of the kitchen, because she finished quicker if I wasn’t under her feet.
    As a result I was in my 30s when I learned to cook all by myself, experimenting and exploring.
    I intend to involve my children in cooking as soon as I can. It’s great fun, very relaxing, creative and healthy. I love to cook now, and I feel I missed out on years of great cooking.

    1. It is such a good idea isn’t it to encourage families to cook and eat together? Great that you love to cook now, despite not being encouraged as a child. Enjoy cooking with yours 🙂

  3. What a great idea and initiative! It looks like you are your little one had so much fun. Its a shame I didnt find out about this earlier as we would have loved to have taken part too. We love encouraging our little one to cook with us in the kitchen as often as we can, and she loves getting involved as much as she can. The cottage pie recipe sounds just fab, my mother in law did a version with sweet potato a few weeks back and I was pleasantly surprised at how delicious it was! Great to see you linked back to to #MarvMondays, always lovely to have you join 🙂 Emily

    1. Thanks, Emily. We love sweet potato and we did have a lot of fun making it. I will let you know of any future events 🙂

  4. What a great way to promote healthy eating for families. Sometimes it takes that kick start to realise that eating healthy doesn’t have to be hugely time consuming!
    Thanks for linking up to #BloggerClubUK 🙂

  5. What a brilliant idea, it’s really important to get children involved with food and cooking early on and I love your posts Sara. OH didn’t know much about cooking when we got married & we both wanted our sons to be able to cook. They loved cooking as toddlers & still do as adults.

  6. I wish I could cook never mind my daughter! Although she does cook with her nan just not me, maybe she’s trying tgo tell me something?!?! This is such a great idea though and I love cottage pie too, but I’ve never tried it with sweet potato. Sometimes I swap potato mash for mashed carrot and swede to mix it up a bit!
    Thanks so much for linking up at #KCACOLS. Hope you come back again next Sunday

  7. Lovely post with an aim of getting people cooking together…perfect! I need to do more of that in my house. This is probably the little push I needed. Thanks!

    mainy – myrealfairy


  8. I think this is fantastic, and I do love home cooking as much as possible. I hadn’t considered letting Toddler H help, but I might be brave 🙂

    It’s a bit late for me to do now, but I’ll do it tomorrow for dinner 🙂 I’ll tag you in the blog post tomorrow night…. eeeek!

    1. I would really love to see how you get on! It is surprising how quickly toddlers can learn what to do and is such fun! Hopefully, it will lead to developing great cooking skills 🙂

  9. I just love that you have a vegetarian option too, and it looks totally yummy! I have to admit I don’t cook as often as I’d like to with my girl. I don’t think it helps that Holly has a food phobia either.xx #KCACOLS

    1. We really enjoyed the vegetarian option. We try hard to schedule it in, otherwise it can be easy not to get around to doing it!

  10. Oh this has wonderful sentiments – I try really hard to get my children involved in the prepping of a meal, setting the table and all of us sitting down to eat and chat with no technology allowed – it is one of my favourite times of the day #KCACOL

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