Making (3-5 Years)

The aim of this session is for children to make a simple dish using basic food skills.



The aim of this session is for children to:

  • make a simple dish using basic food skills;
  • name the skills used to prepare the recipe;
  • explain how ingredients change when they are prepared.

You will need

  • Setting up a cooking session guide
  • Get ready to cook cards
  • A recipe and corresponding presentation - recipes are available from the Food – a fact of life website in the Recipe sectionYou will need the equipment and ingredients listed on the recipe.

Listen and respond

Before the session you will need to organise your cooking area. Refer to the Setting up a cooking session guide to help. You will also need to gather and organise the ingredients and equipment needed to make the dish. Each recipe states how may it will serve or make. You will need to multiply the ingredients depending on the number of children who will be making the recipe. 

Explain to the children what they will be cooking. Question them to see if they can remember what they need to do before they get ready to cook. You could use or display the Get ready to cook cards to remind the children.  Show the presentation which corresponds with the recipe the children will be making. You could show this on a computer or interactive whiteboard.  Alternatively, print out the presentation, show or display each printed slide, and talk about how the recipe is being made. Question the children:

  • What food can you see?
  • What equipment can you see?
  • What is happening/what skills are being used?
  • How is the food changing?

Have a go

Work with the children in groups of four to prepare the recipe.  Get yourself ready to cook and help the children get ready. Work with the children to make the dish. Talk about working carefully, and show them how to use the equipment safely. As you make the dish with the children, challenge them to name equipment and skills being used. Talk about the effect the preparation is having on the ingredients by questioning the children as each ingredient is prepared, e.g. What are we doing to this food? What equipment are we using? How is the food changing? Ask the children to tell you what the ingredient looked like before and after and how it has changed. Why do we need to change the ingredient?


Let the children taste what they have made.  Discuss how it looks, smells and tastes.  The children could fill in the ‘I have tried these foods’ sheet from the My food book (from the Food and drinks – choices session). Repeat this cooking activity another time with a different recipe.

Setting up a cooking session

A guide to support setting up a cooking session.

3 - 5 YR
Get ready to cook cards

A set of cards about getting ready to cook.

3 - 5 YR
My food book presentation.pptx

A presentation that can be printed and used as a book to record food experiences.

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