Foundation: 5-7 Years Cooking

Lets get Ready to Cook

There are some basic rules you should follow before starting to cook

  • Tie back long hair.
  • Roll up long sleeves.
  • Remove all jewellery and nail varnish.
  • Wear an apron to protect your clothes.
  • Wash your hands before, during and after cooking, especially if you have been handling raw meat.
  • Get all your ingredients ready and weighed out these are what you need to make the recipe.
  • Wash all fruit and vegetables especially salad ingredients.
  • Get all the equipment you need ready before you start.
  • Wash sharp items separately – never put sharp knives in the washing up bowl, you might forget they are there and hurt yourself or someone else.
  • Walk, don’t run in the kitchen.
  • Don’t leave all the washing up until the end! Wash up and wipe the work surfaces as you go along.
  • Be careful with sharp knives. If you are not used to using a knife ask a grown up to help you or chop for you, and to teach you the correct and safe way to chop and slice – see below. Young children can grate an onion or carrot instead of chopping it.
  • When using a sharp knife use the correct method for the food you are chopping. Ensure the blade of your knife is facing downwards.

Bridge hold

Place the item such as a strawberry on the chopping board. Make a bridge over it with your hand – your fingers should be one side and your thumb on the other side. Guide your knife under the bridge and over the food. Press down and pull the knife along the strawberry, you might like to think of the knife as a train which goes under the bridge! This is suitable to cut things like potatoes, tomatoes and courgettes.

The Claw

To cut the courgette strips or food into chunks use the claw method. Place the food on the board, make a claw with your hand by partly curling your fingers together. Tilt the knife blade downwards and slice through the courgette using your fingers/ claw to hold the courgette. Slide your fingers back keeping a grip on the food, as you slice downwards.

Along with the skills suggested for 3-5 year olds, you can now introduce your child to trickier techniques and equipment.

At this stage, you could think about buying your child a knife designed for young cooks or using a small adult one.

With the introduction of sharp cutting tools like knives and scissors, always consider the ability of your child and if you’re not comfortable, then leave it for a while. There are still other more complex skills they can enjoy. If you do think they can manage then still always keep an eye on them as it’s very easy to slip even for adults.

Activities to try with 5 – 7 year olds

  • Cutting using a small knife – children should learn how to form their hand into a claw to keep fingertips out of danger, take a look at our knife skills video
  • Cutting with scissors – if you can get smaller scissors or children’s scissors, use them to snip herbs
  • Grating – fingers can easily be grated so keep watch and make sure they don’t get too close to the end of whatever they’re grating
  • Measuring – even the very youngest children can do this but as children learn to read and do basic maths, this is a great opportunity for them to do this with less supervision
  • Rubbing in – rubbing in flour and butter with fingertips is called for in many recipes
  • Beating and folding – show children how to beat cake mixture with a wooden spoon or fold in egg whites without knocking out too much air
  • Greasing and lining a cake tin or tray
  • Peel oranges or hard-boiled eggs – make sure eggs aren’t too hot, run them under the cold tap first and be careful of residual heat
  • Setting the table – encourage them to cherish the ritual of family meals


Welsh Lamb Cawl

What is Welsh Lamb Cawl?

What is Welsh Lamb Cawl?

Welsh Lamb Cawl Recipe

Welsh Lamb Cawl Recipe

Cawl Worksheet

Cawl Worksheet