Sticky pork, soy, ginger & garlic broth (page 274)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Measure the soy sauce.
  • Grate the ginger with as much supervision as they need.
  • Peel the garlic. Jake and James love banging it to loosen the skin first.
  • Weigh the mange tout.
  • Weigh the bean sprouts.
  • Measure the honey.
  • Measure the vegetable oil.
  • Pick the coriander leaves off the stalks.
  • Mix the soy and honey together.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 4 months, James 2 years 8 months


I intended to re-test the pork with carrots because I’d had such success the night before. I just had to build on James’s triumph from the night before. 


I had to cook these noodles twice because I didn’t get it right first time, so I boiled some carrots to serve on the side. I took the mushrooms out of James's noodles because I thought that there was no point pushing things too far too fast. I’d be happy if he ate the carrots and pork again. He did. It's a question of texture and trust. As he chewed them I could see that he wasn’t sure about how the soft carrots felt in his mouth. This made me wonder if just around weaning time it would be important to introduce as many different textures as possible. Get kids used to the idea that different food feels different and that this is a good thing. It could be cooked food, it could be different fruits, the textures of oranges, apples, grapes, kiwi fruit and bananas are all very different.


Speaking of fruit, after we ate our noodles, we made a fruit salad together at the table. This was a calm and playful way to end the meal and fill them up with fruit. 


James can now cut bananas with a butter knife. Jake can cut most things up to the point where they get too short and close to the knife, he now slides the things he cuts off the chopping board in exactly the same way I do. My boys took turns to mix the fruit and add just enough plain yoghurt to bind it all together. 'My turn, my turn,' James says as soon as he sees Jake doing anything.  This illustrates a practical playtime beautifully. I could have been in the kitchen doing it on my own while they waited away from me at the table, but instead we all did it together. It only took slightly longer, will eventually be quicker and we enjoyed each other's company. This is also a good way to introduce kids to new fruits and to use up any damaged fruit. You can just cut out any bruises then chop the fruit up.