Jake's pesto meatballs with tomatoes & garlic (page 136)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Peel the garlic. Jake and James love banging it to loosen the skin first.
  • Measure the vegetable oil.
  • Take and shake the seeds out of the pepper.
  • Measure the tomato puree. Careful here, my boys love doing this, they call it the tomato toothpaste and I have to watch them so that they squirt slowly – it can be messy.
  • Open the tin with as much supervision as they need. Jake started doing this at 4 years 6 months.
  • Weigh the mince. 
  • Weigh the breadcrumbs.
  • Mix the meatball mixture.
  • Roll the meatballs.
  • Zest the orange. Do this together quite a few times before letting kids do it themselves and always supervise.
  • Measure the pesto.


My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 4 years 6 months, James 1 year 10 months


I'm not suggesting this for everyone, but it took us four goes to get this one right and Jake tasted the mince raw when we made it the final time. He's recently started saying 'taste, taste,'

every time we add an ingredient, reminding me of Raymond Blanc – after we made these we watched RB saying the same thing on TV.  We watch RB's KITCHEN SECRETS together at story time for a treat, one recipe at a time and it takes us most of the week to finish a single programme.

'Can we watch Raymond?' they shout. 'PLease Daddy, please!

When our friend Libby came to stay she heard all this and was convinced that they were asking for a cartoon of some sort.