Chickpea fritters with garlic butter, spinach, olives & pita (page 198)

Practical Playtime / Jobs For The Kids

  • Open the tin with as much supervision as they need. (Jake started doing this at 4 1/2.)  
  • Drain the chickpeas in the sieve.
  • Measure the spices. 
  • Cut the garlic butter with a butter knife.
  • Break the egg into a bowl or directly into the food processor.
  • Turn the food processor on and off with as much supervision as they need. 
  • Put the sliced tomatoes onto the pita bread.
  • Squeeze the lemon. (Explain to your kids why they need to steer clear of any cuts or nicks on their fingers.) 
  • Pick the mint leaves from the stalks.
  • Measure the yoghurt.
  • Mix the yoghurt dressing.
  • Mix the spinach salad.

My Cooking With Kids Recipe Diary

Jake 5 years 5 months, 2 years 9 months


I had a break in the middle of today so that we could go swimming.


I’d been eating garlic butter when I woke James up from his afternoon sleep and he said 'Daddy’s all stinky!' I love the smell of garlic and whether he knows it or not he has been eating it all his life and it was delightfully cheeky.


Throughout the problems we’ve been having getting James to eat, his sense of smell is always very keen. As is Jake’s, who will come towards the kitchen and tell me what I’m cooking before he turns the corner. Much of this comes through our practical playtimes, smelling herbs that are on the shelves and scratching citrus fruit at the supermarkets.


I’m beginning to think something has clicked into place. At dinner we had the steak with garlic butter and these fritters.


James had come rushing into the kitchen as soon as he heard the food processor and I pulled the skin off the tomato for him and I didn’t bother trying to get him to eat the spinach. I’m learning to not try for too much too soon or too much all at the same time. He wolfed down the fritters and the pita bread, ate some steak and we had Brussels sprouts with it that he also ate. Jess had the brilliant idea to tell him that they tasted like broccoli, and it seemed this association worked. The only problem was that he got so excited that he liked them that he ate them really quickly then had too much in his mouth and was trying to tell us and he spat them all out.  


I’d put everything in the middle of the table again and we grabbed and chatted and Jake got excited about James eating well too and I’m quietly desperate for them to look after each other and be great mates. It was such a lovely mealtime, just wonderful. I’ve just realised that he ate all the bits of basil from the butter inside the fritters, though for the last six months at least he has been picking them out.