In many ways, there doesn’t seem to be much difference between school holidays and lockdown. But to keep spirits up during the hols, encourage the kids to enjoy some simple fun playing chef in the kitchen.

The following recipes don't require much cooking so they are suitable for kids of all ages. It’s throw together food.

However, give a little guidance, if required. 

• First, make sure hands are washed in hot soapy water and dried thoroughly. 

• Read the recipe first and place all the ingredients required on the bench so they are within easy reach. This also helps ensure that all the ingredients are used. 

• Use consistent measurements in each recipe. That is, use metric measuring spoons and cups — not a mix of everyday spoons or imperial and metric measures.  

• Spoon dry ingredients into a measuring cup then carefully level off to the required amount without compacting the mixture. The exception to this rule is brown sugar. Normally this is pressed into a cup or spoon. 

• When measuring liquid, place the measuring cup on a flat surface then fill to the required level.

• Ensure knives are sharpened as it’s easier for fingers to be cut with a blunt knife as more pressure is required to cut through food.

• Clean up as you go!


You can use plain hokey pokey, if preferred — either purchased or home-made. Before using baking paper, crumple it, then flatten. It’s easier to line pans when it’s crumpled. Choose oblong biscuits, if possible, as these fit the tray more easily.

2 teaspoons powdered gelatine
2 tablespoons cold water
250g malt biscuits or similar
300g chocolate hokey pokey clusters or hokey pokey crunch chocolate
600ml cream
2 tablespoons icing sugar
395g can sweetened condensed milk

Place the gelatine in a small bowl and add the water. Stand for 5 minutes for the gelatine to swell. Place in the microwave for 10 seconds to dissolve. Cool. 

Meanwhile, line a 35cm x 25cm x 4cm slice tray with baking paper.

Cover the base evenly with the biscuits. If using round biscuits, crush these first and sprinkle evenly over the base.

Roughly chop the hokey pokey pieces.

Whip the cream and icing sugar together until stiff. Fold in the cooled but still liquid gelatine and the condensed milk. Fold in half the chopped hokey pokey. Pour evenly over the base and smooth the top.

Sprinkle evenly with the remaining hokey pokey pieces.

Freeze until solid. Using a large, heavy, sharp knife, cut into bars or squares and serve. Leftovers can be stored in an airtight container in the freezer. Makes about 16.


To julienne, means to slice into very thin batons.

200g skinned and boned smoked chicken  
12-14 round rice paper wrappers
3 cups finely shredded crunchy lettuce
1/2 red capsicum, seeded and very thinly sliced  
24 each: mint leaves, coriander sprigs
3 spring onions, thinly sliced
Hoisin Dip: 4 tablespoons hoisin sauce, 2 tablespoons lemon juice

Julienne the chicken. 

Place 1 sheet of rice paper in a dish of warm water, until just softened. Place on a chopping board.

Place a little lettuce and 3 slices of the capsicum on one edge of the wrapper. Add 2 mint leaves and 2 coriander sprigs, some spring onion and a little chicken. Fold in the sides and roll up, enclosing the filling. Place on a platter and cover with a damp paper towel.

Repeat until all the rolls are prepared. 

Combine the ingredients for the dip and serve with the rolls. Serves 4 as a light meal.


Fresh dates could replace the prunes. If the mixture is a little dry, add a teaspoon or two of honey

20 pitted prunes
3/4 cup each: sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds
1/2 cup shredded coconut
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon  
pinch salt
Optional: 1/4 cup chocolate chips
Place the prunes in a food processor and whizz until well chopped. Add the seeds and pulse until chopped. Add the coconut, cinnamon and salt and pulse to combine.
Remove from the food processor. Stir in the mini chocolate chips, if using. 

Line a tray with baking paper. Take heaped tablespoons (30g) of the mixture and roll into balls. Refrigerate for 30 minutes to set. 

Store in an airtight container in the fridge or freezer. Makes 12.


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