Recovering Play – Chefs in the Making!

Chefs in the Making!

Children Preparing Snack

What is it?

Most children are very interested in food. They often like to ‘help’ whoever is preparing food and then eat it too!

Children preparing snack can be seen as quite time consuming and it’s just easier for an adult to do it.  Is it a case of ‘feeding’ the children or interacting with children to provide rich experiences?    The effort is worth it for the benefit to the children.

Why is it important?

Snack is a wonderful opportunity for many learning experiences. Using utensils to prepare/organize snack develops fine motor skills. Talking about what they are doing and why, can lead to learning conversations around healthy eating, caring for the environment and where food comes from. Useful beginnings to lifelong skills.

How to bring it back

With careful hand washing and supervision and following your settings health and safety procedures children can be involved. Try to have utensils which are a suitable size and safe for children to use and support them to learn how to use them correctly.

Children could grate cheese or vegetables or wash fruit, they can also wipe tables, set out dishes/cutlery, and fill jugs. Children can count the number of children and match the same number of dishes etc. 

To enable children to measure and mix can they help to make playdough?

Remember to be aware of allergies even during the preparation.

Sharing with home

Share with families how your hygiene procedures keep everyone safe and also the importance of healthy eating. Encourage families to involve their children in preparing food at home too. Share photos of children doing this in nursery.

Setting the Table, Eatwell Guide and Food Matters documents all contain lots of good ideas. Snack and mealtimes should be unhurried experiences for children in a homely situation where possible.

This is one of a weekly series of posts highlighting different spaces, experiences and interactions that practitioners have told us are not all easy to get back after the pandemic restrictions.

It’s all about playing, talking, and having fun together – so we hope they are useful.  If there are any ideas you’d like us to highlight, just get in touch with your link EYESO.

For ideas about family engagement, you will find a “home” version of this post on