I have a dream. It’s not a dream of world peace or a York without floods (although I’d really love that too). Nope, I dream that one day one of my children might take over the scales, saucepans and wooden spoon and knock up a meal or two for the rest of us. Cooking isn’t one of those skills you’re born with and, although my kids might learn a thing or two from watching me muttering over a lumpy cheese sauce, nothing beats them getting stuck in for themselves. But that’s not always as easy as it sounds: younger children wanting attention, finding the right recipe and ingredients and setting aside the time can get in the way of a decent cooking session.
That’s where Little Bites comes in. This new class for 3 -5 year olds (term time weekdays) and for 5 -11 yr olds (weekends and holidays) was set up by Penelope Gilbert, a trained nutritionist and mother of two. I headed to her house in Heworth with my 5 year-old and baby (along for the ride and any spare baked goods she could get her chubby hands on) to see what it’s all about.
Penelope holds her classes in her lovely home kitchen; low tables and child-friendly utensils make it easy for the little chefs to get stuck into creating something tasty from her healthy, easy-to-follow recipe. Simple flatbreads were the order of the day when we visited, with all three boys getting involved in weighing, measuring, rolling and cutting. They enjoyed being in charge of their own balls of dough and turning them into something delicious. While the oven did its thing, the kids were kept occupied with activity sheets relating to the ingredients. An hour after we arrived, we left with a fresh batch of flatbreads to take home (which may or may not have made it past Foss Islands Road).
Little Bites runs in Heworth on Thursdays and Fridays (10-11am) for preschoolers for £6.50 per class (first class free). There will be monthly Sunday classes for 5-11 year olds from February 2016. For more information visit the Little Bites website or email for more information.