Schools case Studies

Cookbook to get more 'kids in the kitchen'

Banana berry pikelets with berry compote - just one of the tasty dishes prepared by the Heart Foundation's Nicky Williams at her 'kids in the kitchen' cookbook workshop in Henderson.

Teachers from six Auckland schools attended the free workshop in September 2015, alongside participants from the Stroke Foundation and Unitec, and a year 13 food technology student from Henderson High School.

The Heart Foundation’s Kids in the kitchen cookbook aims to get children interested in food and helping out with the measuring, grating, stirring, cutting, mixing, pouring, shaping, mashing and tasting.

That way children are much more likely to try new foods, even those that were previously unappealing. The cookbook includes ideas for breakfast, lunch, dinner, baking and drinks, along with some handy hints and tips for fussy eaters.

Workshop topics included:

•             Why ‘Kids in the kitchen’ was created

•             Getting the four food groups into your day

•             Using recipes as a base

•             Swaps and pantry basics

•             Standardising recipes and costing

•             Using ‘Kids in the Kitchen’ in your school

•             Other ways the Heart Foundation can help your school

Nicky says participants loved checking out the cookbook and learning how to incorporate nutrition into their curriculum.

“They’re intending to use the cookbooks as a teaching tool, and at home,” says Nicky. 

“One of the Healthy Families staff members now actively uses Kids in the Kitchen at her active lifestyles classes and picks recipes for families to cook together. Families are then gifted a book to take home and use.”

Green Bay Primary’s Cathie Chandler agreed: “The workshop was really useful with lots of great things to take back to school.” Nicky has supplied the school with more copies to have on hand in the classroom.

Healthy Families/Sport Waitakere kindly supplied the room and promoted the event on behalf of the Heart Foundation.

“It was great to be supported by Healthy Families’ staff and to work in collaboration with them,” says Nicky

The banana pikelets, tortilla chips with salsa and guacamole, and bliss balls all got the thumbs up from workshop attendees.

Kids in the kitchen is available from your local Health Promotion Coordinator, or order it from our online shop The first 25 copies are free, and $1 per unit thereafter.