As we head into the autumn months, our eating habits will begin to shift towards dishes that provide comfort and warmth. This is a fantastic season for food so be sure to have some winning recipes under your belt for each mealtime.
Getting the children involved in making dinner for themselves and the family is also very important. Learning to cook is one of the most vital life lessons your child will learn and this knowledge will serve them well for a lifetime. The key is to start them young and ease them into it.
Expose your children to the widest variety of nutritious foods. Get them involved in mixing and measuring, picking herbs and washing vegetables when they are very little – this will spark their hunger to be included, into a genuine passion for food.
Here’s a selection of yummy recipes to kick off autumn with a bang!
Here we start with one of the best drinks there is, hot chocolate. It comes in many wondrous forms but this recipe from the Telegraph is the one that reads as delicious as it tastes. Salted caramel hot chocolate…
For something more on the healthy scale (you have to have balance, right?) you can jot down some recipes for delicious autumn-inspired smoothies. With the right mix of ingredients, your little ones will still feel as though they are being treated to something even when it is packed full of nutritious fruit and vegetables. She Knows has some great recipes for ‘fall’ – the American term for autumn – including a pear power smoothie.
One for the parents only is this autumn crumble cocktail made by Jamie Oliver, packed with flavour and comfort for one of those dark, chilly autumn nights.
Now to the main event: the dinner. It’s almost overwhelming the amount of delicious and comforting recipes out there to test out. Try searching for recipes with your favourite ingredients to narrow down the search.
Here are a few tasty staples to start you off:
Starting at the end of the meal (as most children wish they could), we have this warming recipe for apple and blackberry crumble with a Macadamia nut and vanilla topping from Great British Chefs. It comes from Michelin-starred chef Adam Gray so is sure to be divine.
For the mains, there’s this sweet cherry tomato and sausage bake from Jamie Oliver described as the “ultimate one-tray comfort food”. The dish is only 381 calories per serving and is also gluten-free.
A great vegetarian go-to recipe for autumn is this butternut squash and sage risotto from BBC Good Food. Even if none of your brood is vegetarian/vegan, it’s always nice to mix up mealtimes by offering something meat and fish free. Risotto can seem a little daunting to make but it really is very easy once you’ve given it a couple of attempts. It will also expose the children to something with a different texture and taste, which is always good.
To finish off (or begin) there’s this minestrone soup recipe from the Food Network packed with warming flavours and the comfort of a bit of pasta thrown in too! Packed full of seasonal vegetables, this is also a great way to sneak in lots of essentials vitamins and minerals.
Once you’ve decided on your favourites, why not celebrate the start of autumn with a big family meal or even turn it into a gathering including friends too? This will give the children a chance to show off their cooking/preparation skills along with giving you an excuse to get everyone you love in one place. The draw of lovingly-prepared comfort food will be too enticing to resist.
This is also an opportunity to use your garden, even if the weather isn’t all that agreeable. You just need to make the space look as comfy and inviting as you can with throws, blankets, big cushions and a heat source such as a fire pit or garden heaters.
You can also make the space appear to be even more part of the home layout with folding doors that open out onto the garden. This will give the feeling of the garden just being another room and, with the doors open, will give people the option of congregating outside or inside if the weather becomes a little too much for some.
Food is guaranteed to bring everyone together, and will soften the blow that summer is over by showing just how yummy autumn can be!