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Forget The Monkey Bars; Go For Cheesy Feet

Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson in London.
Rosie Greenway
/
Getty Images
Celebrity chef Nigella Lawson in London.

For food writer Nigella Lawson, "the easiest child care option" is keeping your children in the kitchen.

"I'm not pretending they ever do anything like help me ... but the thing is I feel that they are absorbed and it's creative, but most of all it's purely selfish because otherwise I feel obliged to do something like take them out and have a run around," Lawson tells NPR's Steve Inskeep.

"I'm incredibly lazy and not at all athletic so the idea of having to kick a ball about or push them in swings forever, it's OK every now and then, but if I can have them in the kitchen stirring something even if in the end there's a huge tug-of-war going on over whose turn it is to stir the muffin batter, I'll do it."

Instead of running a mile down the road behind your still-new-to-a-bicycle daughter you could be making some cookies or bread rolls, Lawson says.

"In a certain way, cooking is like playing in a sand pit or making mud pies, but I've always found that if children help cook a meal, they tend to eat it, so I find it a very good way of preventing kids from getting too fussy," she explains.

There are several recipes Lawson has used over the years with her own children, including Soft White Dinner Rolls and Cheesy Feet.

"Children like things that are rather disgusting. I think if you said to an adult 'Can I offer you a cheesy foot?' They might say, 'Are you mad?'" she says, explaining that the dish came about thanks to a cheese straw recipe and a set of feet-shaped cookie cutters.

The recipe is easy to make, she says, because you use a food processor. Once the dough is made and chilled they can cut out the feet.

Here, Lawson shares her recipes for fun in the kitchen with children.

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