Christmas is an ideal time to get in the kitchen with your children. At Cooking With Languages, we know the importance of keeping it simple and making it fun.
With thanks to our social media friends, we have compiled our very first list of Easy Christmas Recipes for Kids from different countries around the world. As well as making some simple and scrummy recipes for you all to enjoy, we will also have a look at some new words in different languages.
In this first Christmas Round-Up of Easy Christmas Recipes for Kids, we have some delicious recipes from Australia, the United Kingdom, France, the Netherlands, Poland and Spain.
Mini Mince Pie Puffs from the United Kingdom (Eats Amazing)
Mince pies are a favourite in our house. We have to leave making the until as close as possible to Christmas, otherwise, they do not last! We love the idea of these light puff pastry bites as an alternative and also as an excuse to make more 😉
Ingredients (makes around 30):
1 320g sheet ready-rolled puff pastry
1/3 jar good quality ready-made mincemeat
Preheat your oven to 190°C (Gas mark 5/375°F). Line 2 baking trays with grease proof or baking paper.
Crack the egg into a small bowl and lightly whisk.
Unroll the sheet of pastry. Using a small cookie cutter*, cut out as many shapes as possible from the sheet, cutting each shape as close the previous one as possible to maximise the number cut.
Place half of the shapes on the lined baking trays, making sure there is plenty of space around each one. Lightly brush them all with the egg.
Top each pastry shape with a small dollop of mincemeat – be careful not to use too much as it’s easy to overfill them.
Take the other half of the pastry shapes. Lightly brush each one with egg, and place it, egg side down, on the mincemeat topped pastry. Gently press around the edges to seal.
Using a small fork, press all around the very edge of each shape to seal further. I’d recommend using a child’s fork if you have one, for the smaller tines.
Lightly brush the top of each pastry with egg. Using the tip of a small sharp knife, cut a tiny cross into the top of each pastry to allow steam to escape.
Bake in the oven for 12-15 minutes until cooked through, puffed up and golden.
Layered Christmas Smoothies from Australia. (My Kids Lick The Bowl)
This simple and scrummy Christmas Smoothie not only looks amazing but also it is a great way to sneak some greens into the mix for your little ones during the festive season!
The Red Layer: a combination of watermelon, strawberries, and raspberries.
The White Layer: milk (you could use a milk alternative if needed) ripe bananas and cashews, I reserved half to make the base of the green layer. (cauliflower can be added to this layer to up the veggie content) The cashews can be skipped if nut free is a requirement
The Green Layer: frozen mango and spinach leaves to the remainder of the white layer mix
Layer them, top with fruit if you wish and boom you are done a festive layered Christmas smoothie.
Ginger nut biscuits were a favourite of mine as a child and gingerbread biscuits, in the form of people or houses, are a Christmas tradition in our home. We love the idea of this Polish family recipe from Olga at European Mama and cannot wait to taste it.
half a cup honey
1 cup brown sugar
2 tablespoon strong coffee (I used cocoa powder)
1 teaspoon baking soda
spices: cinnamon, cardamom, nutmeg, cloves
dried fruit (optional)
Put the sugar, butter, honey and coffee into a saucepan.
Cook until the sugar and butter dissolve and remove from the heat.
While the mixture is still hot, add the flour mixed with the baking soda and spices.
Mix and let cool.
Add both eggs, mix well.
Add the dried fruit (I used a handful of raisins and 5 prunes)
Butter a bread form and transfer the batter into the form.
In the build-up to the festive season, learning about Spanish Christmas Traditions is a fun way to encourage interest amongst language students. Making language learning fun and relevant makes learning easier.
Download our free printable Spanish Christmas Traditions comprehension exercise to give to your students or read it out loud to them (subject to their ability) and then ask them to answer the questions.
Tradiciones Navideñas Españolas
La Campaña de Navidad
En España, es normal comenzar a ver decoraciones de Navidad en Noviembre.
Muchos edificios importantes están decorados así como las calles y las casas. Alrededor de Noviembre empieza también la Campaña de Navidad en todos los centros comerciales y en pequeñas tiendas.
La intención principal de la Campaña de Navidad es decorar las tiendas de forma navideña y ofrecer descuentos y rebajas para incitar a la población a iniciar sus compras de Navidad.
El Portal de Belén
Una decoración muy típica en España es el “Portal de Belén” que representa a Jesús y sus padres. Estas decoraciones se pueden encontrar en casa particulares y en tiendas, bares y restaurantes y, en algunas zonas del país.
Cuando se acerca el día de Navidad, se pueden encontrar representaciones de belenes en vivo y en directo, en la calle.
Nochebuena y el Día de Navidad
Nochebuena es un día muy celebrado en España. Se celebra en todo el país.
La comida servida ese día puede variar dependiendo de la zona, pero todas tienen algo en común: siempre se sirven mucha comida.
Después de la gran comida, es común comer algo dulce, principalmente “turrones”, que se parecen a las tabletas de chocolate pero suelen ser más gruesas y con diferentes tipos de frutos secos.
El Día de Navidad se celebra normalmente con la familia. Todo el mundo abre los regalos de debajo del árbol que ha traído Papá Noel.
A los más pequeños de la casa les encanta esta parte y, por esa misma razón, esta parte del día está dedicada a ellos aunque los adultos también reciben regalos.
De nuevo, la comida servida puede variar según la zona del país pero es común servir grandes cantidades de comida.
Nochevieja y Año Nuevo
En el 31 de diciembre, es común quedar con la familia y amigos, tanto en casa como en la calle, para celebrar Nochevieja y el Año Nuevo. Hay muchas fiestas y celebraciones por todo el país.
Cuando llega la medianoche, es común beber champán o cava y comer doce uvas de la suerte. Se come una uva cada vez que suena el reloj, en los últimos doce segundos del año. Se dice que comer dichas uvas trae buena suerte para el siguiente año.
En algunas zonas del país se “recomienda” llevar ropa interior de color rojo para iniciar el año, ya que se dice que también trae Buena suerte.
Día de Reyes
Es España, el día 6 de enero, celebramos algo parecido a la Navidad: un día en que los pequeños reciben regalos y dulces y las familias se reúnen de nuevo para pasar el día, juntos.
El día antes del Día de Reyes, por la tarde, en las calles de todo el país se lleva a cabo “La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos”. Los Reyes Magos y sus ayudantes pasan por las calles, tirando dulces a los pequeños. A los niños y niñas les encanta estar en la calle recogiendo caramelos y saludando a los Reyes Magos.
En este día, es muy común comer el “Roscón de Reyes”, un tipo de bizcocho con un agujero en medio y con frutas y frutos secos encima.
El Roscón contiene dos sorpresas: una pequeña figura y una alubia. Quien sea que encuentre la figura, puede ponerse la corona que viene con el Roscón. Quien sea que encuentre la alubia tiene que comprar el Roscón del año siguiente.
Now the Questions/ Las Preguntas …
¿Cuando es normal comenzar a ver decoraciones de Navidad en España?
¿ Qué es la intención principal de la Campaña de Navidad?
A Family Favourite Easy Christmas Recipe For Kids … (in English and Spanish)
Christmas is a great time to get messy in the kitchen with your children. This easy Christmas recipe for kids is one of our family favourites. We still have stains on our kitchen walls (we call them trophies 😉 ) from when the kids were younger and we got messy making these.
The alcoholic tipple is totally an optional extra, it is a good idea to separate the mixture before making a bowl of adults and a bowl of kiddies truffle mixture 😉
The children love getting messy when rolling the mixture into balls …
Let’s make Chocolate Truffles …
300g premium dark chocolate
1 large glass of condensed milk
1 measure of rum (optional)
Chocolate sprinkles to decorate
The steps …
Break the chocolate bar into pieces and melt it in a glass bowl, in a pan of boiling water.
Once the chocolate had melted completely, add the condensed milk.
Mix the condensed milk into the melted chocolate and then add your choice of alcoholic tipple.
The mixture is very runny but it hardens as it cools down. (You can leave the mixture overnight.)
The following day it is easy to roll into balls … without getting too messy! The kids will love this!
Use a teaspoon to measure the mixture and roll into small balls.
Cover in chocolate sprinkles.
You can choose other coverings apart from the chocolate sprinkles
hundreds and thousands
condensed milk / la leche condensada
chocolate / el chocolate
spoon / la cuchara
Hacemos Trufas de Chocolate …
1 pastilla chocolate (approx) 300g
1 vaso grande de leche condensada
1 chorrito de ron (opcional)
Fideos de chocolate
Romper la barra de chocolate en trozos. Derretir en un recipiente de vidrio dentro de una olla de agua hirviendo.
Una vez que el chocolate se haya derretido completamente, agregar la leche condensada.
Mezclar la leche condensada en el chocolate derretido y luego agregar su opción de bebida alcohólica.
La mezcla es muy líquida pero se endurece a medida que se enfría. (Se puede dejar la mezcla durante la noche.)
Al día siguiente es fácil de rodar en las bolas … ¡sin ensuciarse demasiado! A los niños, les van a encantar!
Utilizar una cucharadita para medir la mezcla y luego rodar la mezcla en bolas pequeñas.
Cubrir las bolitas en fideos de chocolate
Nota: Se puede usar todo tipo de fideos para adornar.
Eek! Christmas will soon be here. Are you getting ready?
Don’t forget to sign up for our 12 Days of Christmas giveaways.
Over 12 days in December, we’ll be sending you lots of FREE and fun Christmas related materials, in English and Spanish, including, flash cards, word searches, recipes, Christmas songs and much more….
**** UPDATE ***
A CHANCE TO WIN : One Week at An International Summer Camp in Malaga
The International Summer Camp Malaga 2017 gives young people from 13 to 17 years the opportunity to get to know other students of different nationalities. The program consists of 4 Spanish lessons in the mornings and social, cultural and sports activities in the afternoons and evenings.
The students will enjoy a special holiday in an international context and get to know the Spanish culture, exchanging ideas and experiencing all sorts of adventures.
When we learn a language, it is very important to learn about the country’s culture and traditions, as only then you will be able to fully understand the language, the country and its people. That’s why today we will talk about a Spanish Christmas and the traditions that are enjoyed in Spain.
All over the world, Christmas is seen as a time of the year to spend with our loved ones, to relax for those few days off and also as a time to give and to receive both love and presents.
Josh & Francesca on the beach at Christmas in Spain!
Here are some of the most common Spanish Christmas Traditions…
La Campaña de Navidad
In Spain, it is normal to start seeing Christmas decorations around November and they increase un number as the 25th of December gets closer. Many important buildings are decorated as well as the streets and houses. Around November is when the “Campaña de Navidad” (Christmas campaign) begins. It is carried out in most shopping malls as well as smaller stores. The main point of the “Campaña de Navidad” is to decorate the stores with Christmas’ decorations and offer deals and have sales to encourage people to start their Christmas shopping early.
El Portal de Belén
A very typical decoration found in Spain during this time is the “Portal de Belén” which is a representation of Jesus and his parents. These decorations can be found in houses as well as stores, bars and restaurants and, in some parts of the country, when it gets closer to Christmas, you may find live representations of this tradition on the streets in the form of a live nativity.
La Lotería Nacional de Navidad
The National Christmas Lottery is a very big event in Spain. The lottery is celebrated the 22nd of December around 9am in the morning. Most people in Spain buy at least one ticket, as this lottery has become almost a tradition.
These tickets can be bought from July all the way up to the 21st of December and most people from Spain await the day to see if they have won “El Gordo” (the jackpot) or not.
On top of this, every year a special advertisement is shown on TV which reminds people about this special lottery. It is normally a rather moving advert which tends to encourage people to cherish the Christmas holidays more.
The video below is one of our favourite adverts from 2014: “El Mayor Premio es Compartirlo”
Nochebuena y el Día de Navidad
Christmas Eve (Nochebuena) is also a strongly celebrated day in Spain. It is celebrated all over the country. The meals that are served that day will vary depending on the area but they all have something in common: there is always a lot of food served on the table. After the big meal, it is common to eat something sweet, commonly “turrones” which are similar to chocolate bars but are normally thicker and made with different types of nuts.
Christmas Day (el Día de Navidad) is commonly celebrated with family. Everyone opens the presents left under the tree by Santa Claus (also known as “Papá Noel”). Children obviously love this part and this part is mainly focused towards the youngest of the family, even though adults also have presents waiting for them. The meal for this day may vary depending on the area of the country but it is also very common to have lots of different dishes served.
In some parts of Spain, on the 26th of December, people also celebrate what is known as “Sant Esteve” (which is similar to Boxing Day in the UK). This day is normally spent at home with family and the food that is served is normally leftovers from the days before.
Nochevieja y Año Nuevo
On the 31st of December, it is very common to meet up with family and friends, either at home or outdoors, to celebrate New Year’s Eve and New Year. There are many parties and celebrations held over the country and fireworks are also quite common in big cities. When it gets to midnight, it is common to drink champagne and eat twelve grapes (uvas de la suerte) one each chime of the bells that mark the beginning of a new year as it is said that it brings good luck. In some areas of the country, it is “recommended” to wear red underwear to begin the year, as it also is said to bring good luck.
La cabalgata in Mijas Pueblo
Día de Reyes
In Spain, on the 6th of January, we have another celebration which is similar to Christmas: children get presents and sweets and family meet up to spend the day together.
The day before el Día de Reyes, in the evening, the streets from all over the country hold what is known as “La Cabalgata de los Reyes Magos”. The Three Kings and their helpers pass the streets throwing sweets to children and greeting them. Children really enjoy being on the street grabbing sweets and saying hello to the Three Kings who will bring them presents if they have been good over the year.
On this day, it is very common to eat a “Roscón de Reyes”, which is a type of sponge cake with a hole in the middle and nuts and fruits on top. This cake holds two surprises: a small figurine and a dried bean. Whoever finds the figurine gets to put on the crown that comes with the cake (even though children end up asking for it, to have fun) and whoever finds the dried bean has to buy the following year’s “Roscón”.
So, there you have a quick summary of some fun Spanish Christmas traditions. Wherever you spend Christmas this year we wish you all love and happiness.