What’s Cooking This Christmas?

When we first launched our new NEST blog we mentioned that we would also be inviting a Children’s Food and Nutrition Expert to join us. This week we are delighted to welcome Christine Phillips, professional chef and founder of Little Cooks Club – South Africa’s first cooking school for children. Christine is also the author of the recently published Timeless Family Food Journal, an interactive food journal filled with delicious recipes, nutritional information, clever tips and tricks, as well as ideas on how to enjoy quality time together as a family. 

“What if Christmas”, he thought

Doesn’t come from a store.

What if Christmas, perhaps,

Means a little bit more” 

                                              The Grinch – Dr Seuss                                                   

The problem with December is it comes at the END of the year, 365 days of rushing around, routines, schedules, pressure and stress. We are all tired. We all need a break, including our kids.

The great thing about December is schedules and routines come to a halt, down time is encouraged and available.

Time to relax. Time for good quality family time.

It is time to show those around you how much you appreciate what they have done for you during the year, from the teacher to the driver to the friends or family who have helped you out of a pickle. 

Signs of love and appreciation don’t always need to be expensive: gestures of love, hand-made gifts and thoughtful packaging can make all the difference. ‘Bought with thought’ is also my motto this time of year, after all, we still keep the economy turning.

Great places to find special gifts:

Craft markets – support those that are creative, items are normally made with love

Small shops – family or individually owned,

Organic suppliers – traders with a conscience.

Package parcels with some tissue paper and handmade boxes.

Spend the weekend with your children and get them to make some gifts or something to add to the little gift purchased.  I have a list below of ideas for prezzies and decorations:


Little Cooks homemade lemonade syrup

Little cooks easy oat biscuits in a handmade bowl

Chocolate shapes in a box

Peppermint creams

Oatmeal, chocolate chip and pecan nut biscuit mix in a bottle

Cinnamon play dough

Marinated feta and olives

Flavoured olive oil

Rainbow coconut ice

“Not-so-Christmas” pudding

Home-made mince pies

Home-made soaps, sugar scrubs

Lavender bags or “planted by you herb pots”

A beautiful basket of fresh veggies out your garden with packets of homemade biscuits


Popcorn garlands

Candy ribbon garlands

Jellytot candy canes

Spicy biscuits on a string

Decorated biscuits

Fruitloop/Oatees liquorice wreaths

Stained glass window biscuits

Marshmallow cone angel

Citrus fruit with cloves door hanger

Gingerbread house

Buy a plain Christmas cake and then ice it together

Treasure this time together, reconnect and chat about your goals for the next year.  Before you start the new routines, schedules and next cycle of 365 days.

*some recipes available from Little Cooks Club or google with your kids.

Warm regards

Christine Phillips