Cooking Around the World With Kids – New Zealand

One of our favorite ways to explore the world is through the food of different countries! This is such a great way to expose kids to new places and cultures and have a fun evening. Not to mention, it is a mostly free activity (except the cost of groceries). If you’re feeling like you can’t travel right now, or want to get your kids excited for their next adventure, here is your guide to cooking around the world with your kids and exploring the country of New Zealand. We had so much fun cooking traditional New Zealand recipes with our kids and we hope you do too.

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Another Disclaimer: Some of these are not my photos, we haven’t made it to New Zealand, yet! I’m definitely not an expert on a New Zealand. This post is a combination of what I could find online, and of our experience with cooking these recipes ourselves.

Cooking Around the World With Kids: The Setup

We looked up a list of all 195 countries and wrote the names of each country on popsicle sticks. Then we put them in a jar and we’ll choose one every time we want to explore a new country.

Next, we used a composition notebook (I like the ones with the squares), and decorated the front to be a “passport” that we can document all of our fun cooking adventures and recipes. You can decorate with travel stickers, markers, glitter, or whatever you want!

New Zealand Art Projects

To go along with dinner, have your kids spend some time doing art to help them learn about New Zealand. This could be as simple as pulling up a picture of the flag of New Zealand and having them draw their own, or printing out pictures of animals that live in this country and letting them color. Coloring these is a great way to pass the time while you wait for the food to cook as well.

Printable Coloring Pages for New Zealand

Family Friendly New Zealand Recipes

New Zealand has so many fun foods to try and we had a blast making these recipes. I consider myself a decent cook, but I’m no expert in New Zealand recipes. So instead…. we found a great cooking blog called The Kiwi Country Girl and a few others with so many easy to make New Zealand Recipes! The Kiwi Country Girl lives with her family on a rural farm in NZ and her recipes are delicious and easy to follow. Since some of the measurements are different, and ingredients have slightly different names, I’ve added some notes to help you out based on what we made!

The Appetizer – New Zealand Cheesy Cheese Rolls

When I saw this recipe for cheese rolls, I knew we had to try it. We are and always will be a cheese family. This recipe was good! I wasn’t able to roll the bread, I just folded it in half. Not sure if that’s because I used too much cheese (always a problem for me), or if the bread I was using was too small. Anyways, it was yummy and fun all the same! Find the recipe here.

Recipe conversion notes:

  • 180C = about 350F

If I was going to make these again, I’d probably use a little less mustard powder and maybe add a little buffalo sauce (not for the kids) but everyone enjoyed this new snack!

The Main Course – Mince and Cheese Pie

Mince pie is a classic New Zealand meal, and it was a hit with our whole family. It was actually our first time cooking a meat pie, and I can say for sure that this recipe will become part of recipes we make regularly! Link to the recipe here.

Recipe conversion notes:

  • 500 grams of beef mince (about 1 pound of ground burger)
  • Marmite (I couldn’t find this at the store, and didn’t plan far enough ahead to order any – but you can get some here)
  • Mixed herbs (I think a mix of thyme, rosemary, basil, oregano, sage – or some version of this but it’ll still be good if you don’t have this exact blend!)
  • Corn Flour (called corn flour in the states)

Don’t stress about the differences, this recipe was super easy and tasted delicious!

*If mince pie doesn’t seem like something you’ll like – try these homemade sausage rolls or any of the other recipes that look interesting to you!

The Dessert – Anzac Biscuits and Fairy Bread

For dessert, we made Anzac Biscuits from the Kiwi Country Girl. Anzac Day (Australia and New Zealand Army Corps) is a public holiday in New Zealand. It is a day of remembrance for both past and present troops. These biscuits were super tasty and you probably have all the ingredients in your pantry already. There are so many other New Zealand desserts you can make, and we plan on making all of the recipes below eventually!

Recipe conversion notes:

  • 100 grams of butter is about 7 tablespoons, or just under one stick of butter

We also made Fairy Bread which is a birthday treat in Australia and New Zealand. It’s super simple and basically just bread with butter and colorful sprinkles! What a fun tradition – find a recipe here!

Other New Zealand Dessert Recipes:

Fun Facts About New Zealand

  1. There are 5 sheep for every one person living on New Zealand – the highest ratio in the world
  2. New Zealand became the first country to allow women to vote in 1893
  3. In 1990, New Zealand became the first country in the world to appoint a National Wizard
  4. Sign Language is one of the two official languages of New Zealand – the other being Te Reo Maori
  5. There are zero snakes in New Zealand
  6. All but one scene of the Lord of the Rings Movies were filmed in New Zealand
  7. New Zealand is roughly the size of Colorado
  8. More penguin species live in New Zealand than any other country
  9. Many New Zealanders call themselves Kiwis, which is also the name of a flightless bird that is found all over New Zealand
  10. Taumatawhakatangihangakoauauotamateaturipukakapikimaungahoronukupokaiwhenuakitanatahu is the name of a hill in New Zealand and holds the title for the world’s longest name
  11. The Blue Lake is the clearest lake in the world, where you can see to a depth of 80 meters (about 260 feet!)

Photos of New Zealand

Bonus! New Zealand Snacks

The cooking will keep you plently busy for the evening, but if you want to go the extra mile, I’ve gathered some links for New Zealand snacks for you and your kids to try. If you plan ahead you can order some of these for a special surprise to make your New Zealand adventure that much more fun.

  • Jaffas: A chocolate candy ball covered in an orange flavored coating
  • Lemon & Paeroa Soft Drink: I couldn’t find anywhere to buy this without very expensive shipping to the US. It used to be on amazon but is currently unavailable! Snatch some up if you see some at World Market or another global store.
  • Marmite: A savory vegan spread used on toast, made from yeast extract and fortified with B vitamins. May be an acquired taste but if you have some more adventurous eaters you can try this with butter on toast. They say a little goes a long ways!
  • New Zealand Wine for the adults! New Zealand is known for Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. Just check the label to make sure you’re getting wine that was made from grapes grown in New Zealand.

TV and Movies Set in New Zealand

Lastly, if you want to continue this adventure through the evening, turn on a show or movie that was filmed in New Zealand, or is about New Zealand. There’s a long list below so choose one depending on the age of your kids or watch a movie after they go to bed. Dane and I used this New Zealand cooking adventure as an opportunity to finally read the first Lord of the Rings book together and then we’ll watch the movie (again) when we’re done!

PG Rating: The Hobbit Trilogy (3rd movie), The Chronicles of Narnia trilogy

PG-13 Rating: Lord of the Rings Trilogy, The Hobbit Trilogy (first two movies), X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Without a Paddle, Whale Riders, Hunt for the Wilderpeople

R Rating: The Last Samurai, Bride Flight, The Piano

*Not Rated: Boy, Chasing Great, New Zealand – a Voyage of Discovery (documentary)

There are also tons of YouTube videos out there, if you just want pictures of the beautiful scenery in the background you can check this relaxing video out!

I hope you had fun cooking around the world with your kids and exploring New Zealand! We hope to see you for our next cooking around the world adventure. If you’re from New Zealand or have visited, let us know what we missed!

If you’re ready to plan a real life vacation check out some of our guides below to help you plan:

Happy Travels!

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