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10 easy recipes you can make with your kids

Cooking with kids is an exciting and worthwhile family activity. When parents and caregivers introduce kids to the kitchen at an early age, they are on the road to being able to make their own meals by the time they are tweens and teens. Forget relying on takeout and ramen noodles in college, your junior chefs will be able to whip up homemade pasta sauce and more. Kids cooking in the kitchen doesn’t have to be a Chopped Junior episode either. Cooking is an important life skill, and the earlier kids get comfortable in the kitchen the better. Start with easy, hands-on recipes before moving on to more complex dishes. Here are 10 kids cooking ideas to have fun with.

family cooking
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Pizza

  • Use pre-made dough or bagels for this kid-favorite.
  • Have kids spoon and spread marinara sauce before adding a layer of mozzarella cheese and any desired toppings.
  • Place in the oven at 350° for 12 to 15 minutes.

Sandwiches

Sandwich night is the ideal time to let kids experiment with creating their own sandwiches. Provide pre-cut rolls and have a spread of various lunch meats, lettuce, tomatoes, and onions on the counter. Then, let kids make their own sandwiches.

Yogurt parfaits

  • Take a large glass, plain Greek or vanilla yogurt, and chopped fruits (blueberries, bananas, strawberries)
  • Spoon in a  layer of yogurt at the bottom of the glass
  • Next, add a layer or fruit
  • Alternate between yogurt and fruit layers until almost to the top of the glass
  • Eat or refrigerate until later

Nachos

  • Layer nacho chips on a cookie sheet
  • Spoon a light coating of salsa (store-brought is fine)
  • Sprinkle a layer of chopped lettuce
  • Add chopped tomatoes, beans, peppers, or any other favorite
  • Sprinkle cheese over top
  • Bake at 350° or until cheese melts

Pancakes

  • Combine 1 cup of flour, a teaspoon of salt, 2 teaspoons of baking powder, and a teaspoon of sugar in a medium mixing bowl
  • Beat one egg and stir in dry mixture
  • Melt 2 tablespoons of butter and stir into mixture
  • Slowly add in a cup of milk and stir until combined
  • Once the batter is ready, use an ice cream scoop to measure onto the warm griddle
  • Flip once when batter begins to bubble

Oreo ice cream pie

  • Spoon vanilla ice cream into a pre-made Oreo pie crust, filling almost to the top
  • Spread a layer or whipped cream like icing
  • Crush Oreos and sprinkle on top
  • Drizzle Hershey’s Chocolate Syrup all over the crushed Oreos
  • Freeze for at least four hours before eating

Tacos

  • Cook ground beef or chicken in pan and season with a packet of McCormick Taco Seasoning
  • Heat favorite taco shells in oven for five minutes (tortillas are fine too)
  • Cut up lettuce, tomato, peppers
  • Grate cheese
  • Heat up a can of Goya Black Beans
  • Place meat and toppings into bowls with spoons and arrange a taco bar on the table
  • Serve while meat and beans are hot

Trail mix

  • Mix a half of cup of Cheerios, mini-pretzels, raisins, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and M&Ms in a large mixing bowl (feel free to play with the ingredients and add personal favorites)
  • Eat or spoon into sealable snack bags

Quesadilla

  • Lay one tortilla on a cutting board
  • Spread favorite cheese inside
  • Sprinkle chopped tomatoes or spinach if desired
  • Place tortilla on top
  • Use back of spoon to spread a light layer or olive oil
  • Place the olive oil side down on griddle
  • Cook until side turns light brown about two to three minutes
  • Spread a light layer of olive oil before flipping
  • Cut in half or fourths
  • Serve hot

Cinnamon toast

  • Arrange six to eight slices of whole wheat or white bread on a cookie sheet
  • Lightly spread a layer of butter or vegan spread on one side
  • Combine cup of brown sugar, 3 teaspoons of cinnamon, teaspoon of nutmeg, and 2 teaspoons of vanilla extract in a small mixing bowl
  • Sprinkle mixture on top
  • Place in preheated oven on 350°
  • Cook for eight to 10 minutes
  • Serve warm
Family cooking together in the kitchen

Kid cooking tips

  • Always leave anything involving the stove and oven to the adult in the kitchen
  • When cutting, have children use kid-friendly knives

Cooking with kids is fun, but it does take patience. Children will spill and drop stuff. Before starting any recipe with kids in the midst, accept that mess is part of the deal.

Yes, cooking with kids can get messy, but some adults are chaotic in the kitchen, too. The best time to make a recipe with the kids is when you have time. If you’re rushing out to practice or another activity, don’t make a recipe with the kids unless they’re already seasoned cooks in the kitchen. Pick a free evening during the week or on the weekend when you have the time. Weekend breakfast and dinners are perfect. Since cooking is a life skill, it is important to get kids comfortable in the kitchen at an early age. Try one or more of these 10 simple kid-friendly recipes as an introduction. All the recipes are easy for kids to make with supervision. Whenever the stove or oven is involved, let the adult handle it. As kids become more experienced in the kitchen, they can handle more tasks with guidance and eventually solo. Getting kids involved in making foods they love to eat is a great way to teach vital cooking skills as well as help them learn to make healthy food choices as they grow.

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