Despite the "common sense" that the kitchen should be off-limits to toddlers and kids, if taught and encouraged, the kitchen can be a very fun and safe place for them to hang out.
Well, not just only hang out, but actually help out by preparing meals and even cooking a whole meal from scratch.
Cooking with kids is a great bonding activity. When you cook together, kids feel they are important and it teaches them a lot about responsibility as well.
They feel responsible because you are trusting them with helping with an important family task. Also, supporting their curiosity and palate as they discover new tastes and different combinations.
We dug and searched for the best kids recipes so you can invite your small Jamie or Nigella to the kitchen and have fun.
1. Honey Bread
Baking bread is such a fun activity to do together with kids.
Image courtesy of Mess for Less
Measuring, scooping, and kneading provides so many wonderful opportunities for your kids to develop their sensory and fine motor skills.
And, no one can resist a house that smells like freshly baked bread.
Check the recipe of this easy bread recipe, with a sweet twist, at Mess for Less.
2. No-Bake Honey Nut Cheerios Snack Bar
These fast and easy bars can also be used as breakfast bars in case you guys are in a hurry in the morning.
Image courtesy of Averie Cooks
These bars are filled with, well, Cheerios, dried fruits, and yumminess.
Averie shares the how to here in Averie Cooks.
3. Toast Cups
A classic revamped: classic toast with eggs and a side of bacon.
Image courtesy of B. Britnell
This recipe pretty much comes down to just assembling food into the muffin tins and placing them in the oven.
Brita walks you through the process here.
4. Salad in a Jar
When craft meets food.
Image courtesy of hello, Wonderful
Agnes from Hello, Wonderful was able to make her kids enjoy salad by putting them in control of the ingredients and presenting it in a fun way for them to eat.
You can check the complete step-by-step here.
5. Corn Cakes with Summer Salad
From entrée to the main dish.
My Recipes considers this dish as entrée but there is no reason that this cannot become the main dish during a hot day of summer.
Check the full recipe and instructions here.
6. Baked Spaghetti Squash
Besides being a healthy substitute for regular spaghetti, it's very fun to make.
Image courtesy of Cooking with my Kid
The kids will enjoy transforming the squash into "spaghetti" so much! For the complete recipe, check the Cooking with My Kid page.
7. Chicken Broccoli Alfredo
Delicious, creamy, Italian-style pasta dinner.
Image courtesy of Julia's Album
This cheesy chicken and broccoli pasta dish is super easy to make; and the chicken breast is moist and tender, as it is smothered in a creamy, white cheese alfredo sauce.
Check the complete recipe at Julia's Album.
8. Baked Teriyaki Pork Chops
This recipe is super simple and it's a winner with the entire family.
Image courtesy of Six Sisters' Stuff
In less than 1 hour, with the assistance of your helpers, you can serve a great dinner.
Six Sister's Stuff shares the recipe here.
9. Taco Pizza
Yeap, you read it right: taco pizza!
Image courtesy of Life in the Lofthouse
Seasoned ground beef, refried beans, and all your favorite taco toppings are what make this pizza amazing!
Holly from Life in the Lofthouse explains the process step-by-step.
10. Chicken Avocado Roll-ups
These chicken avocado salad pinwheels double as a nutritious lunch and a party appetizer.
Image courtesy of Delish
Delish shares the ingredients list and directions here.
11. Baked Parmesan Zucchini
Healthy and nutritious: crisp, tender zucchini sticks oven-roasted to absolute perfection.
12. Banana Muffins
So easy that 4 toddlers can make them.
Image courtesy of Tawing Twins
Taming Twins shares the recipe and directions here.
You can also check the video with the 4 toddlers baking the muffins. This can give you some insight about how to divide the tasks with your helpers.
13. Rainbow Popsicles
Besides being perfect for summer, these popsicles are just beautiful.
Image courtesy of The First Year
Beth from The First Year explains in detail how you can do each one of the layers and what is the best way to assemble it. Check it here.
Tips for Cooking with Kids
Cooking with kids may seem like a daunting task, but it's actually easier than you think.
Kids from 2 years-old and up can adventure themselves in the kitchen, it's just a matter of knowing what tasks to give them.
Have a look at our tips so you can work well with your in-house sous chefs:
- Create the menu together. Encourage kids to explore cookbooks and websites for recipes.
- Give yourself plenty of time. Expect everything to take longer than it usually would so set aside extra time for cooking.
- Expect a lot of mess - cooking is a messy business and when kids are involved there'll be even more. Try to have fun with it and then clean up together at the end.
- Create a kids' cooking station.
- Start small. Give toddlers little tasks that won’t slow down your meal preparation, such as stirring or rinsing off vegetables.
- Teach children about food hygiene - ensure they wash their hands beforehand and in between touching raw and cooked or ready-to-eat foods.
- Learning opportunities - as you're cooking, talk about ingredients and their origins, cooking processes and techniques. Cooking can be a great way to learn about science, geography, and maths.
- Accept that not all kids like to cook. But even the non-cooking kids can still contribute to the meal by setting the table, folding napkins, washing dishes and tasting each dish to help with seasoning.
- Don't forget about safety equipment. If the kids are a little bit older and you're thinking about letting them handle knives, a good cut resistant glove can help them to develop their chopping skills while the added layer of protection eases your mind regarding possible cut-related accidents.
And how about you? Do you have a favorite recipe that you cook with your kids? Share it with us in the comments below.
Main photo credit: Que Rica Vida
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