Easy Recipes for Kids

Easy Recipes for KidsGetting kids involved in the cooking process is a great way to spend quality time together.  Instill a love for cooking in your little ones that will last a lifetime!

The Benefits

One day they are bound to leave for college and other adventures, and instilling children with a love for cooking while they are still young can help them sustain healthy eating habits for a lifetime.  If more than one child is working on a cooking project, then they have a great opportunity to learn teamwork, cooperation, patience and kindness.

In addition to these great benefits, involving children in the food preparation process can be an excellent confidence booster.  Creating a meal or even a simple treat can help a child feel more confident, and your complements and support (no matter what the final outcome) is an important self-esteem booster.

Baking Fun

Dessert making is one of the most beloved kid activities.  Desserts have a great potential for creativity.  Cookie and brownie recipes are wonderful for kids.  Using cookie cutters and decorating cupcakes, pies and cookies are great activities for children as young as two years of age.  Be sure to stack up on colorful icing, chocolate chips and soft candies suitable for cake decorating.  You may even want to attempt a real ginger bread house!

Picky Eaters

Experience shows that children will eat better when they have been a part of the preparation process.   Even if they are too young to get involved in heavy cooking tasks, invite them to be a part of the recipe selection or have them choose between several ingredients. 

For holidays and special occasions, plan out the meal courses with the children.  You are bound to get creative input and lots of giggles.  You may want to let the kids work on an easy side dish or dessert.   Something as simple as homemade ice cream can involve even the smallest helping hands.

Pumpkin Carving

Have the kids come up with their own pumpkin face design.  Once the final design has been decided on, have them draw it out on the actual pumpkin with a pencil. Children will love seeing their own design transformed into a Halloween centerpiece.  Use the pulp removed from the pumpkin to bake a delicious pumpkin pie. 

This is a nice opportunity to teach the value of food and the importance of not discarding ingredients that can still be used, as well as instilling an appreciation for the great bounty that we are blessed with. 

Math Skills

Measuring ingredients can be a great way to hone those math skills.  Teach basic fractions and measurement conversion in the midst of messy kitchen fun.  Your kids will hardly notice they are doing math!

Setting the Rules

Before starting any cooking project, make sure that the children know the rules.  The kitchen can be a potentially dangerous environment, and no project should be started until the rules are well understood by the little ones.

  • The stove and all potentially dangerous appliances are off limits.
  • Depending on age, sharp utensils such as knives should not be handled by small children.
  • If you would like to get your child started on perfecting their cutting skills, use a plastic knife or a butter knife on soft objects such as eggs or tofu.
  • Aside from utensils and equipment, be aware of hidden dangers.  A hot frying pan full of oil can splatter searing drops at quite large distances, so be sure the children are far enough from the stove when frying.

Plan Ahead of Time

Having children in the kitchen takes much oversight and instruction. 

  • Prepare ingredients, utensils and all other necessities ahead of time to allow you to concentrate on the kids and the cooking process.
  • Select recipes carefully to make sure they are suitable for small children.  You may want to split complicated recipes into tasks between yourself and the kids.  Many tasks that we adults find to be monotonous are great fun for little cooks.  Tasks such as sifting flower, kneading dough, and making bread crumbs is the equivalent of a fun game to children.

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