If find yourself embracing cooking with kids as much as I do, you may be looking for recipes that will give your little one more responsibility. I’m told that kids who prepare meals with their parents are more likely to be healthier eaters when they’re in their first apartment, cooking for themselves. I like that idea and am starting early. Toddlers can get involved as long as you supervise and remove the major sources of heat. Special, colorful cooking tools and cool aprons are recommended.
Involve your kids prep for every meal. I’m still squeamish to let our three year old handle raw chicken or meat just yet so these recipes are fish and vegetarian varieties. Below are recipes in which our budding chef has done most of the work:
I’ve been making these bars for years and can’t find a link to share anymore. This was the first recipe my little guy made with me. Just dump all together and mix.
Combine 1.25 cups minute oats, 0.25 cups each of crispy rice cereal, chocolate chips, brown sugar, softened butter and 0.25 teaspoon each of salt and vanilla plus 2 tablespoons honey. Pat into an 8×8 inch pan and bake at 350 oF for 18 minutes. Cool before cutting. They are awesome.
Equal parts milk and minute oats are can be pre-portioned for your tot to stir together. Heat in microwave one minute. Then let the kid mix in anything they want such as chocolate chips, raisins, blueberries, cinnamon or honey.
Make Ahead Mac and Cheese
This mac and cheese recipe from the Splendid Table is usually served as a main dish for dinner but makes a yummy replacement for boxed mac and cheese lunches. Make it the night before and bake for lunch time. Little kids can help find ingredients from the fridge, measure and pour everything into the food processor. They’ll love pressing the start button and watch it all blend together. You just need to boil pasta. Twenty-First Century Mac and Cheese
Tex-Mex Tortillas for Kids
Let her help smash avocados while you open a can of black beans. She’ll rinse the beans next. Before you heat up frozen corn with the beans in the microwave, have your tot add a dash of garlic powder and cumin to the mix. Then she can help construct your Tex-Mex lunch by rolling up corn, avocado, beans and cheddar cheese within tortillas. You can also use tacos which she can arrange on a baking sheet before they go into the oven. Yummy and takes ten minutes!
This Food Network poached fish recipe from Alton Brown uses an electric skillet which can be cool when you start making the sauce. It’s no problem to substitute tilapia or any other mild, white fish that your kids are more likely to enjoy. Catfish au Lait
This is our favorite fish recipe, mostly because there’s no measuring involved. About an hour before dinner, have your child place salmon in a baking dish. You can help them cut a lemon in half or just use store bought lemon juice. Sprinkle about a quarter cup of lemon juice over salmon. Then have them pour two or three tablespoons of EVOO on as well as some salt, pepper and garlic powder. Cover the dish with foil to marinate in the fridge. Bake uncovered at 350 oF for about 15 minutes.
Find more recipes for cooking with kids at Teenie Tiny Foodie.
Your meals will never be the same when lovingly made with little hands. Plus, your children will gain confidence about cooking, a life long, daily used skill.