Starting kids off in the kitchen early teaches responsibility, builds memories and helps shows them where food comes from. Luckily, many recipes can easily be made kid-friendly, with a little occasional help from a supervising adult when needed. Teaching children the basics should be part of every parent’s routine as a child who has these basic life skills will be better prepared for real life. Here are just a few easy meals that children will not only be able to make but will love long into their adult years.
One of the few foods that almost every child loves is pizza. So what would be better than to teach them how to make other than pizza? Children of all ages can help cook their own miniature pizzas with a little guidance from you. Let them roll out store-bought pizza dough, cover with premade sauce and toppings of their choice and bake until the dough is cooked through and the cheese is melty. Getting all the ingredients is easy as they are all premade.
Sandwiches are the ultimate kid-friendly cooking project. You can let them make fun faces with different ingredients on an open-faced sandwich, or even use cookie cutters to cut out fun shapes. Teaching them how to make your favorite sandwich and how to make them interesting can be a fun activity for the whole family. Teaching your children how to enjoy a good old fashioned peanut butter and jelly sandwich on Klosterman Baking Company bread is priceless.
Scratch Mac and Cheese
Ditch the blue box and teach your kids how to make macaroni and cheese from scratch. While some children may not be old enough to boil the pasta, most will love learning about and grating the different cheeses you use. Try a classic mix of pecorino Romano, Gruyere and white cheddar, or really any mix of melting cheeses your kids like. They’ll love watching their grated cheese melt into its gooey end product.
When kids are too young to be around the stove, salads can be the perfect starter meal for creative children. Let your child wash and dry the vegetables. If old enough, let them use a vegetable peeler or knife to prep the components into bite-sized pieces. Put all the options in bowls and let them build their own salad. Older children may also enjoy making their own salad dressings by whisking together 3 parts oil to one part vinegar. This is a great addition to many easy meals!
When it comes to breakfast foods, kids will love adding different ingredients to the basic base of eggs and milk. Make it even more fun by helping them place circles of puff pastry in the bottom of muffin tins to make miniature personal quiches.
No meal is complete without dessert, and cookies are a great place for kids to start cooking in the kitchen. Whether mixing by hand, or using a stand mixer, cookies teach kids about the importance of exact measurements in baking. Allow each kid to shape their own dough into fun shapes on the cookie sheet.
Letting your kids cook these and other meals teaches important life and nutrition skills. Who knows, you may even end up with a future chef in your family.