When it comes to getting kids helping in the kitchen, our motto is the sooner the better! Here are some of our easy, healthy and kid-friendly favourites that even picky eaters are sure to love.
Cooking with kids may sound like a lot more trouble (and mess!) than it's worth, but when children grow up helping out in the kitchen from a young age, the benefits are priceless. Not only does it help develop an early understanding of safe cooking practices and good old-fashioned work ethic, but think of the fun and delicious results that come from experimenting with different ingredients and flavours!
These recipes are healthy, fun, and easy to make—even for helpers with little hands. And with a wide array of recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert (with some snacks, to boot!), we've got you covered from morning to bedtime. Test Kitchen tip: If cooking with kids is new to you, save it for a holiday, PA day or weekend project, when you've got plenty of time to spare before anyone gets too hungry.
Challenge your children to eat every colour of the rainbow by offering vegetables for every arc. Have kids help in the assembly and make their own “rainbows.” We used an assortment of vegetables, but this will also work with vegetables that you have on hand. Or choose vegetables you think the kids will try.
Baking chicken fingers is not only healthier than frying but also a safer alternative to using hot oil, which may spatter. A chicken tender is the little filet that separates easily from the rest of the breast. Kids can help by coating the chicken fingers and arranging them on the baking sheet. Serve with Marinara Dipping Sauce.
Finding a breakfast that gives your family a boost and keeps you going can be tricky, especially if your kids are picky about what they eat for breakfast. These whole grain waffles made with protein-rich Greek yogurt and topped with nutritious berries and more yogurt will start the day off right, and keep the whole family going until lunch. Kids will love cracking the eggs and helping stir up the batter, plus choosing the best berries for garnish!
This tidy version of a Sloppy Joe is perfect for small hands. Serve the extra sauce on the side for dipping. Kids can help by mixing and shaping the mini patties—just make sure they wash their hands well afterwards!
This pull-apart monkey bread tastes just like apple fritters, and it conveniently separates into little doughnut holes for shareable bite-size treats! Get the kids involved in rolling the dough pieces into balls and building the bread in the Bundt pan.
Make this pasta salad for the whole family—the kids will love the mild dressing and round bocconcini cheese, while the adults will appreciate it as a light alternative to a sandwich. Under supervision, kids can chop the cooked chicken and broccoli, and they can also help whisk up the dressing.
Kids of all ages will love topping these chocolate chip–studded dark chocolate cookies with even more chocolate. It's a delicious, messy good time. Drizzle the chocolate using a resealable plastic bag with one corner snipped off, or just dip a fork in the chocolate and wiggle it over the cookies for a simple and fun alternative.
Make weeknight dinners fun (for adults and kids) with these veggie-packed, tomato sauce–topped mini meat loaves. Steamed green beans make a nice veggie side dish. Kids will love shaping the patties themselves and distributing them amongst the muffin tin cups.
Kids will get a kick out of turning classic broccoli with cheese sauce into pancakes. Adding ham makes this breakfast-for-dinner a protein-rich meal. If you don't have fresh broccoli on hand, use frozen, cooking it according to package directions.