Cooking is a life skill that we think everyone should have. Plus it is fun! Take advantage of school breaks and cook with the kids! If they are eating low FODMAP, or someone else in the family is, this is a way to bring you all together. You can seamlessly weave in math, nutrition and social skills, too. Gathering together at the table with homemade food is one of the best bonding family activities. We have gathered 20 recipes, both sweet and savory, that are perfect for inviting the kids into the kitchen. Some of the recipes are very easy; others are more complex but have components that kids can do themselves. Do you have any family recipes? We would love to hear!
One-Pan Chicken, Carrots & Potatoes
This One-Pan Chicken, Carrots & Potatoes with One-Bowl Maple Mustard Sauce is a favorite of ours. The sweet and tangy sauce can be whisked together by the kids. They can also be taught good kitchen hygiene by placing chicken on the pan and washing hands well before and after. This is a dish that is so easy, older kids can learn to make for the family when they get home from school. Get the recipe.
Kids (of all ages) love meatballs and spaghetti, or a meatball sub. These meatballs are lighter and lower in fat as they are made with ground turkey. Kids love to mix the meat mixture and form the balls. Teach them how to cook pasta correctly, too! Get the recipe.
Our Everyday Meatloaf has grated and shredded vegetables in the meat mixture for nutrition, flavor and texture. Kids love to form the loaf with their hands. Teach them how to spell and say Worcestershire sauce! Get the recipe.
Air-Fryer Fish Sticks
If you have an air-fryer, you have to try this recipe! The crunchy coating is crushed potato chips! Kids can help smash the chips and roll the fish around in the coating. They can help whip up the homemade Tartar Sauce, too. Get the recipe.
Vegetable, Pasta & Bean Soup
Let’s make a big pot of soup! This one has loads of different vegetables, which offers opportunity to teach kids the difference between zucchini and yellow squash, how to clean and prep kale, to learn how to use a can opener, to show them what dried basil smells like, and so many more teaching moments. Get the recipe.
Leafy Green Salad
Everyone needs to know how to make a basic salad! You can teach kids to wash the greens and even talk about the different ones. By trying different lettuces one by one they can begin to learn how varied flavors can be. Kids love using a salad spinner, if you have one. Get the recipe.
Everyone, child and adult, should know how to make a great salad dressing, and this one is our weekly go-to. Get the recipe.
Kids love ranch dressing and many think it only comes in a bottle! Our version with fresh herbs is light years beyond the commercial kind; this one is fresh, bright, creamy and delicious! Kids love learning about all the different fresh herbs. Get the recipe.
A simple fruit salad has so many uses. Make a batch to have in the morning with yogurt, or it can be placed in a small container for take-along school lunch. Teach kids how to wash and dry fruit – and their little fingers are perfect for peeling the tangerines! Get the recipe.
An omelet is the first thing my dad taught me to cook. I was about 4 or 5 years old and I remember standing on a stool to reach the counter. This one features mushrooms, but you could vary the filling. Kids love to whisk the eggs and whisking properly is a great skill to teach that has other uses in the kitchen. Melting the butter at the stove is best monitored by adults or an older child, but showing younger kids how to coat the bottom so the omelet doesn’t stick is also a good basic skill. They like cracking the eggs, too! Get the recipe.
When you think of kids and food, pizza comes to mind! This gluten-free pizza will need adult hands-on supervision, but kids can learn about yeast. When they learn it is ALIVE just watch their eyes widen! They can help pat the dough out, shred the cheese (with supervision), spread the sauce, and sprinkle the cheese. And then show them what a pizza cutter is! It’s a knife! It’s a wheel! It is very cool! Get the recipe.
We have several banana bread recipes, but this one is our community favorite. And it just happens to be lower in fat and sugar. Kids will be amazed that bananas should actually be quite blackened! Teach about fruit ripeness and how to tell when a baked good is done! Get the recipe.
One-Bowl Chocolate Chunk Cookies
Whether you use chocolate chunks or chips, everyone needs an easy chocolate chunk cookie recipe – and this one can be made in one bowl! Teach kids how to use the microwave to melt the butter and crack eggs. They can learn how to measure both dry and wet ingredients. The fact that cookie pans retain residual heat is an interesting concept to explain. The cookies continue to cook a bit after they come out of the oven! Get the recipe.
You need brownie recipes, too. We have quite a few but this is the most streamlined. Teach kids how to use a whisk and a silicone spatula. How to crack eggs, measure sugar and sift cocoa. Did you know there is a difference between natural and Dutch-processed cocoa! There is! Brush up on cocoa ingredient knowledge and share with the kids. Get the recipe.
5-Minute Honey Butter Skillet Granola
Did you know that you can make granola in mere minutes in a skillet? Smaller kids need supervision at the stove, but older kids can do the stirring. Granola is very easy to make. Younger kids can measure the ingredients, and pour the cooled granola into containers. Teach kids about why it is important to cool before sealing up in a jar. And then serve with yogurt, milk, alt-milk, or eat as a snack. Get the recipe.
Night Before Christmas Mice
During the winter holiday break, these cookies are always a hit, but even though they have a Christmasy name, they are welcomed any time of year. You will need an adult to facilitate, but little fingers are perfect for rolling the oval balls that create the mouse body, and inserting the licorice tail. Adults or older kids can place the delicate ears and pipe the eyes and nose. Food as fun! Get the recipe.
Homemade hot cocoa leaves all premade mixes in the dust! You can use high quality cocoa and monitor the sugar amount. Make with your milk or alt milk of choice. Kids can learn the difference between hot cocoa and hot chocolate and will be amazed how easy this is! Get the recipe.
Chocolate Covered Banana Popsicles
Popsicles are fun and easy to make. Bananas and chocolate are a beloved combination and here they are together in a frozen treat! You do need to get a popsicle mold before starting, but then this recipe comes together quickly. Teach kids about equal portions, having them pour the puréed mixture into each popsicle well and insert the stick. Teaches patience, too, because they have to wait for them to freeze! Get the recipe.
Trail Mix Energy Balls
Snacking is part of life for kids! (Admittedly, for us adults too). Snack smart with a fiber rich oat-based energy ball! We have several recipes but this one has a bit of chocolate, too. Kids can measure and roll. Get the recipe.
Happy Birthday Cookie
Does a child in your life have a birthday coming up? Teach them to make a giant birthday cookie, to share! They can learn about dry measuring, prepping pans, preheating the oven correctly, and more. Don’t forget the candles! Get the recipe.