Cooking with Kids: 25+ Recipes To Make With Your Kids
Cooking with children is a great way to involve young children in household chores. Cooking gives children a sense of responsibility, makes them excited about mealtime, allows them to bond with you, and increases their pride in their work. There are so many amazing benefits of cooking with kids. Today, we are here to help convince you to involve your children in the process of cooking and preparing meals. We have a list of appropriate cooking tasks for children of all ages and many fun ways to engage them. Plus, we’re also sharing some of our team’s favorite desserts and main courses to make (and eat) with our kids. Enjoy your meal!
with children Cooking
is an everyday part of life, even if sometimes we wish it wasn’t. Children love to be a part of (and even find joy in) daily activities that long ago lost their novelty for us adults. And while there are many people who enjoy cooking and even enjoy nurturing their families with healthy food, there are many others who don’t find much joy in cooking.
Cooking is one of those daily activities that children want to be a part of, even from an early age. Children naturally want to help and many times, they would do almost anything to spend more time with you. Including kitchen tasks! They love to feel like they contributed and are very proud of the work they do to help.
Cooking is not just a part of daily life, but it is something that all children need to learn to do. Only about 1/3 of the children actually help prepare meals in their families. We’d love to help increase that number. There are so many great skills and lessons that children can learn in the kitchen. Let’s get them involved!
who has cooked with children knows that cooking with children takes longer and the messes that are made are generally much bigger than the ones you would make yourself. This can be frustrating and when time is a factor, it’s often not an option parents are willing to entertain. We get it. It is very difficult to teach when doing it yourself is faster, easier and less messy.
However, cooking with children is not only beneficial for children, but also for parents. Cooking with your child gives you a bonding experience and quality time together doing something together that benefits the whole family. Eating together allows time for family bonding and can even improve mental health. Eating together contributes to fewer emotional and behavioral problems in children and a greater sense of mental well-being, according to recent studies. If you can’t let your child help you prepare daily meals, you may be able to spend time once a week cooking with your children.
many benefits to sharing the task of cooking with children, beyond simply teaching them how to cook. Crushing and chopping helps develop fine motor skills. Following a recipe helps with reading. Measuring ingredients helps with math skills. Children also take pride in the family meals they cook and are more likely to try new foods. While my kids may choose to eat macaroni and cheese, pizza, hot dogs, and chicken nuggets every day, we think it’s important to try unfamiliar foods that have a variety of ingredients. Cooking with kids is a great way to do it!
Here are some science-backed reasons why you should take your kids to the kitchen and let them help you cook regularly
- Children who cook eat healthier foods. (Science Daily)
- Baking is all about fractions, and practical applications of math can help children understand concepts like fractions much better. (Institute of Education Sciences)
- It allows children to explore their senses: touch different textures, smell a variety of ingredients, taste foods in different states of completion, etc. (Children’s Health) Children
- often decide to try new foods if they help prepare them. (National Library of Medicine)
- Family traditions and routines help build stronger family relationships. (National Psychological Association)
- It increases a child’s confidence. (Children’s health)
How Kids Can Help Cook
(Cooking Tasks by Age) Children can
easily help prepare and cook almost any meal, but what and how they help depends on your child’s age. There are certain cooking tasks that are more suitable for older children, but in many ways even the youngest can help and get involved. Toddlers are great helpers, so don’t overlook them! There are many easy ways to involve your children in the cooking process. The best way sometimes is to ask them what they would like to help with (children often have strong opinions about these issues).
Pro tip: For younger children, consider getting one of those kitchen helpers that adjust in height so your child can get close to the counter to help.
Here’s a general guide on how kids can help you in the kitchen, broken down by age.
- Taste test edible
- Helps dump pre-measured ingredients into bowls
- Play with unnecessary cookware
- Tear lettuce for a salad
- vegetables Wash
- Knead dough
- Wrap potatoes in aluminum foil
- Mix ingredients
- Kitchen tool test
- Mix dry ingredients
- ingredients Count items
- Set the table Break
- Chop softer fruits and vegetables
- Start learning to read
- Washing dishes
- Make shopping list
- Download groceries
- Read recipes
- Peel vegetables
- Toast bread
- Mix a simple dough
- Wash and store dishes
on your own
Make stove recipes
- Bake on your own
- Use sharp knives
- Try new recipes
- how to use a variety of kitchen appliances
tasks and children’s age-appropriate cooking were taken from Taste of Home’s A Guide to Kitchen Tasks for Every Age. This is only a guide and can be adjusted as needed for your child’s skill and level of interest. Children vary in abilities and desires and this is also true with cooking. The idea is to engage them in some way, enjoy their company, teach skills, and instill healthy habits along the way.
for cooking with kids
The creative team at Run Wild My Child got together to share some of our favorite recipes. These are all recipes that our children love to eat and help prepare. Each of the following recipes not only shares how children can help cook it, but they are all tasted and loved by the children and families who shared them.
We’ve included desserts and main course recipes below. There are vegetarian, gluten-free, vegan and meat-filled options. Some of these recipes are great for busy parents who need a quick meal on weekdays and some take time. All of them are customizable to suit the needs and tastes of your own family. They are proven and true and guaranteed to be a great success with their young chefs.
We all know that dessert is technically supposed to be served after the main course, but kids (and many adults) love dessert. So we thought we’d start with dessert and get to the main courses! Here are some tried and true dessert recipes you can cook with your kids!
cookies This amazing almond dessert was shared by Tiana Kubik, member of the Creative Team. Her family loves this recipe because it’s super delicious and much easier to make than her mother’s equally delicious Christmas cookie recipe. Children literally beg to do this whenever they get the chance. Kids love to help measure and remove, and your oldest son is now the director, which means he reads the recipe and makes sure everyone stays on track.
3 cups powdered sugar 2 cups butter or margarine, softened 2 teaspoons vanilla 1 teaspoon almond extract 2 eggs 5 cups
- all-purpose flour
- baking soda
- 2 teaspoons
- cream of tartar
- cups powdered sugar
- 1 teaspoon extract
Decorative glaze 4
1/4 cup water 1/4 cup light corn
- almonds Food coloring, as desired
- In a large bowl, whisk 3 cups of powdered sugar, butter, vanilla, 1 teaspoon almond extract and eggs with an electric mixer on medium speed, or mix with a spoon
- Add flour, baking soda and cream of tartar. Cover and refrigerate for at least 2 hours.
- Heat oven to 375°F. Lightly grease the cookie tray.
- Divide the dough in half. On a lightly floured surface, roll each half 1/8 inch thick. Cut into desired shapes with 3-inch cookie cutters. Place about 2 inches away on a cookie tray.
- Bake 5 to 7 minutes or until edges are light brown. Remove from the cookie tray to the rack. Cool completely, about 30 minutes.
- In a small bowl, whisk all the ingredients of the frosting, except food dyes, on low speed until smooth.
- Divide between several small bowls. Stir the desired food coloring, one drop at a time, in each until the desired color is obtained.
- Decorate cookies with enamel and other decorations as desired.
shredding (vegan and gluten-free options
- cake crust (you’ll only need one crust for the bottom) – Chelsea recommends using this gluten-free crust: Totally gluten-free bakery crust made by Wholly Wholesome
Apple by filling
- apples (Can’t find McIntosh apples? Don’t worry, any sour, crunchy apple will do; Pink Lady, Honey Crisp, Gala, etc. are all good choices
- (you can use coconut palm sugar, cane sugar, or regular white sugar)
- Drizzled ground cloves
) 1/2 cup sugar
1 teaspoon cinnamon 1/4 teaspoon
Splash of salt Crumble topping 2/3 cup heaping light brown sugar 1/2 cup flour – Chelsea recommends a gluten-free flour mix 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal 1/2 cup almond flour
/2 teaspoon cinnamon A
- 2/3 cup butter – Chelsea recommends Earth Balance Butter Spread (the salty and soy-free option)
How to use
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees
- Prepare the crust of your choice. (either make the dough or start thawing the frozen dough)
- Peel the apples and cut them into slices. (Kids love helping with this part!)
- following ingredients: (Kids love to add the ingredients!)
- Nutmeg Ground cloves
- Mix well with a spoon or hands until the spices and sugar are evenly distributed and cover the apple slices.
- Now do the coverage to crumble! Add all crumbly topping ingredients in a bowl and mix until well combined. This is another perfect opportunity for children to help. These ingredients mix more easily when you use your hands. It’s the perfect little messy and fun that makes cooking exciting for kids. (If the messy part doesn’t sound fun, you can use a Kitchenaid mixer with the popsicle attachment to match these ingredients.)
- Once the crumbly topping is finished, fill a cake peel prepared with the apple mixture. Then top the cake completely with the crumbled topping. I also use my hands to do this part and the kids love to help sprinkle the crumbled topping on the apples.
- covered with aluminum foil. The cake mix can be baked and caramelized in the pan so that the baking sheet and foil protect your oven from a major disaster!
- Bake for 20 minutes uncovered. Then lower the oven temperature to 350 degrees. Bake for about 30 more minutes. Check occasionally to see if the top is browning. If your cake starts to get too dark or starts to burn, cover it with foil.
- The cake is finished when the apples are soft, the topping is completely baked and has a nice brown, crispy crust on top.
- Serve as is, or topped with your favorite whipped topping or vanilla ice cream!
Put the apple slices in a large bowl and add the
Place the cake on a metal baking sheet
<img src="https://runwildmychild.com/wp-content/uploads/2022/01/IMG_20200221_170707-scaled.jpg" alt="Best
chocolate chip cookies to make with kids” />
Easy Chocolate Chip Cookies
This easy one-bowl cookie recipe is not only a hit with kids, it’s vegan too! While traveling the country full-time, Executive Team member Katie Fox didn’t want to stop cooking with her kids, but she had to adapt the recipes a bit to make it easy to make. Using fewer dishes is a huge advantage when you only have essential dishes due to space limitations, but it also makes cleaning much easier! And when cooking with kids, limiting messes is always a plus! This recipe was adapted from Cookie and Kate’s Amazing Chocolate Chip Cookies.
1/2 cup oil (coconut oil or extra virgin olive oil works well) 1/4 cup water 1/2 cup brown sugar 1/2 cup white sugar 1/2 teaspoon vanilla extract (optional) 1 teaspoon baking
- 3/4 teaspoon baking
- teaspoon cinnamon powder (optional)
- 2 cups whole-grain
- 1 cup
- Chocolate Chips
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F and prepare your baking sheet. Use a cooking spray or parchment paper to keep cookies from sticking.
- In a large bowl, mix the oil, water, brown sugar, and white sugar. Mix until both sugars have been incorporated into the oil and the texture is smooth. This takes about 1-2 minutes with a hand or standing mixer. (Kids love mixing things by hand, so let them watch the sugar dissolve in the oil as they mix by hand. You can always finish the job once your arm gets tired.)
- powder, baking soda, and cinnamon (if you’re using it). Mix it all up. (Kids love to pick, measure, throw away, and mix these ingredients.)
- Add the flour one cup at a time, mixing the first cup thoroughly before adding the second cup. Do not mix too much, just mix until the flour is no longer visible.
- Finally, add the chocolate chips. The dough is a bit sticky.
- Use a spoon to remove walnut-sized amounts of dough (about 2 inches in diameter) and place them on prepared baking sheets. Leave 3-4 inches between each ball of dough.
- Bake for 14-17 minutes, until the edges of the cookies turn golden.
- Let them cool and enjoy!
Then add vanilla (if you’re using it), baking
yogurt berry rind
If you need a tasty sweet (but very healthy) thing, this is the perfect choice! Super easy to make and kids love it! My older children can now do all of this for themselves. You can use fresh or frozen fruit (and feel free to swap berries for any fruit of your choice). Make sure you eat it quickly while it’s cold so it doesn’t melt all over!
- 32 oz
- strawberries raspberries
- 2-3 tablespoons
- tablespoon mashed
How to use
- Mix honey and vanilla
- Spread yogurt on a baking sheet with a rubber spatula
- Place the berries on top
- Freeze (at least 1-2 hours).
- Use a knife to break it into pieces.
- Enjoy it right away while it’s COLD!
in yogurt in a large bowl.
Photo credit: @meghangarriott Apple
- peanut butter (or other nut butter), Nutella, marshmallow cream nuts
- candy, chocolate chips, sparks
- directions and cut crossed apples.
- Spread a thick layer of peanut butter, Nutella or marshmallow cream for the “doughnut glaze” on each apple slice.
- Let your children have fun with the ingredients by using chopped nuts, chocolate chips and sparks.
Recipes for Main Dishes
Love Kids may love desserts, but those are “sometimes” foods. They are usually not cooked every day. But, most of us cook at least one meal every day, if not more. Let’s dive into the heart of food with some fun main course ideas that your kids will love. The recipes below are some of our team’s family favorites.
We encourage you to invite your children to be part of the daily culinary experience. Give them the age-appropriate tasks suggested above or find something they like to do and find ways to incorporate it into your meal preparation. Cooking with kids is fun and when they help cook meals, like dinner, they’re much more likely to eat it without complaint (which is always a plus!). The following recipes provide many different ways to have children also help with cooking main dishes.
ode to SpongeBob, this is an item on the Krusty Krab menu that almost anyone can eat! SpongeBob creative team member and lover Michelle Garret shared this fun and kid-friendly recipe. His family first made these Krabby burgers (no crab involved) to celebrate the birth date of Stephen Hillenburg, the creator of SpongeBob, but now the food is a fun treat for any night of the week.
Ground hamburger beef of choice (ground beef
- or turkey)
- Quality cheddar cheese slices
- Add seasonings
Burger meat seasonings of choice
- to ground beef of your choice and mix. (Kids like to mix things up and use their hands to do it, let them help mix the seasonings!)
- Form burgers as you would any other burger. (Again, kids will love helping shape the burgers.)
- Cut the star shapes of your cheddar cheese slices.
- Cook your burgers.
- When the burgers finish cooking, place the star-shaped slices of cheese on top of the burger and let it melt.
This tasty dish was shared by Meghan Garriott, member of the Creative Team. Pierogies are stuffed dough dumplings and can have many different fillings. Meghan’s family makes them with a potato and cream cheese filling and eats them at Christmas. Pierogi is laborious to make, so his family only does it once a year. But the best part about them (aside from how delicious they are) is that the whole family makes them together. There are so many different tasks that children can help with while spending time working on a special family dinner.
- medium potatoes (cooked and mashed)
- Salt to taste
1 – 1 1/2 large packets of cream cheese
Dough 4 eggs 4
- cups flour
- 1/2 teaspoons salt
- 12 generous tablespoons sour cream How
- use Cook the potatoes. After they are cooked and while they are hot, crush them.
- Mix the cream cheese and salt to taste and let the potato mixture cool.
- In a separate bowl, add the flour and 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt and mix.
- In another bowl, add all the eggs and beat them. Add the sour cream and whisk until well mixed.
- the flour mixture and use a spoon to combine them. Once the dough is gathered, use your hands and continue mixing and kneading the dough on a floured surface until the dough is soft. (This is fun for kids to help!)
- The dough will still be slightly moist when ready
- four pieces and on a floured surface spread with a rolling pin
- Using a round cookie cutter or the rim of a glass cut the dough into circles. Be sure to put flour in the cutter/glass to prevent the dough from sticking to it.
- Add the potato filling on top of each circular dough and fold it. Seal the semicircles by pinching the dough or using a floured fork to press the edges together.
- Bring a pot of boiling water. Reduce heat so that the water boils gently.
- boiling water and boil for 5-7 minutes or until the pierogies float to the top of the water
- Drain and cover the perogies with lots of melted butter so they don’t stick.
Add the egg mixture to
. Cut the dough into
Drop the pierogies into the
<img src="http://3.bp.blogspot.com/-IiidujkelQQ/UjZtJOUEBDI/AAAAAAAAiJU/D9qeW2cWPQg/s1600/IMG_0670.JPG" alt="kids dinner ideas – chicken cake puff pastries"
cake puff pastry
Since that last recipe was a bit complicated, let’s try a kid-friendly recipe that’s as easy as cake: chicken pie! This super easy 4-ingredient recipe was presented by RWMC founder Sara McCarty. This is perfect to put together when you need a super fast weekday meal that’s warm, plentiful, and filling. Puffs taste just like homemade chicken pie and are easy enough for kids to make on their own.
- 2 cups frozen mixed vegetables
- 1 can of biscuits
1 can chicken soup cream 1 roast chicken
- Heat oven to 375°F. In a medium bowl, combine the vegetables, chicken and soup; mix well.
- Press each cookie in 5 1/2-inch rounds. Place 1 round in each of the 8 cups of regular-sized greased muffins from a muffin can. Press firmly on the bottom and up, forming a 3/4-inch edge.
- Pour a generous 1/3 cup chicken mix into each cup of muffin. Pull the edges of the dough over the filling towards the center; Fold and pinch the dough gently to hold it in place.
- Bake at 375°F for 20 to 22 minutes or until cookies are golden brown. Cool 1 minute; Remove from pan.
- beef or turkey
- packet taco seasoning
- Tubes of crescent rolls
- can (16 oz) refried beans
- 2-3 cups shredded cheddar cheese or Mexican mix
- chopped tomatoes 1
- cup sliced black olives
- 4 green onions, chopped (optional) chopped green
- /red pepper (optional)
mix 2 (8 oz)
How to use
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees
- In a skillet, brown the meat and drain. Add the taco seasoning according to the package instructions.
- Unroll crescent rolls from the tube. Place in an ungreased gelatin pan or cookie tray. Press the dough on the bottom and 1/2 inch up to form the crust.
- Bake at 375 for 11 -13 minutes or only until golden brown.
- Microwave the beans in a microwave-safe container for 1 minute. Carefully spread the beans over the hot crust creating a thin layer.
- Top with cooked meat mixture.
- You can also sprinkle on tomatoes, black olives, peppers, and green onion (or you can wait until after cooking to add them). Top with cheese.
- Return the pizza to the oven for 3-6 more minutes until the cheese melts. Cut into squares and serve immediately!
Tried and true recipes
Many of us search and find recipes all over the internet that become family favorites. Instead of sharing these recipes in full, we decided that we would share the links to the original creators. Below you will find several recipes that our team and their families love to cook and that their children enjoy. And just like above, they are separated by desserts (first, of course) and main courses.
Desserts and muffins Apple Muffins — Cookie and Kate Baked Apple chips — RWMC Banana bread —
- The Food Charlatan
- Banana pudding — Super Healthy Kids
- Cinnamon Sugar Donuts — As Easy as Apple Pie
- Fruit Popsicles — RWMC
- Pink strawberry cake — Call Me PMC
- Pumpkin Muffins
- Cookie and Kate
- Cheez-It chicken tenders — Averie Cooks
- Crockpot white chicken chili — Diethood
- Once Upon a Chef
- Egg in a Hole — The Food Network
- Burger Soup with Macaroni and Cheese — Six Sisters Stuff
- Chicken and vegetable meatballs with pesto –
- balloons — Barry Lewis Pizza
- dough — Yummy Addiction
- Tater tot casserole — Salted
- Super Healthy Kids turkey sausage paste — The Slender Kitchen
Chicken Marsala —
Super Healthy Kids Pizza
marshmallow turkey meat pie —