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Kids who learn to prepare food are more likely to eat a varied diet, try new foods and be able to cook competently as adults. They’ll also learn important math concepts and recipes are a great way to practice reading. Cooking with kids might seem a little intimidating at first. You might be worried that they’ll make a mess, or you might be afraid they’ll hurt themselves with knives or using the stove or oven. But part of the process of cooking with kids is teaching them important kitchen safety rules, and with adult supervision and guidance, even toddlers can learn to use a (not too sharp) knife or stir over a low-heat stove. Cooking with kids may be a little messier than cooking alone, but teaching them to clean up after themselves is a very important part of raising responsible, helpful children.
To get you started, here are four easy and healthy recipes that kids can make. Gather some ingredients, some cooking gear, your kids, and some courage and get into the kitchen!
Scrambled eggs are a great first food for kids to cook; they require just a couple of ingredients and no sharp knives, they cook best over low heat, and they’re very difficult to mess up! You’ll of course want to talk to them about the importance of stove safety before starting, but on low to medium-low, even 3-4 year olds can learn to stir eggs in a pan. Eggs are also a really healthy food, and as your child gets more confident in their cooking skills, you can add other ingredients, too like veggies, cheese or meat.
Healthy no-bake cookies
This healthier spin on no-bake cookies is a really easy treat for kids to try. These cookies don’t require sharp utensils, just mixing over medium heat.
½ cup coconut oil
1 cup natural peanut butter or other nut butter
¾ cup honey
1 tablespoon vanilla
6 tablespoons cocoa powder
2 ½ cups oats
¼ cup ground flax seeds and/or wheat germ
Stir the coconut oil, nut butter and honey over medium heat until melted and smooth, mix in the vanilla and cocoa powder then the oats and flax seed/wheat germ. Drop by the spoonful onto parchment paper and cool.
Fruit salad is an excellent way to teach knife skills, it’s also a great way to introduce new fruits. Fruit salad is as simple to put together as just picking a few fruits, have your kiddo cut them up and mix them together! They could also mix the fruit into some yogurt for an even tastier treat.
This last recipe is not for food, but it sure is a great recipe for kids! Playdough is simple to make and will provide hours of fun!
2 ½ cups water
1 ¼ cups salt
1 ½ tablespoons cream of tarter
5 tablespoons vegetable oil
2 ½ cups flour
Mix everything together over medium-low heat. Cook until dough at the top starts to look dry. Pinch a piece off, if it’s no longer sticky, it’s ready! Knead in food coloring if desired.
Don’t these recipes sound like so much fun to make with your kids? Have you done any cooking with your kids yet? What’s your favorite kid-friendly recipe?