Kids can practice cooking with these easy homemade snacks
Getting kids cooking has big benefits, and one of them is that it gives them the ability to take care of that never ending hunger.
Last week we started this Kids in the Kitchen Series with 10 basics to make it easier to cook with kids. This week we’re making snacks together.
Cooking with kids might not start out easy.
For me, having kids in the kitchen takes continual practice to let go of control. Making snacks is low pressure, so it’s a great starting point. My preschooler especially likes it when we both wear aprons and put on music.
Cooking together takes practice, but as you learn to be together in the kitchen it gets easier and easier to to tackle bigger jobs, and cooking will become a time when you can connect.
Beginner Snacks to Make With Your Little Sous Chef
By: Aviva Goldfarb, founder of The Six O’Clock Scramble online family meal planning service.
While their “help” may stretch your patience if your kids are little, do your best to persevere! If you’re consistent about involving your kiddos in the kitchen, you will eventually have little sous chefs that you can delegate kitchen chores to on crazy days. If involving your little ones in the kitchen is new to you (and them), start simple!
Creating a few snacks with your kids before graduating to a full meal will set you up for success. Two snacks that are not only a cinch, but are also tasty and fun to eat are Fruit Kabobs and Homemade Tortilla Chips.
Easy-Peasy Fruit Kabobs – Two Ways
Option 1 – All Fruit
- 6 – 8 cups seasonal mixed fruit such as strawberries, blueberries, bananas,
- mango, grapes and/or melon (Let your kids pick their favorites)
- 15 – 20 toothpicks or wooden skewers (Colorful ones make it fun for kids)
- 1 cup nonfat vanilla yogurt (optional)
Option 2 – Add a little protein
- Any of the above (We prefer just grapes with chicken.)
- Chunks of cheese
- Chunks of chicken
Thread the fruit onto toothpicks or small skewers (Let your kids go to town on this, however we recommend children under age 3 not eat with toothpicks or skewers of any size).
Serve with small bowls of yogurt for dipping (optional).
Homemade Tortilla Chips and Salsa
- 1 Tbsp. vegetable oil
- 8 – 10 corn tortillas
- 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
- 1 cup salsa or guacamole (optional) (We all know that kids love to dip!)
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees (The kids can do this with your supervision).
Put the oil in a small bowl, and, using a pastry brush, lightly brush the top and bottom of one of the corn tortillas with the oil (Your kids will enjoy this “painting”).
Put the tortilla on a cutting board, and brush the top of the next tortilla with oil, putting the non-oiled side on top of the first tortilla so they share any extra oil. Continue with the remaining tortillas, brushing only the top side and stacking them.
Cut the tortillas into eighths, cutting across the middle so they are triangle shaped (Depending upon the age of your kids, they can do this with a pizza cutter, a plastic knife, or kitchen shears-all under your watchful eye) and spread them on one or two large baking sheets in a single layer (Another simple task for your kids).
Sprinkle them evenly with the salt (Let your kids sprinkle away with their fingertips, using a pre-measured amount of salt in a bowl so they won’t over salt the tortillas. You can also have them sprinkle a bit of cumin or paprika for a touch of color).
Bake them for about 15 minutes until they are lightly browned and crisp, but remove them before they get dark brown. Serve with salsa and/or guacamole, if desired.
If you and your kids still have some kitchen stamina, the tortilla chips would also be delish in this homemade black bean dip.
For more simple, scrumptious recipes that your whole family will love, check out The Six O’Clock Scramble online family meal planning service. They focus primarily on dinner and they do the thinking for you—they provide a weekly customizable menu with 5 healthy family-friendly dinners and an organized grocery list. They also include lots of delicious and healthy snack and dessert recipes.
Next week join us for the third installment of our series on cooking with kids: Meals that will get Kids Cooking (and eating) Their Veggies
Aviva Goldfarb is a family dinner expert and founder of The Six O’Clock Scramble, an online dinner planning solution for busy parents, a Today Show contributor, author of the acclaimed Six O’Clock Scramble cookbooks, and frequently appears in media such as the The Katie Couric Show, The Washington Post, O Magazine, Real Simple, Working Mother, Prevention and more. Aviva treasures dinner time with her family but was fed up with the stress of having so little time to decide what to make and cook healthy meals that everyone would like. So she created an online family dinner planner for busy parents like her that takes the Scramble out of 6:00 with a weekly dinner plan and grocery list delivered right to their email inbox or phone.