Are you looking to get your kids involved in the kitchen? It might seem like a dream, but you’d be surprised. Many kids are actually eager to help out, and it might just be a matter of finding the right way to motivate them! Often, kids are happy to try a new task if they can see a reward for their hard work, and they know it will lead to something they enjoy (like one of their favourite meals!)
In this article, we’re giving you 15 meal ideas that are ideal for helping kids learn to cook! These meals are simple, hands-on, and they all result in dishes that kids love.
Before we get started, it’s important to mention one of the main considerations that should be top of your mind when cooking with kids, which is safety. There are many sharp objects and hazardous appliances in your kitchen that you probably want to keep your kids away from.
In this article, we have included recipes which all have steps options for keeping kids clear of sharp objects and hot surfaces. But it goes without saying that it’s always important that kids are monitored while in the kitchen. These recipes are ideal for you to work together. You can handle the tricky stuff, and let your kids handle the fun stuff.
Make Your Own Pizza
Let’s start it out with perhaps the most popular kid-friendly cooking recipe of all – make your own pizza! This one is sure to please, as it gives kids their own opportunity to make their own version of one of their favorite foods. Have the pizza dough prepared, and let your kids put on the sauce, cheese, and toppings!
Taco night is another easy, kid-friendly meal. Your kids can help you get all the toppings ready, and once it’s all good to go, everyone can make the tacos they enjoy most!
Meatballs are a great way to get kids involved in the cooking process. You can have them mix together the ingredients themselves, and even form their own meatballs. It’s just a bonus that kids love meatballs!
Chocolate Chip Cookies
Of course, chocolate chips cookies, most people’s entry into the baking world. Cookies are a great way to teach kids about cooking measurements, and kids can form the cookies themselves. Just make sure they don’t eat too much dough!
Mac and Cheese
Homemade mac and cheese is an easy one. Kids can learn about various kitchen tools such as a cheese-grater, and can learn to measure out the ingredients with your help. They can even help you decide exactly how cheesy to make it.
Pigs in a Blanket
Pigs in a blanket are an easy go-to, and beloved by so many kids, even a picky eater. You can buy some croissant dough, or make some yourself. Kids can have fun wrapping up each hot dog individually, and they’ll love to see how quickly everything can be cooked!
One of the most basic meals you can make in a kitchen is also one of the best places to start! Your kids can learn to crack eggs and whisk together ingredients. They can watch you as you cook the eggs on the stove. This one gives kids a full look at the entire cooking process, for such a simple dish.
Do smoothies count as cooking? Maybe so, but regardless it’s a great way to teach your kids all about mixing ingredients into something that is way more than the sum of its parts! Not to mention it could be a great way to create a health snack that kids actually enjoy.
Tuna Salad (Sandwiches)
Tuna salad is a tasty meal, and it’s easy to teach kids how to make it. If you’re using canned tuna, it’s a great way to teach kids to use a can opener. They then can get experience mixing all the ingredients. Have it on a sandwich, or eat it on its own!
Ants on a Log
Ants on a log are a healthy snack and so easy to make! Some celery, spread some peanut butter, and add some raisins. These are a great snack that kids can make totally on their own, and it’s always a bonus to find a healthy snack that they actually like.
Another extremely simple recipe, but sometimes you have to start small!
Turkey and Cheese Tortilla Roll-Ups
Tortilla roll ups are a fun twist on a sandwich. Add some turkey and cheese in between two tortillas, roll it up, and slice. Kids will have a fun time putting it together and rolling it up.
Burgers are another fun recipe that kids can learn. Similar to meatballs from above, kids can learn to mix the ingredients and shape the patties. You can even show your kids how you cook them on a barbecue!
Quesadillas are a kid favourite, and so easy to make. Kids can learn how to shred cheese, and load up their own quesadilla with their favourite ingredients. It’s such a simple meal, but it’s great when kids can be involved in the process from beginning to end.
Another easy one, and you can have your kids prepare the sandwiches while you cook them on the stove. Cheese, bread, butter, that’s all you need for a delicious grilled cheese!
How about some make-your-own burritos? Your kids can help you to get all the ingredients prepared, and can dress up their burrito however they want. They can even try their hand at rolling them up, although that’s a bit trickier than it seems!
PB & J!
Let’s round it out with perhaps the most kid-friendly recipe of all time, a simple peanut butter and jelly! Every kid should know how to make their own PB & J.
We hope this article has helped inspire you to get your kids started in cooking from a young age. You’d be surprised how quick they can pick up on it, and just how much they might enjoy it!
About the Author
Alissa is a resilience coach, cartoonist, and advocate for ‘connection, not perfection’. She’s dedicated to helping others find a sense of safety and belonging inside themselves so they can heal, connect, and build authentic, joyful lives.