Cooking for the kids can be challenging and sometimes stressful, but it can also be a fun way for the family to bond as you work together to prepare meals as a team. Preparing meals ahead of time is one way to save time and remove some of the hassle, but getting some extra hands in the kitchen is really the best way to make your job easier as the head chef of the household. Teaching kids the culinary arts at a young age is a good way to teach independence skills and introduce the importance of home economics. Not all recipes are kid-friendly, but there are plenty of meals that are safe for your kids to prepare and perfect for their taste buds to savour.
1. Mac and Cheese
Making mac and cheese yourself without the help of a pre-packaged box of pasta and powdered cheese sauce might take a tad bit more effort, but most people can agree that the resulting dish is much tastier and more nutritious. Instead of just boiling the pasta and dumping in a jar of cheese sauce you’ll be making an authentic homemade mac and cheese recipe that’s capped off by the sprinkling of seasonings, flour, and extra cheese to be baked inside the oven in a casserole dish – crispy, cheesy, homemade goodness!
Speaking of cheese, what kid doesn’t like pizza? If there’s a child in the world who doesn’t like pizza, they’ve never gone public with their disdain for this Italian masterpiece of a food, because if they had they would be famous for being the only kid who doesn’t love pizza. Making pizza yourself might seem like it’s beyond your capabilities but making the dough and following an online sauce recipe isn’t all that hard, and you can get the kids to help with the kneading, mixing, and topping. Making pizza together is also one great way to spend quality time with the kids.
Quesadillas are one of the easier options on this list, as it really just amounts to throwing cheese into a tortilla and cooking it. However, you can up the difficulty and give your kids something to do by making homemade tortillas. Plus, you can get fancy with the ingredients, letting the kids build their own quesadillas from a tray of pre-sliced toppings like tomatoes, onions, avocados, various cheeses, meats, etc.
Cupcakes are the epitome of baking for and with kids. They are so easy to make that even the most basic of cooks can whip a batch up. Make them plain and decorate with icing and sprinkles, or experiment with different flavourings inside the cake itself. We particularly love making lemon meringue cupcakes. They are far from pretty, but taste great! I know I struggle with baking times sometimes, but this superb infographic from Trago Mills is really useful!
5. Meat Loaf
Meatloaf is packed with easily digestible, full protein, and it’s absolutely delicious when done right. Preparing this dish with the kids is a good way to teach them about food handling safety and hygiene while mixing raw eggs and meat. The trick is balancing the right amount of seasonings in your loaf so if you’ve never made it before, it might take a couple of tries before you settle on the official family recipe. We love our slow cooker donor kebab, which is basically just a meatloaf with a more appetizing name!
6. Cinnamon Rolls
Most of us just whip the cinnamon rolls right out of the can and onto a baking sheet the easy way. But making the dough, cinnamon swirl mix, and icing yourself can result in much, much, tastier results. You can get the kids to help with shaping the rolls and laying them out on the pan.
Last but certainly not least, and perhaps the one your kids will want to make the most – homemade cookie dough. Once you know how to make this, you’ll be wanting to do it at least a couple of times a month, because you can make it without eggs for snacking or eating with ice cream.