Creating Memories in the Kitchen with Your Kids
If you have kids, you probably have similar struggles as many other families—including getting your kids involved in meal and snack prep. Ideally they’re not only involved, but also comfortable and excited to help in the kitchen. We’re here to tell you that the struggles are worth the outcome because cooking with your children can be one of the best ways to bond, and it is definitely a fun time for all!
Children of all ages can assist in the kitchen, from toddlers helping with simple prep work to older kids and teens learning advanced cooking skills. No matter where your kids are on the kitchen skill scale, it’s time to get cooking together! We gathered a few top tips from our Food Network friends and outlined five simple ways for you to make the kitchen a happy place for everyone. Keep these tips on hand, and dive into creating any of the recipes below. We’ve got mini foods for the mini ones, foods served on a stick, favorite family dinner options and everything in between.
TOP TIPS FOR COOKING WITH KIDS:
- Create a kid’s cooking station. Have the children at a different table/counter for less commotion and interference.
- Start small. Give toddlers and younger children simple tasks such as stirring or rinsing. As they age, their tasks will advance as well.
- Give yourself time. Take advantage of weekends or days off school to whip up some recipes and explore the kitchen with your kids.
- Create the menu together. Encourage kids to get inspired by cookbooks, blogs and websites for recipes and foods to try – they will be more invested in the prep if they help chose the meal.
- Not all kids can or like to cook, so amend their tasks. Non-cooking kids can still interact with the chef by washing, cleaning or setting and clearing the table.
- Muffin Pan Pizzas: The younger ones can roll-out the dough while the older children chop the veggies.
- Cheeseburger Bites: Let the kids spray muffin tins with cooking spray, press wonton papers into each “cheeseburger bun” and then spoon in the filling.
- Mini Ice Cream Sandwiches: Go crazy with sprinkles and other toppings! Try even making an assembly line for compiling the sandwiches.
FOODS ON A STICK
- Kool Kids Kabobs: Pass out sticks, and let the kids go wild making patterns with ingredients such as tomatoes, olives, cheese cubes, mini taquitos and more.
- Fruit & Cheese Kabobs: Grab a block of your favorite cheese and slice out bite-sized cubes. Then let them choose their favorite fruit to add onto the skewer.
- Kabobs: These kabobs involve waffles and fruit, which means the kids can be in charge of serving up the maple syrup and dusting with powdered sugar.
- Cheesy Chicken Enchilada Bake: Children can make the best sous chefs—have them layer the tortillas, chicken, remaining red sauce and cheddar cheese before baking.
- Make-Ahead Turkey-Bean Freezer Burritos: Make use of a long weekend, and let the kids assemble each burrito with their favorite fixings.
- Italian Skillet Toss: All ingredients go in one pot, so have the kids throw it all in, and let them stir away!
How do you get the kids involved in the kitchen? Do they have a favorite task to help with or lead on their own?