You don’t need special recipes to have fun with kids in the kitchen. Over the years we’ve hunted and searched for kid-friendly recipes or ideas they can do themselves. What we’ve found is adults ALWAYS need to help somewhere, so don’t limit yourself to just recipes for kids.
There are a few fun and easy recipes we’ve done over the years that the kids just LOVED. These recipes are ones that don’t have an age limit, nor require them to be a certain age. We also like simple recipes that don’t require a whole lot of ingredients, so that it makes it that much easier for the kids.
The kids, now ages 13 and 10, don’t need a lot of help from me in the kitchen any more. Yet we have the picture to remind us of younger days, where it didn’t take much to get proud smiles and giggles out of my babies. We also still have the recipes we all loved to make, which I plan to share with all of you 🙂
Our Favorite Recipes for Kids
Lil’ Smokey Bugs
You will need:
– Lil’ Smokies
– Crescent Rolls (unbaked from a can)
– Shoe-String Fries (from a can)
Tear small pieces of the crescent roll dough and wrap around Lil’ Smokies. Bake according to crescent roll instructions. After they cool, stick fries in the body to make them look like little bugs. Add mustard and ketchup for eyes or decoration. SUPER easy for the kids, and they have a blast eating their creations. Here’s a finished example:
You will need:
– Pretzel Dough (can be purchased, but we make our’s in a bread machine)
The kids like making pretzels, because it’s where their creativity can shine. We don’t stick to a pretzel pattern, because we think it’s much more fun to design our own shapes. Like this example, where we made the kids names (or nickname, in Jay’s case. “Jillian” was far too long and complicated for her):
More Recipe Ideas for Kids
You can’t go wrong with a simple cookie recipe. I’m sure you have one somewhere! Let them add, mix, and shape their cookies. Don’t help TOO much!
Start with bread, and add your toppings. Let them decide what’s going on it, and taste test each item. Give the kids a selection of veggies and other healthy stuff to pile on the sandwich. You’ll get them to eat well AND have fun with it!
On a hot summer day, these treats are perfect! Experiment with yogurt, fruit juices, and fresh fruits. Make in the evening, so that no one gets annoyed waiting for the treats to freeze.
Peanut Butter Playdough
You will need the following to make peanut butter play dough:
1 (18 oz.) peanut butter
6 tsp. honey
Non-fat dry milk for right consistency
Mix all ingredients together. Shape and decorate with raisins, chocolate chips; you name it! Be sure kids wash their hands before mixing and playing, so it CAN be eaten when they are finished. Just make sure everyone washes their hands before mixing/playing, and play on a clean surface.
Finding Additional Recipes for Kids
Like mentioned before, you can look at ANY recipe to determine if it’s a fun recipe for the kids to help with or not. For a recipe to be kid-friendly, we look at how much the kids can be involved. Here’s a few tips when looking for fun and easy recipes for kids:
– Are there more steps for the kids than the adults?
Ideally, you want a recipe that can mostly be done by the kids. Adults can help by putting pans in the oven, giving a mix a good stir, or chopping up pieces that you may need for the recipe. Ultimately, though, the kids need to be doing most the work. That’s the point, right?
– Is it messy? Can they get hurt?
Avoid recipes that involve too much cutting or frying. If there are steps that involve these things, do them before you let the kids into the kitchen. Better yet, do it at night or when they are napping to avoid “I wanna help!” cries when it’s a dangerous task. Such as in the case of the sandwiches; slice up fresh veggies before you let the kids in to help.
– Is anything too complicated?
If it’s a complicated recipe you haven’t even mastered yet, it’s probably not a good pick for the kids. It might sound fun to experiment with a new recipe with the whole family, but you don’t want the kids to be disappointed when it doesn’t taste good. Stick to simple, easy to follow recipes to save yourself tears.
I hope this gives you a few ideas for cooking with the kids!