Recipes for Cooking in the Kitchen with Kids

Are you struggling to get your child to try a new food? Cooking with kids in the kitchen makes it more likely they will give that food a try. I’ve been enlisting the “help” of my children, ages 6 and 3, in the kitchen from a very young age.

Start Small

If you are just getting started having your kids help in the kitchen, I would suggest starting with recipes that don’t involve cooking or baking. USDA Team Nutrition has some fun “Look and Cook” kid-friendly recipes that use pictures to show kids in a simple and visual way how to prepare healthy snacks and meals. Our family enjoys making the Friendship Pockets as everyone can customize their pocket to their preferences.

Snack mixes are a great way to subtly incorporate counting into cooking. Children can help count the cups, dump the ingredients and stir the mix together. My kids enjoy making this slightly sweet and crunchy apple cinnamon snack mix together as a family.

Young children can also help when making pizza by spreading the pizza sauce and helping to place toppings on the crust. Try this easy, no-rise whole wheat pizza crust for your next family pizza night!

Responsibility Grows With the Kiddos

As kids get more comfortable in the kitchen involve them in more tasks. My 3-year-old says that making banana oatmeal muffins, specifically mashing the bananas and putting the muffin liners in the muffin tin, is her favorite recipe to make with me. My 6-year-old really likes cracking the eggs for Saturday morning pancakes! From personal experience, I’d suggest having a couple extra eggs handy when you begin teaching your child how to crack eggs 😉

Teaching children how to prepare food can be one of the greatest gifts you can give a child. For a child’s next birthday or holiday, consider gifting them with a kids’ cookbook. There are an assortment of cookbooks geared towards children which provide recipes for easy-to-make foods that will give children confidence in the kitchen!

Check out these Kids in the Kitchen tips for cooking with kids! Looking for additional baking tips? Check out these 10 Tips for Baking Success with Children (pdf file) from the Home Baking Association.

Jill Ladd MPH, RD, LD

— Contributed by Jill Ladd, MPH, RD, LD









Want to get your kiddo comfortable in the kitchen? Check out these great tips and recipes from a registered dietitian (and mom!) to get your children excited about the kitchen!