So many things in life are uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: we all need to eat! In addition to teaching kiddos essential life skills, cooking can be a phenomenal confidence booster! I’m sharing some of my essential tips to keep in mind before bringing those kiddos into the kitchen — and four of my favorite recipes!
So many things in life are uncertain, but one thing’s for sure: we all need to eat! Now that we’re all cooped up indoors, it’s a fantastic opportunity to kick-start your little’s culinary creativity. In addition to teaching them essential life skills, cooking can be a phenomenal confidence booster!
I’m sharing some of my essential tips to keep in mind before bringing those kiddos into the kitchen. Keep reading for four tasty recipes you could try at home!
Creating A “Safe Space” For Kitchen Exploration: A Few Tips
If you’ve been following along, you’ll know that I often talk about the importance of creating a non-judgmental “safe space.” Well, when you invite your kids into the kitchen, you’ll want to be sure to create both a physical and emotional safe space for them.
Before you tackle your first recipe together, bring your little chef on a “tour” of the kitchen, and explain how different objects and appliances work. Please ensure your kiddo understands what tasks are for grown-ups only (e.g., using knives and the oven). Also, gently remind your mini-chef about the importance of washing their hands before handling food
On the emotional side, you should avoid overly criticizing your child’s (let’s be honest — probably messy) “cooking style.” Remember: We want to create positive experiences in the kitchen that they will remember for a lifetime! Consider prepping food and spices beforehand, so all your little cook has to do is assemble when it’s showtime. As they grow older, of course, you can gradually increase your kids’ responsibilities.
4 Fabulous Recipe Ideas to Try with the Kiddos
Are you hungry for some simple & satisfying recipes? If so, check out a few of my favorite recipes to make with little ones below! Now, I will say, I am NOT AT ALL the best cook, but these are some of my favorite fool-proof recipes for when I feel like getting creative in the kitchen!
1) Whip Up A Simple Shrimp Stir-Fry
Who needs take-out? Teach your little one to make savory stir-fry dishes from the comforts of home!
The great thing about stir-fry is it’s incredibly versatile. Although I’m sharing a basic recipe below, I encourage you to jazz it up with different sauces, veggies, or meats!
- About 4 cups of chopped veggies (e.g., carrots, broccoli, snap peas, red bell peppers)
- 8 ounces of egg noodles or spaghetti
- 8 ounces of shrimp, peeled and deveined
- 1 garlic clove, finely chopped
- 1-inch piece of ginger, grated
- 2 tablespoons of soy sauce
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- In a medium-sized pot, boil water and mix in your stir-fry noodles. Pay close attention to the recommended cooking instructions on your box!
- Meanwhile, in a large frying pan, heat 1 tbsp of olive oil on medium heat. Add garlic and ginger and stir until they become fragrant (about 30 seconds).
- Mix in your veggies and cover for about 3 minutes. Add soy sauce and steam veggies until they are tender (another 3 – 4 minutes).
- Lastly, stir in shrimp and cook until they are pink on both sides (about 3 minutes). Serve over your noodles and enjoy!
2) Bake A Brilliant Loaf Of Banana Bread
Every kid goes bananas for, well, banana bread! Here’s an easy way you and your little one can make this healthy(ish) treat.
- 3 overripe bananas
- 1 cup of sugar
- ½ cup of Crisco or margarine
- 2 eggs
- 1 ¾ cup of all-purpose flour
- ½ tsp of baking powder
- 1 tsp of baking soda
- Optional: chocolate chips, crushed pecans, or walnuts
- Preheat the oven to 350° F.
- In a medium-sized bowl, whisk the flour, baking powder, and baking soda. Set aside.
- In a separate bowl, mix together sugar and margarine until smooth and then add the eggs.
- Once the eggs are smooth, mix in all of the dry ingredients.
- Grease a loaf pan with cooking spray and pour the mixture into the pan.
- When the oven is ready, place the bread pan in the oven for one hour. Allow your bread to cool for at least 15 minutes before eating.
3) Kale Chips & Kids — Are We Crazy?
When it comes to nutrition, we all know that kale is king…but can you seriously expect a kid to eat this leafy green? OK, it might be impossible to serve steamed kale to your child, but you’ll be surprised how quickly they’ll munch on crunchy kale chips!
Not only are kale chips nutritious, they are also SUPER simple to make. Here’s an easy way to make this nutritious dish:
- One bunch of fresh kale
- 1 tablespoon of avocado or extra virgin olive oil
- A pinch of sea salt
- Preheat your oven to 225° F.
- Wash and dry your kale before cutting off the stems and creating bite-sized pieces with the leaves. Mix your kale in a bowl with your preferred cooking oil.
- Place your “kale chips” on two baking sheets, sprinkle a bit of salt on top, and pop them in the oven for between 15 – 20 minutes.
- Stay close to the oven to ensure all of the kale chips cook evenly. When you take the chips out after about 15 minutes, move them around as you see fit. They might need another 20 minutes until they are perfectly crisp.
- When they’re ready, let your kale chips cool for at least 10 minutes before eating. You can keep these chips covered at room temperature for about two days.
PS: Once you’ve mastered this basic recipe, consider spicing up your kale chips with seasonings like paprika, cumin, or curry powder.
4) Get The Milk Ready! – Homemade Chocolate-Chip Cookies
Sure, kale is excellent for our health, but it can never satisfy a sweet tooth. Be sure to keep our chocolate chip cookie recipe nearby once the sugar cravings get real 😉
To find my detailed chocolate-chip cookie recipe, check out this previous post on my Instagram! And remember to always make kitchen time FUN with your littles!